U.S. appeasement of Cuba’s dictatorial apartheid regime will never work

We have seen Cuba’s brave and courageous dissidents bear the brunt of Obama’s policy of appeasement towards the apartheid Castro dictatorship. They have been harassed, beaten, sexually assaulted, and imprisoned while U.S. officials enjoy cocktail parties with Cuban regime operatives in Washington D.C. Obama’s policy of appeasement (along with every other world leader who has refused to stand up to the Cuban tyranny) has only served to embolden and further entrench the Castro dictatorship.

History clearly shows that appeasement of a brutally repressive and corrupt regime never works and only makes the situation worse. It is no different in Cuba and unfortunately, the Cuban people are paying a heavy price for this failed policy.

George Weigel in National Review:

Appeasement Never Works

And it’s making matters worse in Cuba.

 fullscreen OAS secretaty general Luis Almagro
OAS secretaty general Luis Almagro

At first blush, Luis Almagro would seem an unlikely candidate for the disfavor of the current Cuban regime. A man of the political Left, he took office as the tenth secretary general of the Organization of American States in 2015, vowing to use his term of office to reduce inequality throughout the hemisphere. Yet Secretary General Almagro was recently denied a visa to enter Cuba. Why? Because he had been invited to accept an award named in honor of Cuban democracy activist Oswaldo Payá, who died in 2013 in an “automobile accident” that virtually everyone not on the payroll of the Castro regime’s security services regards to this day as an act of state-sanctioned murder. Payá’s “crime” was to organize the Varela Project, a public campaign for basic civil liberties and free elections on the island prison, and he paid for it with his life.

The regime’s refusal of a visa for the head of the OAS caused a brief flurry of comment in those shrinking parts of the commentariat that still pay attention to Cuba, now that Cuban relations with the United States have been more or less “normalized.” But there was another facet of this nasty little episode that deserves further attention: While Almagro’s entry into Cuba was being blocked, a U.S. congressional delegation was on the island and, insofar as is known, did nothing to protest the Cuban government’s punitive action against the secretary general of the OAS.

According to a release from the office of Representative Jim McGovern (D., Mass.), the CoDel, which also included Senators Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), Thad Cochran (R., Miss.), Michael Bennet (D., Colo.), and Tom Udall (D.,N.M.), and Representative Seth Moulton (D.,Mass.), intended to “continue the progress begun by President Obama to bring U.S.–Cuba relations into the 21st Century and explore new opportunities to promote U.S. economic development with Cuba,” including “economic opportunities for American companies in the agriculture and health sectors.” I’ve no idea whether those economic goals were advanced by this junket. What was certainly not advanced by the CoDel’s public silence on the Almagro Affair while they were in the country was the cause of a free Cuba.

There were and continue to be legitimate arguments on both sides of the question of whether the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba should be lifted. And those pushing for a full recission of the embargo are not simply conscience-lite men and women with dollar signs in their eyes. They include pro-democracy people who sincerely believe that flooding the zone in Cuba with American products, American technology, and American culture will so undermine the Castro regime that a process of self-liberation will necessarily follow. That this seems not to have been the case with China is a powerful counterargument. Meanwhile, my own decidedly minority view — that the embargo should have been gradually rolled back over the past decade and a half in exchange for specific, concrete, and irreversible improvements in human rights and the rule of law, leading to real political pluralization in Cuba — seems to have fallen completely through the floorboards of the debate.

But as pressures to “normalize” U.S.–Cuba relations across the board increase, there ought to be broad, bipartisan agreement that Cuban repression, which has in fact intensified since the Obama initiative two years ago, should have its costs. If, as Congressman McGovern averred, he and others want to move Cuba–America relations into the 21st century, then let him and others who share that goal agree that Cuba should be treated like any other country: meaning that when it does bad things, it gets hammered by criticism and pressures are brought to bear to induce or compel better behavior in the future.

“Opening up” without pressure has never worked with Communist regimes. It didn’t work when the Vatican tried it in east-central Europe in the 1970s; the Ostpolitik of Pope Paul VI made matters worse for the Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. It didn’t work vis-à-vis the Soviet Union in the years of détente, which coincided with some of the worst Soviet assaults on human-rights activists. It hasn’t worked with China, where, as in Cuba, repression has increased in recent years.

Continue reading HERE.

Amnesty International Annual Report on Cuba: Repression and human rights violations continue

Welcome to Castrogonia, President Higgins!
Welcome to Castrogonia, President Higgins!

After a year where millions of foreign tourists flooded the island and the U.S. drastically increased its “engagement” with Cuba’s apartheid Castro dictatorship, Amnesty International completed its annual report on Cuba. They have found that the regime remains as repressive as ever and continues its human rights violations against the Cuban people on a daily basis.

So much for Hope and Change…

Cuba 2016/2017

Despite purported political openness, restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and movement continued. Local civil society and opposition groups reported increased politically motivated detentions and harassment of government critics.

Background

The re-establishment of relations between the USA and Cuba in 2015 led to increased trade and tourism between the two countries in 2016. For example, commercial air services from the USA to Cuba resumed after more than 50 years.

In March, US President Barack Obama visited Cuba and met President Raúl Castro, the first visit to Cuba by a US President in nearly a century.1 Fidel Castro died in November.2

Millions of tourists, many from the USA and Europe, visited Cuba in 2016, resulting in a significant boom in the tourism industry.

Cuban migrants continued to fly to South and Central American countries and to travel north overland in order to reach the USA. Between October 2015 and July 2016, more than 46,000 Cubans entered the USA, slightly more than in 2015 and twice as many as in 2014, according to Pew Research Centre.

Throughout the year, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed concern about the situation of Cuban migrants attempting to reach the USA. In August, more than 1,000 Cuban migrants were stranded in Colombia close to the border with Panama. The IACHR expressed concern that they did not have access to food and were at risk of being trafficked. In July, 121 Cuban migrants were allegedly deported from Ecuador without proper notification or the opportunity to appeal against the decisions.

Cuba had not ratified the ICCPR or the ICESCR, both of which it had signed in February 2008, nor the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Likewise, Cuba had not recognized the competence of the UN Committee against Torture nor the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider communications from victims or other states parties.

Freedoms of expression and association

Despite the re-establishment of relations with the USA in 2015, Cold War rhetoric persisted, with political activists and human rights defenders being publicly described as “anti-Cuban mercenaries”, “anti-revolutionary” and “subversive”.

The judicial system remained under political control. Laws covering “public disorder”, “contempt”, “disrespect”, “dangerousness” and “aggression” were used in politically motivated prosecutions.

Government critics continued to experience harassment including “acts of repudiation” (demonstrations led by government supporters and involving state security officials).

The government continued to use limitations on access to the internet as a key way of controlling both access to information and freedom of expression. Only 25% of the population was able to get online and only 5% of homes had internet access. By August, there were reportedly 178 public Wi-Fi spots in the country. However, there were frequent reports of the Wi-Fi service being interrupted. The government continued to block and filter websites, limiting access to information and criticism of state policies.3

Arbitrary arrests and detentions

Reports continued of government critics and activists – such as the Ladies in White – being routinely subjected to arbitrary arrest and short-term detention for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly and movement.4

The authorities engaged in a game of “cat and mouse” whereby activists were repeatedly picked up, detained for periods of between eight and 30 hours and then released without charge, often several times a month.

The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation documented a monthly average of 862 arbitrary detentions between January and November, an increase compared with the same period in 2015.

Those held for longer periods in “provisional detention” were often not charged and their relatives were rarely provided with documents giving the reasons for the detention.

In July and August, Guillermo Fariñas, who was awarded the EU’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2010, and other political activists, mostly from the Patriotic Union of Cuba, went on hunger strike in a mass protest against what they believed to be the increasingly violent repression of dissidents and activists.

At the end of the year, graffiti artist and prisoner of conscience Danilo Maldonado Machado, known as El Sexto, was being held in El Combinado del Este, a maximum security prison on the outskirts of the capital, Havana. Danilo Machado was arrested in his home on 26 November, hours after the announcement of Fidel Castro’s death. The same day, Cuba-based newspaper 14ymedio reported that he had written the words “He’s gone” (Se fue) on a wall in Havana.5

Continue reading HERE.

Under the apartheid Castro dictatorship, racism alive and flourishing in Cuba

You will never get the Congressional Black Caucus or Colin Kaepernick to admit this, but Cuba under the apartheid Castro dictatorship is one of the most racist nations in the world today.

Katarina Hall in Dissident:

Why Is Anti-Racism Taboo in Cuba?

anti-racism taboo in cuba dissident katarina hall

During the last day of his historic visit to Cuba in 2016, President Barack Obama gave a televised speech in Cuba that made the Communist Party uneasy. Speaking about the troubled histories of both the US and Cuba with race and slavery, the President addressed how both countries were built on the backs of slaves from Africa and how it was time to leave racism behind.

Barely one week after Obama’s visit, Fidel Castro had terse words for the President. In response to the President’s three-day visit and speech, the iconic dictator wrote an extensive letter to “Brother Obama” accusing him of ignoring the Communist Party’s accomplishments on race relations. In the letter, Fidel insisted that all racism in Cuba had ended with the Revolution.

During the Revolution, Fidel Castro made race discrimination one of the Communist Party’s main issues. As soon as he was in power, Castro condemned racism in his speeches and moved to eliminate it. He enacted laws that eliminated racial discrimination in public spaces, employment, and education and gave blacks and whites the same rights throughout the island. In a speech condemning the United States in 1962, Fidel claimed “Cuba was the Latin American country that had… eliminated discrimination on the basis of race or sex.”

After this speech, racial issues were considered to have been definitively solved, and the topic became taboo. Questioning the Revolution’s triumph over racism came to be considered a subversive act. With racism and discussing racism both banned, gauging the problem is difficult. But when you hit the streets of Cuba, you can see that the Party’s claims of success fall short.

Miguel, an elderly man who had lived in my neighborhood for over 50 years, currently lives in a historic nineteenth-century mansion that has been converted into a solar—a makeshift apartment building divided up to house more than ten families. When I visited the house, Miguel, who lives in part of the top floor, told me, “Only white families live in the top floor and we have to lock it to keep the other kind away.” This was my first encounter with racism in the island, but not the last. Miguel’s comments continued throughout the rest of the visit.

Once my upstairs neighbors warmed up to me, they warned me to stay away from the rest of the black people living in the neighborhood. They claimed that I should not interact with them or be seen with them because they could only bring me trouble. In another occasion, I couldn’t bring my black friend and guide to an interview, because the person we were interviewing did not approve of black people in his house.

Oddly enough, in a country that claims to have done away with racism, anti-racist activists find themselves considered dissidents. Because the rapper Soandry del Rio’s music addresses racial issues, some of his songs are banned. Another example is Cuba’s Citizens Committee for Racial Integration (CIR), a civil non-profit that promotes integration and seeks to eradicate racial stereotypes in Cuba. Because it tries to raise awareness about racial issues, the organization is now one of the largest dissident civil rights groups in the island. Most CIR members have been detained at least once.

Continue reading HERE.

Ataque de Nostalgia: Feliz Carnaval

$_35

Yeah, a nostalgia attack.

It’s a lot like a panic attack, only in reverse.

Instead of being bombarded by fear of the present and the future, you are swept away by sweet memories from the past.

If Cuba had not been killed by the Castro dynasty, it would be celebrating Carnaval /Mardi Gras right now, just like Brazil and New Orleans.

Carnaval in February was a very special time in Cuba B.C. (before Castro): a very sweet time, a vibrant celebration of life that crossed all social and racial barriers.

Comparsas, carrozas, disfrazes, confetti, serpentinas.…. Music and dance bands that filled the streets, floats, costumes, confetti, streamers.  Constant partying.

The serpentinas were magic: an act of aggression and littering that brought joy.  Bright, colorful rolls of paper that unfurled as corkscrew streamers when you threw them.  And the harder you threw them, the better.

For those of us who spent our childhoods throwing rocks at each other –as Cuban boys were wont to do — tossing those streamers was second nature.

No American street after a ticker tape parade could ever compete with a Havana street full of yellow, red, pink, blue, turquoise, orange, violet, and green unfurled serpentinas and confetti at the end of Carnaval.

The Castro dictatorship killed Carnaval, moving it to July, decoupling it from Lent and Easter and chaining it to the anniversary of the godless so-called Revolution.

Happy Carnaval, Babalu brothers and sisters, Feliz Carnaval!

Toss some confetti between now and Tuesday at midnight.

And then enjoy Lent, with its sackcloth and ashes.  Atone for your sins and amend your lives…. of course…. keeping in mind that Cuba has been trapped in a demonic Lent for 58 long years.

That’s a lot of atoning.  It’s a Lent that has been going on for 21, 134 days, counting leap years, or roughly the equivalent of 527 Lents back-to-back, with no reprieve.

Ay!  Miserere nobis, Domine, Cubani sumus.

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Reports from Cuba: Felipe Calderon: ‘I ask the Cuban government to rectify this absurdity’

14yMedio reports from Havana via Translating Cuba:

Felipe Calderón: “I Ask The Cuban Government To Rectify This Absurdity”

Felipe Calderón was described as an “inadmissible traveler” in Cuba this Tuesday.
Felipe Calderón was described as an “inadmissible traveler” in Cuba this Tuesday.

Just five years ago, Mexican President Felipe Calderón was greeted warmly in Havana during an official visit. However, this week the now former president was denied entry to the island to participate in the Oswaldo Payá “Freedom and Life” awards to be held this Wednesday.

“I deeply regret not being able to be with them at this tribute” to the deceased opponent, the politician conservative National Action Party (PAN). “The Cuban immigration authorities asked Aeromexico” not to seat me on the flight, telling them I was an “inadmissible passenger” on Tuesday.

Prior to the trip, the former president alerted the Mexican Foreign Ministry of his intention, because he did not want to “arrive as if he were a tourist.” He reported on his departure to Cuba’s ambassador to Mexico, Pedro Núñez, and his country’s representative in Havana, Enrique Martínez.

This is the first time that the Plaza of the Revolution has prevented a former Mexican president from entering the country, an event that has raised a diplomatic dust storm, including a tweet from the Mexican Foreign Ministry in which he “regrets the decision of the Government of Cuba not to authorize the visit to Havana of former President Felipe Calderón.”

Calderón recalls that he supported “Oswaldo Payá many years ago without having met him, by spreading the Varela Project and collecting signatures in Mexico for him.” In those years he saw “with great sadness how the Cubans involved in the project were persecuted.”

The politician evokes with special aggravation the Black Spring of 2003 and his indignation to learn that 75 dissidents had been arrested and sentenced to long prison terms under the so-called Gag Law.

In one of his previous visits to the island, Calderón asked President Raúl Castro to let him speak with Oswaldo Payá, leader of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL). However, “the Cuban government always resisted,” he recalls. He believes that the “diplomatic complications obstructed” this longed-for encounter.

“I ask the Cuban government to rectify this absurdity,” said the former president, who maintains his idea of meeting “with Oswaldo’s family” whom he admired for being “an example of congruence, civility and love of neighbor.”

Read more

Payá Award Update: Ceremony held in secret

Payá-1
Rosa Maria Payá at the ceremony

Many were prevented from attending, but a few managed to escape the Castronoid blockade against the event.

The Payá Award ceremony was held in a tiny house in Havana, with fifty guests present, including some who were foreigners.

Of course, everyone was closely watched, and the names of those present were duly recorded in the Castro Book of Enemies.

Despite all of the repression displayed by the Castro regime, however, this event signals a slight weakening of the monstrous beast.

In days of yore, this event would have never taken place at all, and everyone involved would have received long prison sentences.

It’s a small victory, this event, but not an insignificant one.

King Raul and his minions dared not arrest the Payá family or squelch the ceremony.

They most certainly could have done so.

Everyone knows that King Raul’s minions have the manpower and resources to closely watch all involved in this event and to lock them up or kill them.

Those who attended will  pay a heavy price today, tomorrow, or next week, or months from now.  That’s as certain as a sunrise, unfortunately.

But yesterday, for a few precious minutes, they managed to elude his wrath and to remind the world –ever so courageously — that the struggle for freedom and justice continues in Cuba.

If you are praying sort of person, pray for these brave Cubans.  If you are not, at least keep them in mind.

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From The PanAm Post:

After Censorship and Blocked Visas, Award Ceremony in Cuba Honoring Dissident Payá Held in Secret

A ceremony to honor the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá carried on Thursday despite that island officials denied a visa to Secretary of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro and important Chilean and Mexican politicians.

Payá’s daughter Rosa María, leader of the Red Latino Youth Network for Democracy, organized the event last minute, holding it in secret in the in the living room of her house in Havana.

Approximately 50 people attended the event, including Cuban opponents, journalists and diplomats from Sweden, the Czech Republic and the United States.

“We are happy to do this with those who have been able to get here,” Rosa María, 28, said at the ceremony. “This aggression, this coarseness of the Cuban government with our guests, will receive a response from the members of the OAS and other democratic governments.”

Luis Almagro publicly expressed his discontent with the Cuban government’s decision to deny his visa, as did former Chilean Minister of Education Mariana Aylwin and Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

Almagro, who is an outspoken critic of Venezuela, a country strongly allied with Cuba, was going to be recognized at the ceremony.

Despite her absence, Mariana Aylwin was recognized in honor of her father, former Chilean President Patricio Aylwin, who was the first president to lead the country following the Pinochet dictatorship.

According to several media reports, the two empty seats at the ceremony were filled with their awards and an effigy of Payá.

For a video message from Rosa Maria Payá go HERE (in English and Spanish)

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Almagro’s award and empty seat

The man who will not be a tourist in Cuba

cuba tourists plaza revolucion

Elliott Abrams in CFR:

The Man Who Will Not Be A Tourist in Cuba

Touring Cuba is all the rage these days, with new scheduled flights, cruise ships, and largely phony “educational” visits.

But one man who will not be visiting Cuba is the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro. He was refused a visa today.

Anyone who thinks Cuba is reforming under Raul Castro or since Fidel’s death last November ought to wake up. Almagro was trying to visit Cuba to receive an award: the first Oswaldo Paya Liberty and Life Award, which was to be given to him by Paya’s daughter Rosa Maria. Paya was a human rights activist killed five years ago in Cuba, under circumstances that clearly suggest that the regime murdered him.

According to the Miami Herald, the regime refused the Secretary General a visa because his visit to accept this award at the Paya family home constituted “an unacceptable provocation.”

It is worth recalling, once again, exactly who Oswaldo Paya was, as The Washington Post did in editorial two years after his death on July 22, 2012:

Two years ago Tuesday, a blue rental car was wrecked off a deserted road in eastern Cuba. In the back seat was Oswaldo Payá, one of Cuba’s best-known dissidents, who had championed the idea of a democratic referendum on the nation’s future. Mr. Payá’s voice was not the loudest against the Castro dictatorship, but it was one of the most committed and determined. On the day of the car crash, he had been trying for more than a decade to bring about a peaceful revolution, one that would empower Cubans to decide their own fate and end the half-century of misrule by Fidel and Raúl Castro.

Mr. Payá endured harassment and intimidation for his efforts. Many of his friends and allies were jailed. He received threats by phone and other warnings, some violent. But he did not give up. On the day of the crash, Mr. Payá was traveling with a young associate, Harold Cepero, across the island to meet with supporters of the Christian Liberation Movement. In the front of the rental car was a visitor from Spain, Ángel Carromero, a leader of the youth wing of that country’s ruling party, and one from Sweden.

The car spun out of control after being rammed from behind by a vehicle bearing state license plates, according to Mr. Carromero. While he and the associate from Sweden survived, Mr. Payá and Mr. Cepero were killed. Mr. Carromero says he was then coerced to confess and subjected to a rigged trial in order to cover up what really happened. Mr. Carromero’s videotaped “confession,” broadcast on television, was forced upon him; he was told to read from cards written by the state security officers. He was sentenced to four years in prison for vehicular homicide and later released to return to Spain to serve out his term.

Since then, there has been no serious, credible investigation of the deaths.

Nor will there be, as long as the communist regime rules Cuba.

The regime knows that its decision to exclude Almagro will evoke criticism, but believes the risk is more than it can bear. People might get ideas about Paya, voting, and even freedom.

Already there is a chorus of condemnation from several former presidents of Latin American countries. Perhaps now that Fidel is dead, his myth will begin to die and the regime will increasingly be seen for the dull, deadly, bureaucratic communist dictatorship it actually is. A regime that is afraid to let Luis Almagro, a Uruguayan Leftist politician and former foreign minister, visit the Paya home is a regime afraid of the slightest symbolic gesture toward freedom, respect for human life, and justice.

I wish the tourists frolicking on Cuba’s beaches had the slightest clue about what their dollars are supporting.

Cuba’s apartheid regime continues to violate human rights in Cuba and silence international criticism

Contrary to what President Obama and his fiction writer turned National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes would have you believe, Cuba’s totalitarian apartheid regime has not changed one bit. The corrupt and violently repressive Castro dictatorship continues to commit human rights atrocities against the Cuban people and does every bit of its political and diplomatic capital (which has increased thanks to Obama’s policies) to silence any international criticism of their human rights violations.

Ambassador Roger Noriega in AEI:

Cuba is stifling international dialogue on human rights

The Cuban government recently denied a visa request by the Secretary-General of Organization of American States Luis Almagro, blocking his planned trip to the island to receive an award from a Cuban human rights group. Over two years into President Obama’s normalization of relations with Cuba, the decision to block Almagro’s visit highlights Cuba’s continued refusal to meet or advance toward the hemisphere’s basic standards for human rights and political freedoms.

Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, poses for a photo as she holds the Oswaldo Paya Award for Liberty and Life at her home in Havana, Cuba.
Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, poses for a photo as she holds the Oswaldo Paya Award for Liberty and Life at her home in Havana, Cuba.

In a letter to Rosa Maria Payá, chair of Cuba Decide and the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy and daughter of slain dissident Oswaldo Payá, Almagro wrote, “please be informed of my inability to attend because my visa application for the official OAS passport was denied by the Cuban Consulate in Washington, while I was also denied the possibility of entry with a Uruguayan document, which does not require a visa.” Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and a former Chilean minister of education were also invited to attend the awards ceremony but revealed that they too were denied visas.

According to Almagro, Cuban embassy officials responded to the visa request in “astonishment” that he would travel to Cuba to accept the human rights group’s award, and called the planned visit “an unacceptable provocation.”

The award was meant to honor the Secretary-General’s laudable record of work in support of democracy and human rights. Almagro has been a stalwart and unbiased champion for human rights throughout Latin America, highlighting the threats and violence faced by environmental activists in Honduras, bringing regional attention to the humanitarian and political crisis in Venezuela, and advocating for basic rights for the Cuban people.

Almagro responded to objections of Cuban officials saying, “it would be quite ridiculous if, after 67 years of revolution, both the well-being of the Cuban people and bilateral relations with the United States depended on this ceremony.” He added that, “my presence and the ceremony of February 22 are no different from other similar events that take place in other countries of the region and in which I have participated.”

Some commentators in the United States and elsewhere feared that Almagro’s visit would endanger Obama’s opening to Cuba. However, the attempted visit and the Cuban government’s response have simply helped to remove the façade of progress that has shielded the Cuban dictatorship since normalization. The façade has also protected regional leaders who are loath to put any pressure on the Cuban government to adhere to basic human rights standards.

Continue reading HERE.

A Cancerous Cuban in La Pequeña Habana

Many American voters who campaigned for 2016 Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders are hyperventilating and experiencing withdrawal symptoms with the election of President Donald J. Trump. As a self-proclaimed socialist, Bernie and his supporters have trouble adjusting to an administration that wants to “make America great again.” The failed socialist policies of redistribution of wealth and leading-from-behind foreign policies have been relegated to recycling centers throughout the country – where they rightfully belong. And there are many socialist sympathizers in foreign countries who fear the coming of Armageddon with President Trump in the Oval Office. Their dream of world-government run by the United Nations is over, and many can only find comfort in their socialist prophets like Ernesto Che Guevara.

Below, you’ll find a Cuban by the name of Michael Martínez from La Pequeña Habana in Miami who Sandra Peebles, a reporter from Univision 23, interviewed recently. He is wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FSLN) – a left-wing political party in El Salvador – and waving a Che Guevara flag to protest the alleged tyranny imposed by President Trump. Naturally, Martínez masquerades his Machiavellian intentions by advocating for the alleged plight of immigrants who have came to the United States illegally. He refers to Cuban-Americans who disagree with his assessment not as members of the “historic exile,” but as a members of “la gusanera de Miami” (nest of maggots from Miami, a pejorative for Cuban-Americans who embrace a hardline posture against Communist Cuba).”

Martínez passionately dislikes President Trump because he labels him as a tyrant and a fascist. He ignores the fact that these definitions are better suited for the Castro Brothers who have oppressed the Cuban population for over fifty-seven years. But when has the truth mattered to socialists, communist, and anarchists?

See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akU5erWbDhI

Castro regime denounced by 20 former Ibero-American presidents

Some of the 20
Some of the 20

Oh… now they speak up, when they are no longer in power.

But, as lame wisdom suggests, maybe better late than never….

A gesture such as this has no real impact, but — like a good strong fart — it does get some attention.

And maybe it also helps to have Amnesty International release a damning report on Castrogonia at the same time.

From the Center for a Free Cuba:

Twenty Latin American presidents denounce Raul Castro’s decision to deny entry to Cuba to OAS Segretary General Almagro and others.

In an unprecedented statement 20 former Latin American heads of state reject General Raul Castro’s decision to prevent entry into Cuba to Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS (former foreign minister of Uruguay), former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon, and Laura Mariana Aylwin (daughter of the late president of Chile Patricio Aylwin). 20 former heads of state Among those signing are Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica, Vicente Fox, Colombia’s Belisario Betancur, Andrés Pastrana, Álvaro Uribe Vélez and others.

At a time of increased repression, beatings, abuse, imprisonment of human rights activists the presidents decry “Raul Castro’s dictatorial government.” Amnesty International released this week its annual report it says that repression continues in Cuba and international human rights organizations are not allowed into the island.

According to Amnesty International the Cuban government despite improved relations with Washington, continues its 50 some year old Cold War rhetoric.

In an unprecedented statement 20 former Latin American heads of state reject General Raul Castro’s decision to prevent entry into Cuba to Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS (former foreign minister of Uruguay), former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon, and  Laura Mariana Aylwin (daughter of the late president of Chile Patricio Aylwin). 20 former heads of state Among those signing are Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica, Vicente Fox, Colombia’s  Belisario Betancur, Andrés Pastrana, Álvaro Uribe Vélez and others.

At a time of increased repression, beatings, abuse, imprisonment of human rights activists the presidents decry “Raul Castro’s dictatorial government.” Amnesty International released this week its annual report it says that repression continues in Cuba and international human rights organizations are not allowed into the island.

According to Amnesty International the Cuban government despite improved relations with Washington, continues its 50-some-year-old Cold War rhetoric.

Those signing this complaint are:

Oscar Arias, Costa Rica
José María Aznar, Spain
Nicolás Ardito Barletta, Panamá
Belisario Betancur, Colombia
Armando Calderón Sol, El Salvador
Rafael Ángel Calderón, Costa Rica
Laura Chinchilla, Costa Rica
Alfredo Cristiani, El Salvador
Fernando de la Rúa, Argentina
Vicente Fox, México
Eduardo Frei, Chile
Osvaldo Hurtado, Ecuador
Luis Alberto Lacalle, Uruguay
Ricardo Lagos, Chile
Mireya Moscoso, Panamá
Andrés Pastrana, Colombia
Sebastián Piñera, Chile
Jorge Tuto Quiroga, Bolivia
Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Costa Rica
Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Colombia

On this day 21 years ago, Cuba’s terrorist Castro regime shot down and murdered four Americans

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It was twenty-one years ago today when Cuba’s military dictatorship scrambled two MiGs to intercept three civilian aircraft flying in international waters. The planes belonged to a U.S.-based humanitarian organization who called themselves the Brothers to the Rescue. Using aircraft, the volunteer pilots of this group would patrol the waters of the Florida Straits between the U.S. and Cuba in search of Cubans on rafts who had desperately thrown themselves into shark-infested waters in an attempt to escape the tyranny of the apartheid Castro dictatorship. On February 24th, 1996, however, in what cannot be described as anything less than an act of terror, Cuban dictator Raul Castro himself gave the order to have the unarmed civilian aircraft of this group to be ruthlessly and cowardly shot down.

By direct orders of Raul Castro, four innocent Americans were murdered over international waters in an act of terrorism.

This is the same Raul Castro that President Obama embraced and supported with unilateral concessions and legitimization. It was his blood-stained hands President Obama was all too eager to shake. This is the very same Raul Castro who carried out this vile act of terror taking the lives of four innocent Americans who President Obama laughed and joked with as they watched a baseball game in Havana.

There are some in this country, particularly on the left, who can close their eyes and their minds and forget that Cuba’s dictatorship and its dictator Raul Castro are murderous terrorists who have the blood of innocent Americans on their hands. We, however, will not forget. We will not allow the left’s fetish for embracing and appeasing the despicable enemies of freedom and of our nation to lull us into forgetting these crimes against humanity. And we will definitely not allow them to disgrace the memory and honor of Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales.

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Below is a video simulation of what took place on that fateful day twenty years ago. The audio you will hear are the actual Cuban MiG pilots on their radios first pleading for the authorization to shoot down these unarmed civilian planes, and then celebrating their kills with screams and vulgarities. It is a chilling soundtrack when you know four innocent humanitarians were plunging to their deaths as these animals celebrated over their radios.

 

Read more about the Brothers to the Rescue pilots on this 21st anniversary of their murders:

Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter

There will also be a silent vigil today in Miami in honor of the four murdered pilots today at the Florida International University (FIU) campus that begins at 3:00 PM. More information on that event HERE.

 

How Castro ambushed and murdered four defenseless U.S. humanitarian workers–How Obama lied in the faces of the victims’ grieving families and rewarded Castro

(Above: Grieving families of Americans murdered in cold-blood on direct orders of Raul Castro)

You see, amigos: This week 21 years ago three U.S. citizens and one legal U.S. resident were busy at their volunteer humanitarian jobs when Raul Castro gave orders for his Military to ambush and murder them.  Castro himself BOASTED , about these orders.

The American volunteer workers were tangibly saving more innocent lives (countless men, women and children) than most Peace Corp workers or “community-organizers” blah…blah…blah…could ever show for their work.

You see, amigos:  TWENTY TIMES as many people (men, women, children) have died trying to escape Castro’s Cuba as died trying to escape East Germany.  So at the time a volunteer outfit  known as Brothers To the Rescue based in south Florida flew unarmed Cessnas over the Florida Straits alerting the U.S. Coast Guard to the location of these desperate escapees from Stalinism and keeping many from joining the terrible tally of death by drowning, dehydration or getting ripped apart and eaten alive by sharks. By 1996 these American humanitarian volunteers had flown 1,800 missions and helped rescue 4,200 men, women and children.

Considering how prior to Castroism Cuba was swamped with more immigrants per-capita (mostly from Europe) than was the U.S.–considering how people once CLAMORED TO ENTER Cuba–the exodus from Castroite Cuba and the rescue flights were very bad publicity for Castro.

So in preparation to murder Brothers to the Rescue (the historic Castroite remedy for this type of thing), Castro infiltrated a KGB-trained spy named Gerardo Hernandez into south Florida and into the humanitarian group.  On Feb, 24, 1996, Hernandez  passed to Castro the flight plan for one of the Brothers’ humanitarian flights over the straits.

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With this info in hand, Castro’s MIGS ambushed and blasted apart (in international air space) the lumbering and utterly defenseless Cessnas, murdering the four humanitarian volunteers. Three of these murdered men were U.S. citizens, one was a Marine who volunteered for two tours in Vietnam.

Castro’s spy, Gerardo Hernandez,  was shortly uncovered and convicted in U.S. federal court of conspiracy to commit murder and the conviction was upheld all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Communist spy was serving two life sentences for the murder of Americans while the Castros constantly clamored for his release and return to Cuba. This clamoring was incessant for 2o years and through three U.S. presidential administrations. But to no avail, owing to the overwhelming proof of Hernandez guilt in conspiring to murder Americans.

Enter Barack Obama.  On Dec. 17, 2014– exactly 48 hours after Obama announced his new Cuba policy  –convicted Cuban murderer/spy Gerardo Hernandez was released and flown first-class to Cuba.

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(Above we see Communist murderers celebrating the fruits of Obama’s executive orders: Raul Castro made a big show of decorating his spy for helping murder defenseless Americans. The KGB-trained spy  celebrated with his wife and boasted that he’d do it again (help murder Americans) in a heartbeat. Raul Castro boasted that as commander-in-chief he had given the murder orders against the defenseless American humanitarian workers.)

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In sharp contrast, below we see the families of Americans murdered in cold blood by Communists.

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Worst of all, amigos: For months prior to the Obama-Castro deal that released the Communist murderer, the families of the Americans he murdered were repeatedly assured by Obama’s State Dept. that no such deal would ever take place. Often they made this promise face to face with the grieving families, as documented in this video where Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen confronts Obama’s State Dept. with their bald-faced lies and relentless treachery against U.S. citizens. Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony has got nothing on this.

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Le RRRONCA!!!

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“Absolutely devastating. Humberto Fontova’s book is a shocking and enlightening read you’ll never forget.” (David Limbaugh on Fidel; Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant.)

“La perreta”: Are the tantrums working or turning off the adults who vote?

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Back in my younger days, I had my share of “perretas” or the Cuban version of a temper tantrum.

My mother would stare at me and say “ya?   ya parastes de gritar?..”

Reality set in and I did whatever I was supposed to do.

I’d love to see my mom greet some of these anti-Trump supporters screaming about this and that.   My mother would say: “are you done yet… well stop being silly and act like an adult so you can make a real difference”.

Over the last few weeks, the political terrain has been flooded by some of the silliest statements this side of reality. Yet, are these anti-Trumpistas really moving the ball?  Are they going to win back the House or Senate with this behavior? My guess is that red state Democrats running for reelection in 2018 are whispering “No“.

We may soon know just how effective the anti-Trump street campaign has been, as John Kraushaar wrote about an upcoming special election in Georgia to replace Dr. Price, now in the Cabinet. It’s a district that Mr. Trump won by 2 points and Mr. Romney won by 20 in 2012. It may an early test,as we see in the article:

On pa­per, this elec­tion should be a golden op­por­tun­ity for Demo­crats to make polit­ic­al in­roads.

The dis­trict is filled with the type of col­lege-edu­cated voters who have grav­it­ated away from Trump—in­clud­ing in­de­pend­ents who don’t have strong par­tis­an loy­al­ties but tend to vote Re­pub­lic­an.

El­ev­en Re­pub­lic­ans will be fight­ing against each oth­er on an all-party primary bal­lot, mak­ing it likely the even­tu­al GOP stand­ard-bear­er will be wounded head­ing in­to an ex­pec­ted run­off. Trump’s pres­id­ency has got­ten off to a rocky start, giv­ing any Demo­crat plenty of ma­ter­i­al to work with.

But the early Demo­crat­ic fa­vor­ite in the race is about as awk­ward a fit for this par­tic­u­lar dis­trict as Demo­crats could find. Jon Os­soff, a self-de­scribed in­vest­ig­at­ive film­maker, is a 29-year-old Bernie Sanders back­er and a former na­tion­al se­cur­ity staffer for lib­er­al Rep. Hank Johnson…

Os­soff fills the con­front­a­tion­al role to a tee.

In case his cam­paign mes­sage wasn’t clear, his web­site is em­blazoned with the head­line: “Geor­gia: Stand Up To Trump.”

Mak­ing the race about Trump is help­ing him raise his pro­file and bring­ing in loads of cam­paign cash.

But money isn’t a sub­sti­tute for a mes­sage that can win over Re­pub­lic­ans who will find Os­soff’s down-the-line lib­er­al views as prob­lem­at­ic as Trump’s pop­u­lism.

Demo­crat­ic act­iv­ists may be en­er­gized by Os­soff’s broad­sides against the pres­id­ent, but they will end up dis­ap­poin­ted if he doesn’t meld them with a cent­rist mes­sage de­signed to at­tract dis­af­fected Re­pub­lic­ans…

If Demo­crats can even run com­pet­it­ively in this dis­trict, it would be a sign that an unadul­ter­ated anti-Trump mes­sage can pay di­vidends.

But if the next Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee per­forms like Price—who nev­er won less than 62 per­cent of the vote in his sev­en cam­paigns—it will send a sig­nal that simply be­ing the op­pos­i­tion isn’t enough to win back con­trol of Con­gress.

“If you have an old white guy who’s hard right-wing, pro-Trump, anti-Muslim, and anti-gay mar­riage run­ning against a wo­man who comes across like Michelle Nunn, that’s the dy­nam­ic that could be a prob­lem for us,” said one GOP strategist track­ing the race.

“But you’re not go­ing to have that dy­nam­ic.”

We remember that the GOP won governor’s elections in New Jersey and Virginia in the fall of 2009. They were seen back then as signs that the Tea Party efforts were paying off in votes. Then came Scott Brown’s victory in the special election to replace Senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts in January 2010.

My guess is that the GOP will hold on to the seat because Michelle Nunn is not running.

The left will probably react by saying that they lost because they didn’t scream loud enough or were too centrist.

One of these days, the Democrats will learn another one of my sweet mom’s lessons of life:  the problem with screaming is that nobody listens.

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

Payá Award Update: Colombian filmmaker arrested & deported by Castro regime

Potentially dangerous filmmaker
Potentially dangerous filmmaker

Wow. Holy Smokes….ñoooo!  Those Castronoids sure blew a gasket over the Payá Award.

They not only prevented all sorts of foreigners from entering Castrogonia, they also arrested a bunch of Cubans, and anyone at all who had some connection to the event.

There is no complete list of the number of people rounded up, but news surfaced yesterday about the arrest of Colombian filmmaker Juan Camilo Cruz and his girlfriend María Francisca.

Once again, individuals unfamiliar with Cuba have expressed shock over the fact that an “apolitical” person who simply wanted to take part in the Payá Award event was arrested.

Fools.  Ignorance is not bliss.

Wise up, world.  Wake up!  Stop being such comemierdas.

The Castro regime is no banana republic.  It’s a totalitarian state.  You don’t need to do anything to be tossed in jail.  Mere suspicion of “potential dangerousness” can put you behind bars, even if you are a foreigner on a tourist visa.

And “potential dangerousness” most often means one thing only: you are viewed as a threat to the Castro dynasty, or you merely associate with anyone who poses a threat.

One must ask: What if Papa Che had tried to attend the Payá Award event?

Would he have been denied a visa?  Or would he have been arrested alongside the Colombian filmmaker and his girlfriend?

Papa Che: Not arrested
Papa Che: Not arrested

Loosely translated from Marti Noticias:

Juan Camilo Cruz, a Colombian filmmaker who recently participated in the Sundance Film Festival, was detained in the once-swanky Vedado neighborhood of Havana by Castronoid State Security agents after he arrived to participate in the Payá Award ceremonies.  His girlfriend Maria Francisca was also arrested along with him.

The flimmaker’s father Alfonso Cruz told the EFE news agency that deportation was the fate awaiting his son.

Juan Camilo was invited to the Payá Award ceremonies and was foolish enough to attend.  Apparently, he initially escaped the the notice of Castronoid State Security by arriving with a tourist visa.  But as soon as his link to the Payá Award ceremony became clear, he was rounded up.

Rosa Maria Payá  immediately informed the world of this arrest via Twitter.

Juan Camilo lives in Berlin, Germany, and specializes in documentaries.  He is co-producer with Matt Heineman of the documentary City of Ghosts, about the Syrian city of Raqqa, which has become the capital of the Islamic State jihadists.  The documentary was screened at the Sundance Film Festival and has been picked up for streaming by Amazon.

His father Alonso said: “He went to Cuba with María Francisca to take part in the Oswaldo Payá event.  I don’t understand how they got caught up in this situation.  They are NOT activists or anything like that.”

Read the whole story HERE in Spanish.

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