Posts Tagged ‘Fidel Castro’

Cuba’s crackdown should make Obama think twice

| May 28th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Washington Examiner

In December, President Obama announced a historic thaw in U.S. relations with Cuba’s 56-year communist dictatorship. As part of this thaw, Cuba’s regime will be formally removed from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism this week.

At the time this move was first announced, we questioned just what it was that the Obama administration was receiving in exchange. There was and is still no evidence that Cuba has agreed to the extradition of the many murderers and terrorists who sought and received refuge in Cuba throughout the Cold War.

Without something to show for it, Obama seemed to be doing an awfully big favor for an unelected regime that has few if any redeeming qualities.

The Cuban regime is more like a national disease than a national government. Its hallmarks are the imprisonment of political dissenters and the suppression of economic and human rights, such as free expression and freedom of religion.

Cuba ... Read More

El poder de un cártel de la droga en Venezuela

| May 25th, 2015 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

Por Jackson Diehl

[Traducción IASW]

Venezuela sufre de la inflación más alta del mundo, es el segundo país con más homicidios y tiene una escasez paralizante de alimentos, medicinas y bienes de consumo básico. Su gobierno autoritario tiene preso a 70 políticos, entre ellos al alcalde de Caracas y al líder de la oposición Leopoldo López. A Venezuela también se le acusa de violaciones a los derechos humanos, de tortura, de detenciones ilegales y de represión contra los medios de comunicación independientes.

Todo esto es bien conocido y finalmente está comenzando a ganar un poco de atención por parte de líderes latinoamericanos que durante años hicieron todo lo posible para apaciguar o ignorar a Hugo Chávez y a su “Revolución Bolivariana”. Lo que se entiende menos es el factor que hará mucho más difícil que se implementen cambios políticos o económicos: El régimen de Chávez, dirigido desde su muerte por Nicolás Maduro, no ... Read More

Cuba’s Currency Crisis

| May 19th, 2015 | No Comments »
Bloomberg

By Patrick Symmes

The biggest change to the island’s economy is the way people will pay for stuff The currency crisis starts about 75 feet into Cuba. I land in the late afternoon and, after clearing customs, step into the busy arrivals hall of Havana’s airport looking for help. I ask a woman in a grey, military-like uniform where I can change money. “Follow me,” she says. But she doesn’t turn left, toward the airport’s exchange kiosk. Called cadecas, these government-run currency shops are the only legal way, along with banks, to swap your foreign money for Cuba’s tourist tender, the CUC. Instead, my guide turns right and only comes clean when we reach a quiet area at the top of an escalator. “The official rate is 87 for a hundred,” she whispers, meaning CUCs to dollars. “I’m giving you 90. So it’s a good deal for you.”

I want to convert ... Read More

“Tremendous Yearning for Change” in Cuba

| May 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
WJCT

By MELISSA ROSS

As the U.S. and Cuba edge closer to an agreement to restore full diplomatic ties, a retired State Department official who served as the senior diplomat in Cuba says Florida is well-positioned to take advantage of the historic changes.

“There is this tremendous yearning in Cuba for changes to happen to allow people to have more opportunities,” says John Caulfield, who served as Chief of Mission of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana from 2011-2014.

Now retired, Caulfield lives in Jacksonville. During a foreign service career that spanned decades, he held posts across Latin America. Caulfield is watching closely and advising business delegations from the Sunshine State who are planning outreach in the coming months to the Communist island nation.

“For several years now, U.S. citizens have been able to do business in Cuba with the sale of agricultural commodities, telecommunications equipment and services, and in pharmaceuticals. Now though, trade is ... Read More

Cuba’s Twisted Definition Of Terrorism

| May 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
Forbes

By Alejandro Chafuen

The communists celebrated after President Obama announced his decision to remove Cuba from the list of countries that support terrorism. Josefina Vidal, head of the North American section of the Cuban Foreign Ministry and Havana’s leader of the current negotiations with the United States, praised the “just decision” and stated that “Cuba condemns, rather than supports, terrorism.”

Cubans have a talent to twist the meaning of words. They label Carlos Alberto Montaner, the noted writer and freedom champion, as a terrorist for his student activism—confronting the communists at age 17. The same Cubans honor the FARC, a Colombian terrorist military organization as the “Colombian People’s Army.” For General Raul Castro’s regime speaking and writing in favor of the free society is terrorism. Supporting a group who kills soldiers of a democratic Colombia is combatting terrorism.

Nevertheless, one can make a case that to accomplish its strategic goals Cuba is spending ... Read More

Springtime for Dictators

| May 14th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

BY DANIEL HENNINGER

Not everyone gets an hour-long audience with the pope, as Raúl Castro did this past Sunday at the Vatican. But Raúl Castro isn’t everyone. Raúl is the president of Cuba and the heir to his brother’s half-century-old Communist dictatorship. And right now, Raúl is hot.

Raúl Castro is taking meetings with everyone from President Barack Obama in Panama last month to Pope Francis in Rome last weekend. Then he returned to Havana for a meeting with President François Hollande of France, who flew in to see him and Fidel. How good can it get?

“President” Castro is in some sense an honorific title. When Raúl ran for president of Cuba for the first time in 2008, he was the only candidate. And while the Communist Party isn’t the only party in Cuba, the others can’t campaign, and political speech is forbidden. One might argue that the Castros’ Cuba is the model for how Vladimir Putinhas reset ... Read More

How Obama Became the Castros’ New Patron

| May 14th, 2015 | No Comments »
National Review

BY JAMES KIRCHICKHavana — I’ve visited more than my fair share of dictatorships, but Cuba is the only one where travelers at the airport must pass through a metal detector upon entering, in addition to leaving, the country. Immediately after clearing customs at José Marti International Airport, visitors line up for a security check. Anyone found carrying contraband — counterrevolutionary books, say, or a spare laptop that might be given to a Cuban citizen — could find himself susceptible to deportation.Contrary to popular conception, traveling to Cuba as an American was not difficult before President Barack Obama’s announcement last December of “the most significant changes in our policy in more than 50 years.” All anyone had to do was transit through a third country and not disclose his visit to Cuba upon reentering through U.S. customs. It was the aura of the embargo that dissuaded Americans. Moreover, there have long ... Read More

Inside Fidel Castro’s double life as a drug kingpin

| May 4th, 2015 | 1 Comment »
New York Post

For 17 years, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez served as a bodyguard to Fidel Castro. But when he became disillusioned with the Cuban dictator’s hypocrisy and tried to retire in 1994, Castro had him thrown in prison. Sanchez made 10 attempts to escape the island, finally making it to Mexico by boat, then across the Texas border in 2008. Now he reveals all in his new book, “The Double Life of Fidel Castro.” In this excerpt, Sanchez explains how he lost faith in the revolution — and “El Jefe.”

The end of 1988. A day like any other was coming to a close in Havana. In a few minutes, my life would be overturned.

Fidel had spent his afternoon reading and working in his office when he stuck his head through the door to the anteroom, where I was, to warn me that ... Read More

Cuba: China’s western toehold

| April 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
Florida Trend By Jason Garcia

When Americans think of Havana, many immediately imagine classic, American-made cars. What they should picture are modern, Chinese-made buses.

The streets of Havana are filled with them: Blue, white and red buses operated by Transtur, a Cuban government company that ferries tourists between attractions. The vehicles are all built by the Yutong Group, an industrial conglomerate based in China’s Henan province. All are stamped on the back with the Yutong logo and a short sequence of Chinese characters.

In the absence of American trade with Cuba, the Chinese have stepped into the void. China today is Cuba’s largest creditor and its second-largest trading partner after Venezuela. China sells more than $1.1 billion a year in goods to Cuba and buys more than $500 million a year, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Observatory of Economic Complexity.

Yutong itself has sold more than 5,000 buses to Cuba – for use by ... Read More

Take Cuba off the State Sponsors of Terrorism List?

| April 28th, 2015 | No Comments »
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By George Phillips

Let us not give Castro the resources he needs to continue his regime’s 56-year reign of terror on his own people, and his continued support for terrorists and terrorist states.

To enrich and solidify that dictatorship at this time only prevents the Cuban people from being able to forge a better life through elections in a few years, now that they are finally “on the one-yard line,” when the Castro brothers, now in their eighties, could simply be left to their natural, un-bankrolled, ends. In a dictatorship such as this, only the dictators benefit.

As Sonia Alvarez Campillo was leaving Catholic Mass on July 14, 2013 with fellow members of Ladies in White, her pro-democracy organization, she was assaulted by Raul Castro’s agents.

These “security” agents broke Alvarez Campillo’s wrist as well as her husband’s ribs in their attack on her and other members of ... Read More

Obama Dances Alone

| April 23rd, 2015 | No Comments »

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

After assuring his top diplomat, John Kerry, that Cuba lately has been behaving well of late, U.S. President Barack Obama scratched the island nation off the list of countries that abet terrorism.

That was foreseeable.

Obama had already announced in Panama that his government would not seek regime change in Cuba. Havana’s presence on the list of sponsors of terrorism was part of a regime change strategy – a political dunce cap meant to malign its adversary on the long road to displacement.

Nevertheless, it was a fair description. For decades, the Castro regime worked hand-in-hand with the nastiest people on the planet, from Carlos the Jackal to the adipose royal dynasty in North Korea, as well as Libyan leader Moammar Ghaddafi and the Colombian narcoguerrillas. Obama’s clear wish is to forget such grievances and open a new chapter.

Obama will soon return ... Read More

Why Is Obama Parroting Castro Talking Points?

| April 17th, 2015 | No Comments »
National Review

BY MONA CHARENTwo relatively recent photos of Barack Obama with foreign leaders reveal much about his deep-dyed leftism. The first features President Obama and democratically-elected prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of one of America’s most loyal friends. Obama looks strained. His face is stiff, and his eyes are veiled. The second is a snap of Obama at the recent Summit of the Americas in Panama. He’s seated with “President” Raul Castro, leader of a bitter enemy, who has never received a single free vote. Obama is grinning, his eyes dancing with pleasure.In contrast to the bitterness with which Obama addresses Netanyahu, he is all honey with Castro. “So I want to thank President Castro for the spirit of openness and courtesy that he has shown during our interactions . . . President Castro earlier today spoke about the significant hardships that the people of Cuba have undergone over many decades. I can say with ... Read More

Obama: Cuba No Longer Terror Sponsor, Though It Harbors Anti-U.S. Terrorists

| April 17th, 2015 | No Comments »
IBD

Foreign Policy: By removing Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, President Obama is letting Castro get away with harboring and pampering anti-American terrorists on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List.

Earlier this week, Obama removed Cuba from the State Department’s blacklist — even though State documents Cuba’s long history of sponsoring terrorists. And even though Havana shelters and refuses to turn over American fugitives.

Obama chose not to seek their extradition from Havana in exchange for his latest gift to the communist thug. One of the terrorists sits on the FBI’s list — right alongside al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Joanne Deborah Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur, has a $1 million bounty on her after escaping from a New Jersey prison while serving a life sentence for murdering a state trooper and shooting another with two comrades.

“One trooper was wounded and the other was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range,” the FBI ... Read More

Where Does U.S. Policy Toward Cuba Go From Here?

| April 17th, 2015 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy

With this week’s perfunctory delisting of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, it is clear President Obama can’t give away the store fast enough. The apparently antiquated diplomatic notion that when engaging an adversary you use your leverage to try and exact concessions that get you closer to your objective is evidently not for him. Instead, as the Wall Street Journal put it, “Mr. Obama’s Cuban diplomacy has been one unreciprocated offering after another.”

Even worse than that, the administration now finds itself in the humiliating position where the Castro regime is placing conditions on the United States to upgrade diplomatic relations: i.e., ending the terrorism designation, returning the Guantánamo naval base, ending support for dissidents, and so on.

What we are witnessing is a truly remarkable, perhaps unprecedented, piece of statecraft. Give your adversary everything he wants and then see what happens, historical experience be damned. In his own ... Read More

President Obama’s use of farce on Cuba

| April 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
AEI

President Obama issued a “certification” yesterday under US law that Cuba should no longer be listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. He states, in part, “the Government of Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.” Of course, Cuba has insisted for 30 years that it does not support terrorism, despite reams of evidence to the contrary, i.e. support for Colombian and Basque terror groups in addition to US cop-killers. So, yesterday, the president of the United States essentially certified his own gullibility.

Let’s just say that Obama’s White House is not a stickler for facts or the law. On March 9th, the president issued a detailed, formal declaration that the lawlessness in Venezuela “constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security” of the United States. Less than a month later, White House advisor Ben Rhodes flatly contradicted the president’s declaration. A State Department official ... Read More

Obama’s Move to Drop Cuba From Terror List Sets Up Showdown With Congress

| April 15th, 2015 | No Comments »
From Time

BY KARL VICK

President Obama formally moved on Tuesday to remove Cuba from the short, brutish list of states supporting terrorism. The technical finding — that Havana had not offered material support to terrorists in the previous six months — is likely to trigger the first substantial political challenge to Obama’s decision to end the half-century of U.S. efforts to isolate the regime that has ruled Cuba since 1962. By law Congress has 45 days to pass a joint resolution blocking the change, a challenge that anti-Castro lawmakers and Republican critics indicated they would take up. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen promptly declared, “This unwise decision to remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list illustrates that the Obama Administration is willing to concede to the demands of the Castro brothers in order to set up an embassy in Cuba.”

Indeed, if the removal stands, Havana and ... Read More

Una región que arropa la represión

| April 14th, 2015 | 2 Comments »
Felipe Trigos-01

La Séptima Cumbre de las Américas celebrada el pasado fin de semana en Panamá demostró de nueva cuenta la inhabilidad de superar la fascinación con el mito de la revolución cubana y la falta de comprensión sobre los daños que este movimiento trajo, no solo para Cuba, sino para toda la región.

Cuando líderes del hemisferio tienen la oportunidad de coincidir con Raúl o Fidel Castro en reuniones multilaterales, parecería que lo más importante en la agenda es rendir homenaje a los hermanos y aprovechar la oportunidad para la foto, quizás para no provocar la protesta clamorosa de izquierdistas que ven con ojos enamorados ‘la obra’ de los Castro, a pesar de 55 años donde se ha podido constatar la opresión, pobreza y sufrimiento que ha causado a millones que habitan la isla.

La Cumbre en Panamá, que se centraría en temas como la prosperidad y la equidad, acabó sirviendo de plataforma ... Read More

Obama Rehabilitates the Castro Brothers

| April 6th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01

BY MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY

When President Obama travels to Panama for the 7th Summit of the Americas later this week, expect to be inundated with platitudes about the blossoming of democracy in the region. Don’t believe it. Repression is on the march in the Americas, and U.S. ambivalence is part of the problem.

In the White House’s lack of moral clarity, the region’s bullies smell weakness. One result is that a Caribbean backwater run by gangster brothers now has the upper hand in setting the regional agenda.

If the U.S. president is humiliated in Panama City like he was in Port of Spain in 2009, no one should be surprised. That’s when Mr. Obama tried to be one of the boys with Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, who thanked him by presenting him a copy of the famous anti-American diatribe “The Open Veins of Latin America.”

Summits are a waste of time and money for real countries. But this one will ... Read More

Guest Opinion: Beware of investing in Cuba

| March 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
Brainer Dispatch

Minnesota farmers and business owners should beware of investing in Cuba. Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul, have been the only communist dictators of Cuba, all while the U.S. elected presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama to the office of U.S. President. The Castro dictators have never stopped working to spread communism and socialism into South and Central America. Particularly in Venezuela, Fidel Castro has mentored Hugo Chavez and his designated successor Nicolas Maduro in the methods of “nationalizing” western businesses. In the 1960s Fidel Castro nationalized 382 U.S. businesses, including banks and factories, under communism in Cuba.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Fidel Castro actually urged the Soviet leader, Khrushchev,, to launch a nuclear weapon strike against the U.S. using Soviet missiles based in Cuba. As Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara revealed many years later, the U.S. did ... Read More

Kelly: Another fugitive complicates Cuba thaw

| March 30th, 2015 | No Comments »
North Jersey

BY MIKE KELLY

On a January afternoon 40 years ago, Mary Connor of Fair Lawn made a pan of lasagna for a dinner she was planning with her husband to celebrate the birthdays of their two sons.

As Mary labored in her kitchen, her husband, Frank, who had risen from clerk to assistant vice president at Morgan Guaranty Trust, went to lunch at Fraunces Tavern, the Revo­lutionary War-era restaurant in lower Manhattan where George Washington bid farewell to Continental Army officers two centuries earlier.

As Frank Connor ate with colleagues, a bomb exploded — a homemade device, hidden near his table by Puerto Rican nationalists who said in a note that they wanted to kill “reactionary corporate executives.”

Conner, 33, died along with three others. Mary ended up serving her lasagna at her husband’s wake.

Terrorism tears into the lives of ordinary people in unexpected ... Read More

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