Posts Tagged ‘Raul Castro’

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

Venezuela le reduce a Cuba ayuda petrolera

| March 27th, 2015 | No Comments »
Excelsior

Venezuela redujo a la mitad el suministro de petróleo que otorga en condiciones preferenciales a países de la región, miembros de Petrocaribe, según un informe del banco de inversión Barclays, citado por el diario El Nuevo Herald.

De acuerdo con la publicación, el banco calificó de irónico que Venezuela, pese a la crisis económica que enfrenta, continúe con los suministros de crudo a Cuba y otros países con mejor situación económica.

Los despachos de petróleo, dice El Nuevo Herald, habrían caído de los 400 mil barriles diarios a 200 mil, siendo siempre Cuba el mayor beneficiado aunque también sufrió el recorte.

La isla, el principal aliado político del gobierno de Nicolás Maduro, recibió en 2014 cerca de 50 mil barriles diarios, la mitad de lo que recibía en 2012.

Pero a diferencia de otros países miembros de Petrocaribe, que sí pagan una parte del crudo que reciben, Cuba y Venezuela tienen un acuerdo para que la isla cancele ... Read More

Washington’s $1 Billion Central America Challenge

| March 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is holding a series of timely hearings this week revisiting the summer 2014 border crisis to ensure that, should there be a next time, the Obama administration won’t get caught napping again. That crisis saw thousands of illegal Central American immigrants, including many unaccompanied minors, surging across the United States’ southern border, overwhelming local authorities and inflaming the broader debate over immigration.

Wednesday’s hearing, focused on understanding and addressing the root causes of the crisis — the so-called “push” factors — is particularly important, as it gives lawmakers an opportunity to flesh out details of the administration’s proposed $1 billion Central America assistance plan. Vice President Joe Biden has been the administration’s point man on pitching the plan, writing recently in The Hill, “The president and I are determined to address conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and help these countries on their path to economic ... Read More

5 Facts Obama Must Reconcile on Cuba’s Terrorism Designation

| March 20th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Huffington Post

By Mauricio Claver-Carone

Cuba’s Raul Castro regime has made it clear in recent weeks that “normalizing” relations with the United States hinges on removing the designation of that island nation from the U.S. list of “state-sponsors of terrorism.” Iran, Sudan and Syria are the only other nations currently on the list, which is compiled by the State Department.

Last December, as President Obama announced his intent to re-establish formal diplomatic relations with Cuba, he also publicly instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to review Cuba’s status. The review, the President added, should be “guided by the facts and the law.” In the weeks since, there have been reports of the White House pressuring the State Department and intelligence community to accelerate the review so that the President and Castro can shake hands at the April “Summit of the Americas” in Panama City.

That provokes serious concerns about whether the review is, indeed, being “guided by the facts and the law” or become ... Read More

Questions over US-Cuba talks amid Venezuela dispute

| March 19th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

By PETER ORSI and ANDREA RODRIGUEZ

HAVANA (AP) — It has been a strange few days for U.S.-Cuba relations that are meant to be on the mend.

First, the two sides emerged from surprise talks in Havana on Monday with nothing to say about progress toward reopening embassies after more than a half-century hiatus. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson returned to Washington as quietly as she arrived.

Cuban President Raul Castro, meanwhile, jetted off to a summit of leftist leaders in Venezuela on Tuesday to lambast U.S. policy toward Venezuela, his island’s top ally. The U.S. recently declared the South American nation a threat to its national security and levied sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials.

The whole thing had some observers scratching their heads, wondering whether there is now an obstacle blocking the road to detente.

The two countries announced their intent to ... Read More

How Obama’s Cuba Deal Is Strengthening Its Military

| March 18th, 2015 | No Comments »
Politico

In the hit 1992 movie A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson’s fictional Colonel Jessup famously declares: “I eat breakfast 300 yards from 4,000 Cubans who are trained to kill me.” The Cuban officers I met never gave me that impression. As the State Department’s former representative to negotiations with Cuba’s military, I can tell you that our discussions were typically convivial and constructive. And today, President Barack Obama’s initiative to normalize relations with Havana has presented the United States with a truly mind-boggling prospect: Our most reliable partner on that long-isolated island is probably going to be the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias, Cuba’s military establishment.

And soon they’re going to be making a lot of money.

The Communist Party of Cuba may constitute the country’s political leadership, but it is seen increasingly as an anachronism by the population, and after Fidel Castro, 88, ... Read More

Cuba’s wrongdoing goes unchallenged

| March 11th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

BY FRANK CALZON

A few days after American negotiators met with Cuban officials to continue talks to reestablish formal diplomatic relations, a Chinese ship bound for Cuba was intercepted near Colombia’s Port of Cartagena carrying 100 tons of gunpowder, almost 3 million detonators and some 3,000 cannon shells to Cuba.

On Monday, a Colombian judge ordered that the Chinese captain of the Hong Kong-registered Da Dan Xia be placed under house arrest.

It’s not yet known whether President Obama has been alerted to Havana’s arms purchase. If he has, he’s not likely to say anything in this new era of aggressive niceness. He didn’t say anything about Cuba’s attempt in 2013 to smuggle two warplanes, missile parts and 240 metric tons of war materiél from Cuba into North Korea. Certainly, he wouldn’t say anything resembling his negative response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

... Read More

Colombia arrests captain of arms-trafficking ship bound for Cuba

| March 4th, 2015 | No Comments »
The Guardian UK

The captain of a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship has been arrested in the Colombian port city of Cartagena, charged with arms trafficking for transporting undocumented large-caliber munitions, reportedly bound for Cuba.

The captain of the Da Dan Xia, a Chinese national identified as Wu Hong, was captured after authorities found 100 tonnes of gunpowder and 3,000 artillery shells among other munitions, an official from the Attorney General’s office told reporters.

The vessel was stopped on Saturday after authorities discovered the unregistered materials in eight shipping containers during inspection.

“Around 100 tonnes of gunpowder, 2.6m detonators, 99 projectiles and around 3,000 cannon shells were found,” the national director of the attorney general’s office, Luis González, said.

The documentation presented by the ship’s crew made no mention of the ammunition on board and instead listed the contents as chemicals and spare parts. “The documentation that the captain had in regards to the merchandise that was being transported ... Read More

For Obama, Castro Has A Ship Of Fools

| March 4th, 2015 | No Comments »
IBD

Diplomacy: As Paris Hilton whooped it up with Havana’s princelings to applaud U.S.-Cuba ties, Colombia detained a Chinese ship full of illegal weapons bound for Cuba in what may be a new violation of U.N. sanctions. Castro is playing us for fools.

Even though tourism remains illegal for Americans in Cuba, it doesn’t stop B-List celebrities from going to Havana, partying hearty, snapping and posting selfies, popping flashbulbs, swigging mojitos and buying cigars by the cartload, as Hilton’s Instagram pictures showed.

Communism-ravaged Cuba is about as poor as Ethiopia or Zimbabwe. So it wasn’t the locals partying down, but the communist elites — such as Fidel’s son, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, with whom Hilton and model Naomi Campbell posed for selfies.

This is a preview of who will benefit from the opening to Cuba — its wealthy Communist Party elites, not ordinary folks.

But in this grotesque fantasyland of vulgar Third World dictators and equally vulgar ... Read More

Red flags in Cuba slow investment

| March 2nd, 2015 | No Comments »
USA TODAY

By Alan Gomez and Rick Jervis

MIAMI — After an initial wave of enthusiasm following President Obama’s decision to re-establish relations and expand trade with Cuba, American businesses are hitting the brakes.

Although companies such as MasterCard, American Express, Netflix and Twitter have announced plans to expand operations in Cuba, they can’t flourish on the island until two essential U.S. industries get on board: banking and telecommunications. And so far, officials in those fields are hesitant to jump into the risky Cuban market.

“Capital doesn’t like to go where there’s risk,” said Alex Sanchez, president and CEO of the Florida Bankers Association. “It’s not going to Iran, it’s not going to Iraq and it probably won’t go to Cuba for a while because of the risk.”

Ever since Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro made their historic announcement in December that they would end 50 years of estrangement, diplomats in both countries have been working to formalize ... Read More

Reality sinks in for many Cubans on eve of talks with US

| February 26th, 2015 | No Comments »
UT San Diego

By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN

HAVANA (AP) — The jubilation that greeted the announcement of U.S.-Cuban detente two months ago has faded to resignation for many Cubans who are realizing they’re at the start of a long process unlikely to ease their daily struggles anytime soon.

Dreams of U.S. products flooding Havana stores and easy visits to family members in Florida have dissipated, in part because of a coordinated campaign by Cuban state media and officials to lower expectations and remind people that the main planks of the half-century-old U.S. trade embargo remain in place.

As Cuban officials head to Washington for a second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations Friday, many working-class islanders say they no longer expect immediate changes in their lives regardless of what emerges from the negotiations.

“The great expectations that surged with the news ... Read More

Dissidents Say as Many as 200 Arrested in Cuba

| February 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

Cuban dissidents say that more than 100 anti-government activists have been arrested and they are awaiting word Monday on how many have been released.

Berta Soler, leaders of the group Ladies in White, said that 53 members of her group and 36 other dissidents were arrested Sunday during the group’s traditional march through Havana after Sunday Mass.

Elizardo Sanchez, head Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, one of the country’s largest human rights groups, said that between 150 and 200 dissidents had been arrested across the country Sunday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson said on Twitter that the U.S. is “concerned about violent silencing of peaceful voices for change.” She meets with Cuban officials Friday for the second round of talks on re-establishing diplomatic relations.

Click here for original ... Read More

Venezuela and Cuba: Partners in repression

| February 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
From the Washington Post

By Editorial Board

Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro paid a visit to Havana and met with Raúl and Fidel Castro, who have been his patrons and who helped to install him in power after the death of Hugo Chávez. Mr. Maduro’s political situation is desperate: As Venezuelans suffer severe shortages of staple goods and soaring inflation, his approval rating has dropped to 22 percent — and that’s before the full impact of falling oil prices hits a country dependent on petroleum for 96 percent of its hard-currency revenue.

On his return from Havana, Mr. Maduro turned to a familiar tactic. Intelligence agents stormed the residence of the elected opposition mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, and took him away to a military prison. Mr. Maduro then delivered a three-hour rant on television in which he accused the opposition leader of plotting a coup against him with the help of the Obama administration. Needless to say, he had no evidence to support this ludicrous charge.

If this ... Read More

Self-Inflicted Misery and Tyranny among Latin America’s Left

| February 24th, 2015 | No Comments »
Mexi Data

By Jerry Brewer

It is astonishing that with so much focus and dialogue on demands for world freedom, self-expression and human rights, many tend to ignore or simply fail to do their homework on repressive dictatorial-like regimes floundering throughout Latin America and oppressing their citizens.

It was certainly no secret that the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s 14 years in office was a tired precursor to a near failed state in Venezuela today. Chavez spent his entire rule in office working to recruit and support leftist presidential candidates throughout the hemisphere, touting his Bolivarian Revolution – that is quite simply the more exhausted Cuban Revolution that remains in Venezuelan to this very day.

Chavez demolished independence in Venezuela’s institutions, seized control of the economy, militarized the government, and virtually destroyed private enterprise. Death, destruction and insufficiencies in Venezuela remain rampant.

If there was even a modicum of value to add to the history of Venezuela from ... Read More

The Truth About ‘Tourist Apartheid’ in Cuba

| February 17th, 2015 | No Comments »
Yahoo News-01

By Kim-Marie Evans

Contrary to recent headlines, Cuba is not flinging open its doors for tourist travel. Although there have been recent changes in U.S. regulations, it is still technically illegal for an American to be a tourist in Cuba. In fact, during a recent art-buying trip I took to Cuba, I learned there is a term used to describe the visitor situation in the country: “tourist apartheid.” In other words, travelers still remain separate from the general population.

The purpose of my trip was to buy art, but the visit also allowed me to learn more about the lives of “real” Cubans — which is very different from what tourists see and experience. The people I interviewed whispered their answers while glancing over their shoulders. “Who could possibly be listening?” I asked.

The truth is that anyone can be listening.

I took a similar trip ... Read More

4 Cuba Experts Have Differing Views on Island’s Future

| February 12th, 2015 | No Comments »
Daily Signal-01

BY JOSH SIEGEL

MIAMI—When Sebastian Arcos steps back to evaluate President Obama’s move to normalize relations with Cuba, he tries to forget his own experiences with the Castro regime.

But it’s difficult for Arcos to have a clean perspective because the Cuban government’s imprints are all over his life—he spent a year in prison, and was kicked out of school, for trying to escape repression.

“My experiences have everything to do with the way I feel about it,” said Arcos, now the associate director of the Cuban Research Institute.

“I feel like I have a better grasp of the nature of the regime than the people changing the policy. They don’t know Cuba the way I do. They can look at it more objectively.”

Arcos was one of four experts on Cuba to speak at Florida International University last week at an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation. ... Read More

Obama’s gambit misunderstands Cuban reality

| February 12th, 2015 | No Comments »
AEI

Key Points

President Obama’s new push to normalize relations with Cuba neglects the Cuban dictatorship’s internal oppression, relentless hostility to US interests, and implacable opposition to change. The Obama administration has rushed to facilitate new travel and trade with Cuba, but the Castro regime controls virtually every aspect of the economy, benefits from cash remittances and tourism, and stifles the country’s potential growth. While the Obama administration struggles to justify its unilateral concessions and has yet to press for international help on Cuba, the Castro regime has rejected calls for change and is making new demands to put the administration on the defensive. For Obama to salvage his new Cuba approach, his team will have to develop and implement an actual strategy that measures up to his rhetoric without letting down American interests and ideals.

President Obama’s decision to normalize diplomatic relations with the Castro government after 54 years is certainly ... Read More

For relatives of terror victims, Cuba detente revives painful memories

| February 10th, 2015 | No Comments »
FoxNews.com

By James Rosen

Joe Connor was just a few days past his ninth birthday when the news hit on January 24, 1975: His father, Frank, a financial executive, had been killed that afternoon by a bomb blast at a lower Manhattan restaurant.

He had taken some out-of-town clients to lunch at Fraunces Tavern – the Revolutionary War-era watering hole where George Washington bade farewell to his troops – when someone who has never been identified placed a knapsack with a bomb in it just behind Frank’s chair. He died instantly in the blast, as did one of his out-of-town clients.

That day, the militant Puerto Rican nationalist group FALN issued a communique to the news wire services claiming responsibility for the attack, which killed four and injured five dozen others. The group said it chose the tavern – which was popular with Wall Street types – in order ... Read More

US-Funded News Station Wants to Bring Free Press to Cuba. But Raúl Castro Wants to Shut It Down.

| February 10th, 2015 | No Comments »
Daily Signal-01

By Josh Siegel

MIAMI—Carlos García-Pérez, who heads the U.S. government’s Office of Cuba Broadcasting, is used to his news station being a target.

The Miami headquarters of Radio and TV Martí is protected as if it is one. Located randomly off the side of an expressway, the building is guarded by a barbed-wire gate.

Signage outside confirms the news station as U.S. government property, and visitors are asked by a uniformed guard to not bring their cell phones into the building.

The federal government launched Radio Martí in 1983 and TV Martí in 1990 with the hope to combat communism by exposing Cubans to freedom and democracy, providing uncensored information from Miami to Cuba.

Since the beginning, the Castro regime, notorious suppressors of free press, has worked hard to block the station’s programs.

Today, the Cuban government sometimes successfully jams its transmissions, especially in ... Read More

So How’s That Cuba Deal Going?

| February 9th, 2015 | No Comments »
Wall Street Journal WSJ-01 By MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY Less than two months after his “historic” outreach to Havana with a promise to “normalize relations,” the U.S. commander in chief is getting the back of Raúl Castro ’s hand.

On Dec. 17, President Obama floated his plan to revise a half-century-old U.S.-Cuba policy by promising engagement. “We intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people,” he said. The trouble is that as his statements in recent weeks have shown, Raúl Castro has no interest in doing things differently.

The message from Havana is that if Mr. Obama wants a Cuba legacy it will have to be on Cuba’s terms. That means he will have to go down in history as the U.S. president who prolonged the longest-running military dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere.

Days before Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs Roberta Jacobson arrived in Havana on Jan. 21 for talks, the Cuban state newspaper ... Read More

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