Posts Tagged ‘Ted Piccone’

Questions on North Korea-Cuba Deal

| July 19th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal

BY JOSÉ DE CÓRDOBA, ALASTAIR GALE, & JULIAN E. BARNES

The foiled attempt to smuggle Soviet-era weapons to North Korea from Cuba through the Panama Canal continues to puzzle officials, who question whether the purpose of the shipment was to have the weapons repaired in North Korea and then returned to Cuba, as Havana claims.

Cuba said it was attempting to send missile and radar parts, along with two MiG-21 Bis jets and jet motors, to North Korea for repair and eventual return so the island communist nation could “maintain our defensive capacity in order to preserve national sovereignty.”

The weapons were part of what Cuba said were 240 tons of obsolete military equipment on the ship that were manufactured more than 50 years ago.

A person familiar with the situation said the Cuban assertion could be true. The weapons were covered with 10,000 tons of bagged sugar, which analysts said could possibly be payment for the ... Read More

NKorea arms seizure could hurt US-Cuba detente

| July 19th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

BY PETER ORSI & MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN

HAVANA — Cuba’s admission that it was secretly sending aging weapons systems to North Korea has turned the global spotlight on a little-known link in a secretive network of rusting freighters and charter jets that moves weapons to and from North Korea despite U.N. sanctions.

The revelation that Cuba was shipping the arms, purportedly to be repaired and returned, is certain to jeopardize slowly warming ties between the U.S. and Havana, although the extent of the damage remains uncertain. Experts said Cuba’s participation in the clandestine arms network was a puzzling move that promised little military payoff for the risk of incurring U.N. penalties and imperiling detente with Washington.

The aging armaments, including radar system parts, missiles, and even two jet fighters, were discovered Monday buried beneath thousands of tons of raw Cuban brown sugar piled onto a North Korean freighter that was seized by Panama as ... Read More

Time to invest in Cuba?

| January 24th, 2013 | No Comments »
msn

BY MICHAEL BRUSH

Is this the year we finally say hasta la vista to the five-decade-old Cuban trade embargo?

Tom Herzfeld, a Miami-area fund manager who studies Cuba-U.S. relations, thinks so. This is an unconventional view. But stranger things have happened in the past few years, like the Arab Spring. Besides, it’s often the unexpected that provides the best returns in investing.

And here, the investment implications could be big, for several companies.

Herzfeld thinks the policy change would boost companies as diverse as cruise line operator Carnival(CCL +0.70%, news), cargo shipper Seaboard  (SEB -0.12%, news), regional airline Copa (CPA -1.77%,news), soft-drink distributor Coca-Cola Femsa (KOF +0.39%, news) and even Watsco (WSO +0.85%, news), which likely would sell more air conditioners in Cuba.

These stocks are all big holdings in the Herzfeld Caribbean Basin (CUBA -0.12%, news) fund, which Herzfeld says he has positioned to benefit from embargo elimination.

“Now, more than ever, the pieces are falling into place where the embargo could be lifted this year,” maintains Herzfeld.

Why now?

Herzfeld cites President Barack Obama’s ... Read More

“Cuba Experts” on the Wrong Side of History

| January 22nd, 2013 | No Comments »
InterAmerican Security Watch

“The Castro generation is slowly handing power over to the next generation of party and military leaders who will determine the pace and scope of the reform process.”

—    “Cuba Expert” Ted Piccone of the Brookings Institution, giving one reason why the United States should unilaterally change U.S. policy towards Cuba.

The Cold War had its “Sovietologists;” today we have the “Cuba expert” — and anyone seeking to understand the true nature of the Castro regime and the reality of events in Cuba is worse off for it.

Sovietologists, those presumed subject matter experts who were relied upon by the media for insight to the opaque politics and motivations of the former Soviet Union, are now pretty much a discredited lot.  Not because they couldn’t predict the collapse of the USSR, but because for years they grossly underestimated the moral bankruptcy of tyranny and the power of individuals who simply wanted ... Read More