Lake Erie Conservative

thoughtful discussion(s) about issue(s)

Posts Tagged ‘Raúl Castro’

… What a Disgusting Disgrace !! [#POTUS statement][#fidel castro death]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,November 29th,2016

.. it could not get a whole lot worse ..

.. at least POTUS did not praise the guy . Given his ideology , one could have expected that ..

.. but what he did say what disgusting ..

.. Fidel was a murderous dictator and a thug , one who was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands and the imprisonment of millions . Cubans live in squalor and misery . They earn very little , and are forced to work 2nde jobs in order to get by . That is the national prison that is Cuba today  ..

.. [h/t —]..
.. [link] to the blog post …


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… Not So O.K. [#Cuba normalization]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,September 17th,2015

.. now I have had time to think about the subject of normalization of relations with Cuba . My judgement is pretty harsh ; no normalization with Cuba , at least not now …

.. especially the way that POTUS has done it . How did he do it ? He did it in exchange for … essentially … nothing . No policy changes . No real changes in Cuba ‘ s treatment of political prisoners , or that of the Catholic Church. Nothing .. how sick is that …

.. [h/t —]..
.. [link] to the blog news …

.. now what ? Do we reverse the changes ? To be honest , No . But , do we bring down the Cuban embargo ? hell no …

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… Easter # 3 for a Prisoner of the Castros …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,April 28th,2014

.. I picked this one up from a favourite blog of mine , BabaluBlog . It was written for the WallStreetJournal byanother favourite of mine , Mary Anastasia O ‘ Grady ..

.. [h/t — BabaluBlog]..
.. [link] to M.A.O. ‘ s column from the W.S.J. …

Easter No. 3 for a Prisoner of Castro
Bearing witness to Cuba’s political persecution costs Sonia Garro her freedom.

Christians the world over celebrated the resurrection of their savior on Sunday with worship services and family gatherings. Thirty-eight-year-old Sonia Garro shares the faith too, but she spent the holiday in a Cuban dungeon as a prisoner of conscience, just as she has for the past two years.

Ms. Garro is a member of the Christian dissident group Ladies in White, started in Havana in 2003 by sisters, wives and mothers of political prisoners to peacefully protest the unjust incarceration of their loved ones. It has since expanded to other parts of the country and added many recruits. The group’s growing popularity has worried the Castros, and they have responded with increasing brutality.

Cuba’s military government wants us to believe that the Brothers Fidel and Raul Castro are “reforming.” To buy that line you have to pretend that Ms. Garro and her sisters in Christ don’t exist. Of course that’s often the impression one gets from Havana-based reporters working for foreign media outlets.

They’ve been invited into the country not to serve the truth but to serve the dictatorship. Fortunately, there are brave and independent Cuban journalists who continue to tell the Ladies’ story, despite scant resources.

In the late winter of 2012, Cubans were looking forward to a visit from Pope Benedict XVI and the Ladies were lobbying the Vatican for an audience. Their relentless pleading was embarrassing the dictatorship, which had been beating them in the streets on their way to Sunday Mass for almost a decade. It was also making the Church, which had already cut its own deal with the regime on the terms of the visit, look bad. On the weekend of March 17 Castro sent the Ladies a warning by locking up some 70 of their members.

Most of those detained, including leader Berta Soler, had been freed by the time the pontiff touched down in Cuba nine days later, but Ms. Garro was not. Benedict celebrated some Masses, did photo ops with the despots and left.

It was a clever strategy: The world saw the release of the many Ladies, which obscured the continued detention of the one. That one—poor, black and not well known internationally—serves, to this day, as a constant reminder of the wrath Castro will bring down on anyone in the barrios who gets out of line.

By 2012 Ms. Garro already had experience with state violence. Her record of counterrevolutionary activities included running a recreation center in her home for troubled youths. For that she was twice beaten by government-sanctioned mobs. She suffered a broken nose in police detention in 2010.

When security agents took her home to put her under house arrest ahead of the pope’s visit, she was met by a mob sent to harass her. Her husband, Ramon Alejandro Muñoz, had climbed to the roof and was chanting anti-dictatorship slogans. Two neighbors took the couple’s side. Special-forces police were called in. They raided the home, shot Ms. Garro in the leg with rubber bullets and hauled the couple and two neighbors to jail.

Eighteen months later prosecutors charged Ms. Garro with assault, attempted murder and public disorder. Her husband and one neighbor, Eugenio Hernández, are accused of attempted murder and public disorder. The prosecution is seeking a 10-year prison sentence for Ms. Garro, 14 years for Mr. Muñoz, and 11 years for Mr. Hernández.

Anyone who has ever read about Soviet show trials will recognize the state’s case. The prosecutors claim that Messrs. Muñoz and Hernández were both on the roof and knew a police officer could have been killed when they threw things to try to stop him from climbing a ladder to reach them.

The regime alleges that the couple had been planning street disturbances. The “evidence” confiscated from their home included bottles, machetes, rebar and cardboard protest signs. The state claims that containers with fuel found in the home were Molotov cocktails.

Every household item or piece of scrap found in a poor Cuban household is considered a weapon when the state wants to convict a prisoner. By its logic the frying pan and the iron should have been cited too. With good aim, they can be deadly. As to the combustibles inside the home, Ms. Garro’s sister Yamilet Garro told independent journalist Augusto Cesar San Martín Albistur, “the items were for lighting during the blackouts that are quite common in the area.” For Castro, the most dangerous items were the antigovernment signs.

Ms. Garro’s real crime is her refusal to surrender her soul to the state. That makes her an exemplary Christian but a lousy revolutionary. The peril she presents is showing Cubans how to be both.

Write to O’

.. LEC here again — the column , and Ms. Garro ‘ s moral stands , speak for themselves …

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… What Was He Thinking ? [POTUS] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,December 10th,2013

.. POTUS , as one might imagine , went to the public memorial service for former South African President and anti – apartheid activist Nelson Mandela today . No big shock , there …

.. He was also invited to speak at the service , which he did . Ditto …

.. He shook the hand of Cuban President Raul Castro ?

.. Whaaaaat ??

[h/t —]

.. [link] — to pictures and video images …

.. Yes , he did just that . Incredibly insensitive , stupid , and moronic . POTUS should have known better , but could have cared less . The propaganda value to the Cuban regime and the apparatchiks is going to be invaluable . Which was part of the point ….

.. Obama could not have cared less …

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… Cuba and NortH Korea , “Brothers in Arms ??” …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,July 23rd,2013

LEC  here — the comments on this are mine .  I insered them into  this article to posit answers  why Cuba ,  North Korea , and other Parties might be playing ” footsie . ”

Panama’s recent capture of a North Korean vessel carrying 240 tons of weapons from Cuba, including rockets, missile systems and two MIG 21s hidden among sacks of Cuban sugar, raises numerous questions and provides few answers.

[-] If the weapons were being sent from Cuba to be repaired in North Korea, why were they hidden in the hold of the ship under thousands of Cuban sugar bags?

— this one is obvious . Panama had likely made it clear that no weapons smuggling through the canal would be tolerated . Both Cuba and NK were afraid of sending the ship by the more circuitous route , either around South America , or past Africa . Either one would have xposed the ship to seizsure by Allied navies , with intel about what was listed on the manifest , and what was actually in the ship .

Why did the North Korean crew resist the Panamanian boarding of their ship in Panamanian waters? And why did the ship’s captain try to commit suicide?

— also obvious . They knew , or had some idea of what was actually in the ship , and the officers and crew were well paid to keep  their

... oops , we got caught ?! ...

… oops , we got caught ?! …

mouths shut , especially being from North Korea .

If Cuba needed to repair these weapons, why didn’t Gen. Raul Castro send them to Russia? After all, these were Russian weapons.

— less obvious . The stuff was old , and there may not have been people available to repair them.  Russian fims have moved on to more advanced stuff. Also , these firms could well have been penetrated by western and other spy agencies .

Better yet, wouldn’t it have been less expensive and more efficient to bring North Korean or Russian technicians to Cuba to repair these weapons?

— same as before . Also , penetration risk . may not have wanted the Russians or North Koreans to know the problems that they were having with the equipment , or where the munitions were or might be going .

Why would Cuba make this major effort to repair “obsolete” weapons, as the Cuban government describes the missile systems and the two MIG 21s?

— they can make $$ from their sale to parties who would want them , and were willing to pay top $$ for them . The problem would then be getting the weapons from Cuba to their intended destination , especially larger stuff .

Wouldn’t it have been easier or cheaper for Cuba to ask Venezuela to send to the island military equipment from their recent Russian purchase and include it in the Venezuelan package of aid to Cuba ?

— Cuba may not have wanted the Venezuelans to know their relative weakness , given their need to peddle weapons .

Or, couldn’t the Cubans have used the credits provided by Russia to purchase modern military equipment ?

— if the credits were for use for anything , Cuba may have needed them for other uses , such as food and fuel , which Russia has in great abundance .  also as before , not wanting the Russkies to know .

This leads to the obvious conclusion that Cuba and North Korea are not forthcoming with answers that could clarify this event. A likely answer could be that those are not “obsolete” weapons but functional, although old, equipment being shipped to another country.

For the past 50 years, Cuba has been an ally and supporter of numerous anti-American regimes and revolutionary and terrorist groups, some still struggling to attain and consolidate by “power and impose Marxist ideologies on their population. One of these is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Congolese army has failed to quell a growing 10 month insurgencies which has dragged the country’s eastern region back to war. The rebellion could increase the possibility of conflict with neighboring Uganda and Rwanda, which allegedly are supporting the rebels. The Marxist Congolese government led by Joseph Kabila, a close friend of Cuba, has been struggling to retain power and crush the rebellion.

Congo is a major source of Uranium, which North Korea needs for its nuclear program. Shipments of North Korean weapons bound for the Congo have been intercepted in the past. Are the Cubans and North Koreans gambling to support their comrades in the Congo? The Director of the Sub-Saharan Department of Cuba’s Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to the Congo, Hector Igarza, led a high level, little publicized, delegation to Congo in February of this year, perhaps offering Cuban support to the beleaguered Congo regime. In September 2011, Kabila visited Gen. Raul Castro in Havana.

If it is determined that the weapons were destined for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or any other nation, it could have significant implications.

It would represent a serious violation of U.N. Resolutions.

It would show Gen. Raul Castro’s continuous commitment to internationalism and his willingness to violate international laws to support an ally.

It would jeopardize a possible rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S.

It would show that the Cubans are more interested in playing an international role and support their old allies, than work with the U.S. toward a possible normalization of relations.

It shows, one more time, that in Cuba economic decisions are dictated by political considerations. Relations with the U.S. are not a priority for Gen. Raul Castro. Supporting anti-American regimes and playing an international role remain Cuba’s priorities.


*Jaime Suchlicki

is Emilio Bacardi Moreau Distinguished Professor and Director, Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami. He is the author of Cuba: From Columbus to Castro, now in its fifth edition; Mexico: From Montezuma to NAFTA, now in its second edition and the recently published Breve Historia de Cuba.

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