Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sheehan Removed

Wish I could've seen this, I'm still laughing out of joy!

Controversial peace activist Cindy Sheehan had planned to attend and was inside the House chamber, but CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC just reported that she was removed by Capitol police. CNN says she unfurled a banner in the chamber.

Stooge Chavez - The Idiot

Yesterday El Universal published a small note in which they report Stooge Chavez demanding the Puerto Rican independence from the US with such chants as: "I am inviting Venezuelans. Let us stand up and say it together: We demand the independence of Puerto Rico and we do support the Puerto Rican people in their fight for independence!".

Let's see last time I checked the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico the status of the island changes only, and only if, the majority of Puerto Ricans (I think it has to be about close to 75%) vote for one specific status. Various plebiscitos have taken place with, Stooge I hope you are sitting down, the overwhelming majority of Puerto Ricans divided between statehood and commonwealth. Independence from the US was not a competing factor, with very low percentage of voting.

Additionally, stay out of other's people business!

11 Dry Feet

Eleven Cuban nationals came ashore on Sombrero Beach early yesterday, while 15 others remain missing.

Read the story of these 11 new Cuban-Americans here.

Read another post related to the wet foot/dry foot policy here. Perhaps this short film will aid in keeping the debate alive.

Chavez "bankrolls" Sheehan's bid for Senator

I really hate to give this anti-patriotic, communist bitch any "webtime" but certain things I can't let go. This woman not only has wrecked havoc here in the USA thanks to her PR firm (I'm still in shock this woman uses a PR firm - that goes to show how much press she needs that she can't get on her own), but now she has gone to Venezuela, cozied up to Stooge Chavez and announced that she will run for senator for the Democratic Party. If the DP has any brains at all, they should steer clear away from this woman.

And now the question comes, since she is so close to Stooge Chavez, will he bank roll her campaign? Will she become his political ally in the US? Will she betray her country and serve this stooge who constantly attacks not only our president but our country and our people as a nation?

Place your bets, because the buzz is just beginning. My opinion, we will have a puppet in our government if this bitch wins. America, wake up and smell the coffee, this is the first step for a political invasion.

Wet Foot/Dry Foot - The Movie

The absurdiness of this policy is brought to the screen on a short film (18 minutes) with Cuban actors Francisco Gattorno and Jorge Luis Alvarez. Both portray balseros that become stranded in an island after the perils of their trip and how this island becomes a "prison" for them in their fear of being considered wet foot. While the short film does not look to prey on political figures, its mission is to present the situation from the point of view of the balsero, their trials, their perils and their travesía.

The film, directed by Carlos Gutierrez, debuts this Thursday at 7:00pm at the Bill Cosford room of the University of Miami.

Read the whole story here.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Vote Now!

URGENT: Make a difference go here and vote. Tell all your friends.

"Funny Fidel"

From Blogcritics.org comes this piece which couldn't be any truer an reflects my feelings exactly (my emphasis):

Fidel Castro, Still Crazy After All These Years. Fidel Castro, Cuba's "Dictator For Life," is looking to earn the title of "Funniest Man Ever To Kill And Imprison Hundreds Of Thousands Of His Own People." When asked about his Cuban prisoners/ballplayers participation in the WBC, "Funny Fidel" said everything would be fine as long as America didn't start acting crazy. He said, "They (Americans) have taken away a lot of (our) best pitchers, offering them millions of dollars." What nerve of those Americans! I'm sure El Duque and Jose Contreras and their families would be much better off harvesting sugar cane in Cuba for 25 cents a day than they are making millions of dollars in America. Plus they don't have Cuba's fine medical system to give them piece of mind.

Speechless - Simply Speechless

Today El Nuevo Herald has a story on the usual suspects- Chavez and Sheehan - and how Chavez is calling for the whole world to "rebel" against the Empire amidst his "down with the Empire" chants. Is this not a war cry? Can this not be considered an act of aggression? Is he attempting to taunt us to try to get US to the point of his "dream invasion"? There will come a point, if it hasn't arrived yet, that the US will have to face Chavez and stop this nonsense. As we say in Cuban Spanish Estados Unidos se tiene que poner para su numero.

One thing in the story did catch my eye, the widow of Filiberto Ojeda Rios was by his side supporting this. Now the fact that the wife of a Puerto Rican Terrorist was next to someone like Chavez, doesn't surprise me. That El Nuevo Herald, makes no reference to his criminal past and addresses him as "Su marido era activista militante por la independencia de Puerto Rico.
El FBI rodeó en septiembre una granja donde se encontraba Ojeda Ríos. Era buscado por el robo de $7.2 millones a un camión del banco Wells Fargo en Connecticut en 1983. Los fondos se destinaron a la lucha por la independencia
". Excuse me? Did someone fail to read the rest of the story on this guy? How about the time his "army" blew up the planes from the National Guard?

If you can stand to read the whole article go here. I warn you, it almost made me throw up.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Parmly - Balls and Reason

Babalú today has a great post here regarding anonymous e-mails sent by Cubans to journalist Pablo Alfonso, with quotes from these emails. Robert also states in the post how wonderful it would be if the SINA ticker would be used to project thoughts from disgruntled Cubans. Robert, what a great idea indeed! With Parmly, who knows!

In that spirit, meet Michael Parmly, the guy behind so much commotion within the Cuban regime. A man of balls and reason, which clearly states that "the change is alreadyhappeningg" and that "it will be the Cubans who decide "when and how".

El Nuevo Herald has the interview, in Spanish, which I've also posted here. Read together with the above mentioned post at Babalú; both make a great Sunday read.

Para Washington la transición ya comenzó
El cambio ya ha comenzado en Cuba, según el Jefe de la Sección de Intereses de Estados Unidos en La Habana, Michael Parmly, quien, en una entrevista con EFE, afirmó que serán los cubanos quienes decidan el ``cómo y cuándo''.

Parmly rechazó las denuncias del gobierno de Fidel Castro sobre supuestos planes de Washington para forzar una ruptura en las relaciones diplomáticas bilaterales y atribuyó este tipo de acusaciones al ``miedo al cambio''.

''Por parte nuestra (de EEUU) no hay ninguna intención'' de romper relaciones y cerrar la Oficina de Intereses de Cuba en Washington, señaló el diplomático estadounidense.

En los últimos días, Castro ha acusado insistentemente a Washington de buscar una ruptura en las relaciones diplomáticas, tras la instalación de unas pantallas electrónicas para la transmisión de mensajes políticos en la Sección de Intereses de EEUU en La Habana (Sina).

Según el gobierno cubano, el objetivo de esta ''grosera provocación'' no es otro que forzar la ruptura.

A juicio de Parmly, con el cierre de las Secciones de Intereses abiertas en las capitales de ambos países en 1977, ''Estados Unidos perdería y ellos (Cuba) también'', además de que ``el pueblo cubano perdería una apertura al mundo''.
''Si el gobierno cubano está empujando hacia eso es porque tiene miedo al cambio. Para que no haya cambio tiene que provocar una crisis'', opinó.

El diplomático estadounidense se mostró convencido de que ''el cambio ya ha comenzado en Cuba'', aunque agregó que ``será el pueblo cubano quien determine finalmente el cómo y el cuándo''.

Parmly insistió en negar que la emisión de mensajes políticos desde la Oficina estadounidense en La Habana tenga el objetivo de ''provocar'', tal como han denunciado las autoridades de la isla.

''No es una provocación'', dijo, sino ''el principio de un diálogo'' y ``una línea continua de lo que venimos haciendo desde hace años en Cuba con la meta de llegar al pueblo''.

En respuesta a la emisión de mensajes desde la Sina, el gobierno de la isla ha iniciado obras frente al edificio para levantar ''una sorpresa'', en palabras de Fidel Castro.

''No me importa lo que puedan decir los líderes del país, sino lo que dice el pueblo'', agregó el diplomático estadounidense, que insistió en que la proyección de mensajes se mantendrá en el futuro.

Pese a este nuevo capítulo en la llamada ''Guerra de los carteles'' y a las denuncias del gobierno cubano, Parmly explicó que los contactos habituales entre ambos países sobre temas clave, como asuntos migratorios, se han mantenido ininterrumpidamente.

El diplomático estadounidense rechazó que Washington pretenda romper los acuerdos migratorios firmados en 1994 con La Habana, en los que EEUU se comprometió a conceder un mínimo de 20,000 visas anuales a ciudadanos cubanos, y adelantó que este año se superará esta cifra.

Sí reconoció, sin embargo, que su gobierno ''presiona'' a los empresarios estadounidenses que negocian con Cuba para que se ajusten a la legislación que permite las ventas de alimentos y productos agropecuarios a la isla desde diciembre del 2001.

''El hecho de que se haga presión sobre los hombres de negocio y las empresas para cumplir con la ley no debe ser ninguna sorpresa para nadie'', apuntó.
Parmly, que ocupa la jefatura de la Sección de Intereses de EEUU en La Habana desde el pasado septiembre, se ha convertido en blanco de las críticas del gobierno cubano por la proyección de los mensajes políticos.

Su antecesor, James Cason, inició la ''Guerra de los carteles'' en las navidades del 2004 y protagonizó varios desencuentros con las autoridades cubanas, que le bautizaron como el ``cabo Cason''.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Remembering the Holocaust

Today 27th of January, is the International Day of Rememberance of such an atrocity as the Holocaust. In honor of family members, friends and my husband, and in the continuous fight to keep this alive so it doesn't happen again I decided to cover this story. La Nacion, has a story on the acts to be celebrated today and in particular a quote from the Parliament President harshly criticizing Iran's president comments that the Holocaust never happened, and that Auschwitz shoul NEVER be allowed to happen again. So far this is the only story about this that I found. Let's all take a moment to remember all the innocents that died product of an evil mind hellbent on exterminating an entire race, and all those who opposed him. Let's not forget all the victims of the Holocaust - Jews, Polish, Priests, Educators, Literature and dissidents.

Thanks to Un Lobo en Peru for joining in the rememberance and for supplying another story covering this issue from The Globe and Mail.

"El Muro" will be Flags

As reported unofficially by The Real Cuba, it is now official that the ticker will be blocked from view by a numerous amount of flagpoles with flags, placed atop the stage of the Plaza Anti Imperialista.

And you have to love Michael Parmly, who when asked what the United States would do if the electronic sign was blocked, responded "we are going to keep trying to communicate with the Cuban people by any means we can."

The story as reported by ABC is here.

Crackdown on Illegal Cuba trips

The government has started an active investigation of all agencies selling trips or "envios" to Cuba. You can read the story here. However, let me higlight one point:

Decenas de cartas en protesta por los ''viajes de los santeros'' han sido enviadas a OFAC por miembros de la comunidad exiliada, que respalda la política de ''mano dura'' de Bush hacia el régimen de Fidel Castro.

This is confirmation that as a group we can make a difference.

More Support against Chavez's Pipeline

A while back I reported on an article in a financial magazine regading the cons and problems of Stooge Chavez's "gasoducto". From EFE News a great article on how this project "makes little economic or technical sense, could cause great ecological damage and may end up being a figment of overly ambitious political imaginations".

Read the whole story here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dissidents need World Support

For us it makes perfect sense, support the Cuban dissidents in their efforts to free Cuba. Yet few people really understand this, how much they do need our support, what great odds they are facing now that the Bearded Stooge has increased their oppression, their persecution and their harassment.

Here is a great article from The Miami Herald, a small silent cry for support.

I hope they made it

15 balseros are "missing" from the Coast Guards view. They were traveling on a wooden raft not much bigger than 15 x 20 feet. Let's hope and pray that they are safe, and that they made it to dry land.

The story from the Sun-Sentinel is here.

"Balseros" are taking a detour

Traveling by balsa to Miami has not only gotten more dangerous but has also gotten a bit more complicated. Aside from having to worry about winds, enough food and water, sharks and the weather, balseros now have to also carefully plan where they land - as if this was always a decision up to them. While Mexico and the group Border Angels is distributing to illegal Mexican immigrants maps of the Arizona desert with how much distance they can walk in a day, pinpointing the dangerous areas, the areas with water and supplies and the areas where cellphones work - a distribution that has been highly criticized by the US government as "inciting" illegal migration. But as Ziva very well asked, where are the lighted buoys with food, water, and a nautical map for the balseros to safely reach land?

Well, nunca falta el ingenio de los cubanos, so now they are finding an alternate route to get to the US - Puerto Rico. Traveling first to the Dominican Republic, where authorities are already investigating a Cuban-smuggling ring, they then depart in yola (Dominican raft) to Puerto Rico. But as it is well known el canal de la Mona is not only treacherous, but it is also shark infested which makes arriving to the mainland harder. So what do you do know? You end your travels at La isla de Mona. You see, Puerto Rico has three island towns - Culebra, Mona and Vieques. All three of them are territories of Puerto Rico, so they in turn are the United States of America.

From 2003 to 2005 the number of Cubans arriving through this route has gone from 76 to 485; you do the math. You can read the whole article from El Nuevo Herald here.

Bearded Stooge confirms "Cuba will Play"

Putting an end to the speculations of whether Cuba would play or not, the Bearded Stooge announced that they would indeed play in the World Classic. From Commies News Network here and from Reuters here. The Bearded Stooge was apparently interviewed while visiting the "construction site" of the wall. Among some of the things he said, I thought this was particularly interesting:

"Cuba will play well, even though they have stolen many of our good players," Castro said, referring to million-dollar contracts that have lured Cuban baseball talent to the United States.

"They have taken away a lot of the best pitchers offering them millions of dollars,'' he added, referring to Cuban players who left for big-paying jobs in the Major Leagues.

Stolen? Did we go into Cuba and kidnap these players? Last time I checked they all DEFECTED willingly in search of freedom and of the opportunity to play in the MLB and earn money like the rest of the MLB players. But what surprises me even more, is that nobody contradicted him in this remark. What happened to the search for the truth and reporting the facts? Sometimes I wish I would've stuck to journalism, imagine the field day I would've had with such a lie. If they were a free country, where people could come and go, they would like Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and others, still have their best players for the national championship and for the Classic.

There's a catch, though. The Cuba Baseball team will play provided the US grants the visas, or as the Bearded Stooge himself put it Still, the Cuban president warned, "that is if (the Americans) don't start in on messing around with not giving the visas, or if they go crazy.''

So maybe he will blame the USA after all!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

It's Official "El Muro de la Impotencia" will be built

UPDATED: See Below

As Julio well dubbed it, El Muro de la Impotencia is being built in Havana. But why would Havana need a wall? Well it seems the Bearded Stooge was more than incensed by the "ticker" the SINA (US Interest Section) installed in its building which constantly "tickers" pro-democracy and pro-human rights messages. So incensed that now he wants to build a wall so people cannot read it. Technically (according to the Cuban govenment) it's not a wall; es una ampliacion de la tribuna de la Plaza Anti-Imperialista. In English, its an addition to the stage of the Plaza Anti-Imperialista. I think what bothered him most was that during his compulsory protest, the US turned the ticker on. After all, if the idea is to disseminate information why not do it when a million people are watching. Why not indeed!

Read the whole story about El Muro here. More from Babalu, El Confeti, KillCastro, The Real Cuba and ¡Ya No Más!

Not Spies? Yeah Sure

Ever mondered what type of work the spies of FIU were doing? Read here and find out. For starters they were spying their own kind, including the president of FIU. Disgusting.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

El SINA y Cuba

Today was the Bearded Stooge mandated march in Cuba to protest the U. S. Interest Section Ticker which spreads messages from MLK, Lincoln and the Declaration of Human Rights among other truths, and also to protest the possible release of Posada Carriles which we now know won't be decided until March. Since I've been at class I missed reporting on this, but the rest of the blogosphere did not.

For a great account with wonderful quotes visit Babalu and Blog for Cuba.
For a priceless picture of Bush's response to Fidel go to El Confeti.

My favorite part of the Bearded Stooge charade? How the Americans at the SINA waited just until the moment he stood up to speak to turn on the sign; as they say "a million people were watching"! Priceless!

The Death of Fido

If you are Puerto Rican, or have ever been in Puerto Rico around the Mayaguez area, for sure you know who Fido is. Fido created La Sangria de Fido that unlike the sangria of our parents, this one packs a punch, a kick, and a massive headache if you are not careful. But when the hard tropical sun of Puerto Rico is shining down on you, a cold sangria de Fido is the things dreams are made off. In 2001 I took my now husband to meet Puerto Rico, and gave him a tour of the island - with the required stops: Joyuda for some mofongo relleno de mariscos, Mayaguez for some sangria de Fido and Brazo Gitano Franco and Cabo Rojo for a visit to El Faro. The sangria, we drank on the way. So this is my small tribute to a local entrepeneur who stayed faithful to his recipe and product quality until the end. Señor Fido, descanse en paz.

Read more on Fido here.

Ollanta - Racist, Anti-Semite, Radical

Global Voices Online has a link to this great post, that without really taking sides, strives to present a fairly objective profile of who Ollanta Humala is.

Read here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Val is the BlogDaddy

H/T to El Confeti and to Uncommon Sense for carrying the story, otherwise I would've missed. In my case, now I have a face to add to the words and to the voice. Read Val's story as reported by Miami Herald reporter Jenniffer Piedra here.

I was going to write a comment on it, but I wouldn't do Marc's semblanza justice. Here is Marc's commentary.

In the short time I have been blogging about Cuba-related issues, I have come to rely on Babalu for tips and ideas for my own postings. What blogger Val Prieto may lack in journalistic experience, he makes up for with passion, wit and a uncompromising love for his homeland that help make Babalu daily must-read for me and anyone else who wants to learn more about the Cuban experience in America. He and other bloggers writing about Cuba — including, hopefully, yours truly — have the potential to truly change the world by raising awareness and focusing attention on the great tragedy taking place 90 miles from our shores.

Here is to you Blog Daddy!!!!!

Sin Palabras

UPDATE 2: From the Commies News Network, yet another dumbfounding story here.

UPDATE: Here is another story on this forum, with NO mention of Sheehan's participation. It does however have some cites of US "activitists" - which again should probably move to Venezuela if they like it so much.

And I have to ask, when the US does bring the troops home, and when Bush's term is done, what will be these people's war cry? Well they are already starting on one of the possible next president.

You know, Cindy Sheehan should learn one thing: Freedom of expression does not mean joining enemy ranks and hating your country. If she hates America so much, maybe she should consider moving out. No matter how much I could hate one of our presidents, I would never speak against my country or join those that do.

Here and here.

En la Unión está la Fuerza

A riveting article from Miami Herald, which should once again convince us that Cubans are an essential part of changing Cuba, and that all dissidents must unite. Venezuela currently is calling for ONE opposition rather than a sleuth of groups. We as Cuban exiles, should understand that WE ARE ONE GROUP, not many. En la union esta la Fuerza. Some days back I translated something for Val, about an exiled that talked how much he was dispositioned against the Cubans in Miami by the system in the island. "La mafia de Miami". This article touches also on that, on how some dissidents are even scared of us, by what they've been indoctrinated. We should all read this article and reflect on it. Perhaps this is the key to start effecting some real change.

Bribes from the Bearded Stooge

First Stooge Chavez tries to bribe us with his free/discounted heating oil. Know, the Bearded Stooge attempts to bribe us with 150,000 free eye surgeries for the American people. Why the sudden interest in buying us, in gaining our simpathy? My Mom has to have cataract surgery, but I can assure you getting it in Cuba is not among her choices. Could it possibly be that he is losing ground? From Radio Cadena Agramonte, Camaguey, the article is here. I find this all too suspicious.....What is your take on this? We all know he doesn't give anything out for "free". And on the flip side, what happens to Cubans in Cuba and their eye surgeries? Or is it that they have perfect eye health? I can't imagine that spending the resources on foreigners doesn't curtail the resources at home.....

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Bearded Stooge is pissed!!!!

The Bearded Stooge is pissed off at the ticker on the US Interest section in Havana and is calling for a protest on Tuesday in front of the building. Read the whole story here.

More here and here.

Cuando el Río Suena.....

Agua trae, dice el refráan. Here is a story from the Miami Herald, which talks about the rise in Cuba of the acts ofrepudiationn, better known as government operatives (Fidel's people) attacking a dissident, trying to shame the dissident or worse, trying to make him recant. The idea is for this acts of angry mobs to look spontaneous, ie. like people from the streets hate the dissidents. I'm a firm believer than when government up their repressive antics, is because the dissidency is gaining strength or is not as easily silenced as before. Please read the whole story, and admire the courage of this people.

Immigration Idiocy

Here is a story from the NY Post, which is titled as above. The title was so appropriate I did not change it for the post. Since you need to register to access the story, I'm posting it in its entirety, emphasis mine. Enjoy!

Immigration Idiocy
January 22, 2006 -- President Bush's announcement that he plans to meet with Cuban-American leaders to discuss U.S. policy for Cuban migrants couldn't be more timely. Bush's move follows outrage over news that the Coast Guard returned 15 Cubans who thought they'd arrived safely in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Gov. Jeb Bush was vocal in his disapproval, and then came a much-publicized hunger strike by Ramon Sanchez, president of the Cuban activist group Democracy Movement. Sanchez ended his 11-day strike Wednesday, after he was notified of the meeting. U.S. policy is that Cuban refugees who "touch U.S. soil, bridges, piers or rocks" get to stay in America, while those intercepted at sea are returned to Castroland.

Unfortunately for the 15 who reached Old Seven Mile Bridge, its unattended state has left it eroded and disconnected from land. The Coast Guard used this to justify immediately sending the refugees back.

"Because they reached an old bridge and not a new bridge, there's a judgment they didn't reach American soil? The semantics used to return these men and women — who have risked so much to reach freedom and are now returned to an uncertain future — are an embarrassment," said Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), himself a Cuban immigrant.

This "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy for Cuban refugees was adopted in 1994 after Castro's encouragement of a mass exodus. Following Coast Guard's absorption into the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, attempts to intercept Cuban immigrants at sea have skyrocketed.
More than 2,500 Cubans were intercepted at sea last year, the Coast Guard reports — roughly double the number for 2004.

If the overt determination to minimize the refugee flow wasn't embarrassing enough, the consequences of it certainly warrant some red-faced reappraisal: Last year, at least 39 deaths were blamed on zealous blockading of American shores from Cubans.

The senselessness was on conspicuous display last fall, when Coast Guard boats faced off with a homemade metal vessel carrying 10 Cuban men. The Coast Guard tried to stop the craft from coming ashore by spraying it with a firehose and using a rope to stall its engine. This maritime showdown was broadcast live on Florida TV, to the shock of many.

Famously patriotic and fiercely anti-communist, Cuban immigrants are just the type of new Americans the Customs Service and Border Patrol should be recruiting — not turning away. And what, after all, is so terrible about unfettered Cuban immigration? Isn't it inescapable that the larger America's Cuban population — and the greater their communication channels with families stuck in Cuba — the greater difficulty Castro will have retaining his Stalinist stranglehold?

Indeed, why not replace America's "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy with one that attempts to wholesale expropriate Cuba's entire freedom-loving population?

Focusing on shepherding immigrants who actually like America. Now there's a sensible immigration reform.

Thanks CB!!!

A big THANK YOU to CB for his efforts in getting me the "Ventanita" images!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

¡El que quiere puede!

If you need a good inspiring story about a Cuban balsero who made it to Miami, and with effort and perseverancia made it, you cannot miss this!


The sound of me falling on my ass (excuse my language please). We've all covered the Stooge Curly story of how he is giving heating oil to the poor in the US through the CITGO corporation. We've all wondered what his motives are, probably trying to buy himself some support, you know, so the poor in this country start paying attention to him, his revolution, his rhetoric and worse, start believing it. The other day I read a story where it stated that the "discounted oil" (I thought it was free) would also be distributed in Rhode Island. Rhode Island? How come I have not heard of this? My husband and I live about $7k above poverty level, and received a $450.00 subsidy this year to cover heating oil costs - which mind you only went as far as December and January, thank God for the mild winter we are having. Otherwise, it would've only covered one month. The life of the student is a poor one, but we make ends meet. So I was surprised they would be giving this discounted oil and we hadn't heard anything about this, since you know, we are poor!

Well, be careful what you wish for, today we got the letter that entitles us to 250 gallons at 40% discount! See the letter!

Let me give you an idea of how this works, currently we pay $2.39/gallon and get about 101 gallons/month ($242). So this would entitle us to get the same 100 for $145.00 a savings of $100!!!! The sad part is that morally, even though we pray God for every help we can get, I can't accept this.

Cuban Baseball in Perspective

I'm not fond of covering this, as all the hoopla surrounding the Cuban Baseball team makes me sick. But for us Cuban-Americans, it's a divisive topic that tugs at our very own heartstrings and at the very fiber of feeling Cuban. We feel bad for the players, but we don't want Fidel to gain any ground. It's a classic catch 22 situation, or as we say in Spanish nos pone entre la espada y la pared. All the MSM has cared about is Cuba playing. The Cuban-American community, as well as the Cubans living in exile have been entirely ignored. But perhaps the biggest crime has been committed against the Cuban baseball players that reside in the US. Who will they play for? Why will they not be allowed to play? Where is Bud Selig and the IFB on this topic? Why will these freedom and opportunity seekers not be allowed to represent their country? The Dominicans, Venezuelans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans playing in the MLB are allowed to go play for their country's team, why not the Cubans? So I ran into this article from New Jersey, which I publish in its entirety. The emphasis are my own. I think we should all read it, it is as close of a true factual report on the situation as we are going to get from the media. For me this article hits the nail in the head. I just found out there's more out there. The Miami Herald has a wonderful editorial from Dan Le Batard, you can read it here and I strongly suggest you do. Babalu has a post with comments from Senator Mel Martinez-R, regarding the issue of the players here.

N.J. Cubans happy for baseball team, not for Castro
Saturday, January 21, 2006 By MIGUEL PEREZSTAFF WRITER

News that Cuba will be allowed to play in the World Baseball Classic was received with mixed feelings among North Jersey's Cuban-Americans on Friday. Some welcomed the reports with nationalistic pride, yet others vowed to root for the American team.

"These things always create mixed feelings," said Remberto Perez of Tenafly. "I'm a big baseball fan, and I always want to see good baseball. But this will remind us of how these players are used by Cuba."

Perez said he doesn't expect his American friends to understand.

"In the Anglo community, they can't really see why we are not ecstatic about this, because they take the simplistic approach that it is only a baseball game," he said. "But [Cuban leader Fidel] Castro has always made politics out of sports, especially the baseball teams. He uses them for propaganda. So that is the part that is hurtful to us."

In Paterson, Cuban-American Marcia Sotorrio saw it a little differently.

"It's good that they will be allowed to play, because the more exposure they get to what's happening outside of Cuba, the more they see what freedom is like, the more motivated they will be to seek change in Cuba," she said. "It could start a psychological revolution once they return to the miserable lives they have to live there."

Cuba's application to participate in the 16-nation tournament, which begins in Puerto Rico, had been denied in mid-December, when the U.S. Treasury Department determined that allowing the Cubans to play for money would violate the U.S. embargo against the communist-ruled island.

But after Cuba vowed to donate its profits to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, a Treasury spokeswoman announced Friday that a license had been granted for the Cuban team to participate under an agreement that "ensures that no funding will make its way into the hands of the Castro regime."

At the coffee stands (this would be Las Ventanitas) of Hudson County, where Cuban baseball and politics are the main topics of discussion on any given day, Friday was especially intense. The news led to heated, arm-waving discussions. (can't you completely picture this?)

"I don't think the Cubans should be allowed to play," said Alberto Diaz, 81, of West New York.
"They don't represent Cuba. They represent repression."

Hiroland Garcia, 72, of Union City agreed. "If Cuba wins, it will not be treated as a baseball victory," he said. "Castro will say it was a victory over Yankee imperialism."

Garcia said he will root for the American team when the tournament begins in March "because I'm not for anything that would give Fidel a victory." His friend, Ruben Alvarez, 78, of Union City, said he will support any team playing against his countrymen "because I did that even when I still lived in Cuba."

Yet other Cuban-Americans on Hudson County's Bergenline Avenue said they welcomed the inclusion of the Cuban team in the baseball series. "[The United States] had to let them play because Cuba has the best players," said Angela Lopez, a waitress at El Artesano Restaurant in Union City, where the menu is as Cuban as the political discussions.

"If the Cubans didn't play it would not be a legitimate series. How could the winners call themselves champions without beating the Cubans?"

Another waiter, Ignacio Alfonso, 42, said: "We should not mix sports with politics. Let's leave that to Castro."

The Cubans should be allowed to play, said customer Felipe Gomez, "as long as they are not violating the embargo."

"Some of them will find a way to defect," Gomez added. "And once they do they will show the world that they are against that regime and that in Cuba there is a lot of talent that is suppressed."

Because this tournament will allow the immigrant stars of American baseball to play for their respective home countries, Cuban-Americans say their own players - including some who have defected from the communist island - should also be allowed to play on the Cuban team. They don't think Castro would allow defectors on his team, but they say that should be a condition for letting Cuba participate in the tournament.(I could not agree with this statement more)

"If you want to see real Cuban baseball, without politics, let them all play together," said Perez, the New Jersey representative of the anti-Castro Cuban-American National Foundation. "I think that way a lot of us would be watching without remorse." (this is so TRUE).

E-mail: perez@northjersey.com

Pot Calling the Kettle Black

For years in Latin America whites have been accused of harboring all the riches and resources of the countries while at the same time handing down prejudice against non-whites. Socially this has been criticized. However, the new "foolish left", aside from promoting and anti US and anti capitalism rhetoric, are also brewing and anti-white movement, based on the surge of nationalism. I wouldn't do this story justice, so I won't comment further on it. From the pen of Mario Vargas Llosa to the bureau of EFE, the story on how "anti white racism is brewing in Latin America" is here.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Suing Religion

Now I know this has nothing to do with Cuba, but as a Catholic I cannot let this one go by. It is one thing to have the ACLU and a few atheists with too much time on their hands, make what they want out of the constitution of the US through the "separation of Church and State". However, it is entirely another thing to sue a priest because on his parish bulletin he states that Jesus existed. Sounds like someone is infringing on someone's else freedom of religion, right? But believe it or not this is happening in a village in Italy where an atheist is suing a priest for violating "two Italian laws by making the assertion: so-called "abuse of popular belief" in which someone fraudulently deceives people; and "impersonation" in which someone gains by attributing a false name to someone". So know the priest is going to court to have to prove that Jesus Christ did indeed exist. Never mind that other religions such as the Jewish religion and even Islam believe Jesus Christ existed, and was a real person.

If you still don't believe me, the story from the San Francisco Gate is here.

A Voice of Reason

I ran into two very interesting, and also very true articles this morning. One from the Financial Times which though short, speaks of the dangers, economic and possibly political, to other countries (mainly Latin America) of idealisation of the Cuban economy, or the Cuban state for that matter. The second one comes from the Kansas City Star, which surprisingly, gives a somewhat fair, unbiased and truthful look at the Venezuela-Cuba relationship. And sadly, has a very true conclusion as well - the demise of Chavez is either a loss in the elections or a drop in oil prices, none of which is expected to happen. This story caught my eye because it hints at resentment from Cubans to the narrow ties with Venezuela, and even has a Venezuelan quoted as saying that Cubans complain of visitors being treated better than Cubans on the island.

The Financial Times story is here. The Kansas City Star here.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Help from Miamians

As I continue to get better at this blogging, I also want to improve the appearance of my blog page. Hence, if any of you residing in Miami, South Florida (maybe even people in Jersey) can get a good picture of a Ventanita (you know, that side window cafe where you can buy café, pastelitos, etc., while standing up), and email it to me, I would really appreciate it.

That would allow me to give this blog, more life and a persona.

Who after Fidel?

Remember this post at Babalú? Well that was about 11 days ago....But it seems the MSM is catching on. This wouldn't be the first time that the MSM is scooped. The story from Reuters here.

The rafts only go one way - OUT OF CUBA

As Val at Babalú penned, the rafts only go one way - out of Cuba. With all the commotion during early January with the 15 balseros who had the misfortune to land on a piling of the 7-Mile-Bridge that was not connected to the mainland being repatriated, and the hunger strike of Ramón Sanchez to get the White House to at least discuss the pies mojados/pies secos policy, sometimes we overlook the fact that they keep leaving.

Today there are two stories of balseros , one of 12 that were rescued in Mexican waters (here and here), and the other about six that left Antigua with a smuggler who was paid $4K per each person on the boat (here). The smuggler later abandoned them to their fate until they were rescued by St. Marteen authorities and denied entry back into Antigua. More than likely they will be repatriated too.

Based on comments on previous balseros posts I have to ask the question: Where did the six balseros each get the $4,000 to have the smuggler boat them to Puerto Rico? (which is US Territory so it would qualify them as pies secos). Family in the US? Work? Savings? Where can a Cuban in Cuba get that kind of money? In all fairness I also have to ask, who is the hijo de puta that is charging these people so much money for their freedom? How can these people and the infamous coyotes mexicanos, and other smugglers exist?

The Energy Revolution of South America

You know that the main Stooge - Fidel - has launched an Revolución Energética to save millions of dollars and steal, I mean replace, hundreds of old appliances that consume more electricity (for more on this story go here.) Well, South America is not staying behind....there's been talk of the gasoducto for a while, and currently they are holding a meeting in Brazil to discuss constructing such a duct. By they I mean mainly Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina. The idea is to build a duct that can transport gas from Venezuela, to Brazil and Argentina so they can "share" their resources and librarse de la dependencia imperialista of the US and Europe. Now when have you seen commies "sharing" anything? The following story has a great analysis on not only how economically detrimental this could be, but also, on how far, far away this is from happening. I can just picture Stooge Chavez sitting on his gasoducto as the thing explodes. Read the whole story here.

Opresión en Venezuela

It seems that the Stooge Chavez has started to be a little bit more open on his opression against the opposition. Human Rights Watch has accused him of wanting to undermine the judiciary system and control the press (can anyone really be surprised at this? wasn't that the purpose of the Ley Mordaza and of founding TeleSur?). Various stories have the report here, here and here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

His first meal

Ramón Sanchez, officially ending his hunger strike today, has had his first food - gelatina y consomme de papa. Not a culinary art, but after 12 days without eating the body needs to take food in slowly. The Miami Herald has the story here.

Why "balseros" should not be sent back

El Confeti has a great post on the persecution (physical and emotional) that dissidents are subjected to in Cuba. It doesn't get any more cruel than this. And people still wonder if Cubans are refugees or not. This is political persecution plain and simple.

Here is a story from CubaNet, which in simple terms explains the life of a rafter who had the misfortune to arrive at Mexico, only to be deported back to Cuba. And how now he is being persecuted for it. This is one of the reasons why Cubans are considered refugees and not immigrants. Because when they go back home they face oppression in many ways, from the military police to the comités de barrio; they are persecuted, stripped of their rights, constantly afraid of being monitored and threatened with imprisonment. No other Latino immigrant suffers this unless they have fled in fear for their life, in which case USA grants them political asylum. The short story is here.

Start thinking up some questions for Alarcon

The Miami Herald has a story here, about how the National Association of Hispanic Journalists has invited Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba's national assembly, to participate in a question-and-answer session with reporters during this summer's convention in Fort Lauderdale. Of course, they assume his participation would be via satellite because "he wouldn't come". The idea behind this invitation, is "of an opportunity to interview people in power and who are newsmakers". Don't get me wrong, you want to interview the guy, go ahead. But ask questions, many questions about the torture, the political prisoners, the oppressed dissidents, the lack of food and supplies for the common Cuban. Ask REAL questions

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What Embargo?

El Nuevo Herald has a story here on how Cuba's purchases of US Goods are steadily growing, to the tune of 12% in 2005. Another story talks about recent corn purchases. Stefania over at Free Thoughts has the pictures, here you have the news. Cuba is buying corn from the U.S.A. Read the short story here. Ziva, I guess your suggestion of "corn for cubans" went unheeded....they preferred upfront cash, as is required of the agricultural sales to Cuba allowed after revisions to the embargo in 2000.

Another story from Vietnam News Agency:

Cuba to import 700,000 tonnes of cassava from US
01/18/2006 -- 22:35(GMT+7)
Havana (VNA) - Cuba will buy 700,000 tonnes of cassava worth 100 million USD from the US in 2006, making the island country fifth among Latin American cassava importers from US companies.
An agreement to this effect was signed in Havana on January 17 between the Cuba Food Import Company (Alimport) and several US food companies. Cuba has bought more than 2 million tonnes of cassava from US companies since December 2001, Alimport president Pedro Alvarez told reporters after the signing ceremony. Chairman of the US Food Council David Anderson, who is on a visit to Cuba, said that the signing would create a chance for US companies to sell food to Cuba in larger amounts in the future.--Enditem

Breaking News - Possible end to Hunger Strike

More on this story today January 18th from the Miami Herald here, and El Nuevo Herald here.
There is a story regarding a possible end of the strike, reported by local channel 10, read the full story here. The Miami Herald also has an update here, in which the possibility of Miami-Dade County taking action is discussed. The proposal entails the county passing a resolution that requests the Federal Government to review the policy. While Ramón Sanchez is still waiting for some official confirmation that a meeting is taking place before ending his hunger strike, Gov. Jeb Bush said that the White House has agreed to hold a meeting to discuss the policy. Let's not forget that Bishop Agustín Román, has also been a great help in this situation. Following the highlight of the story. This couldn't have come at a better time, since Mr. Sanchez was already starting to look very frail. The cojones and dedication of this man are truly admirable. To understand why Cubans are "refugees" and not "immigrants" read this article.

MIAMI -- Gov. Jeb Bush says he has word of a planned meeting that may put an end to a Cuban activist's 11-day hunger strike. Cuban exile Ramon Saul Sanchez is fasting in protest of the 15 Cuban migrants who were repatriated after landing on an abandoned bridge piling in the Florida Keys earlier this month. Sanchez has said that he is willing to die if the wet foot, dry foot policy is not officially reconsidered. Gov. Bush said Tuesday that he has been assured by the White House that a meeting has been set up to review the policy. Bush said that a delegation led by Bishop Augustine Roman will meet in Washington, D.C., to discuss the wet foot, dry foot policy with a Congressional delegation.

Glass Shattering

We woke up this morning to the estruendoso ruido of glass shattering. It was our bedroom window. For sure something hit it, we thought. But no. It seems that the tempered, insulated, double window was not that tempered after all, and just burst. Someone forgot to tell the window makers about New England winters. So now, we have to find someone to replace the window. But why do I tell you this? Because it was an explosion, and that is exactly what is happening in the blogosphere an anti-Fidel explosion.

This week fivenew blogs have joined the ranks: Ya No Mas!, El Confeti, Texidor, Uncommon Sense, and Nuestra Cuba Libre Blog. Now that is explosive for just one week! Five new places to dennounce Fidel, to tell the truth about Cuba, to shatter the glass between reality and the rhetoric.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Lesson of Hunger

I cannot imagine going 9 days without food, can you? I've never been able to fast, not even in high holidays such as Viernes Santo. I get a very bad migraine, get very tired, and sleep like I'm never waking up. And this would be my savior, Jesus, who we are talking about; I would be fasting for spiritual healing and closeness to God. Those are two very big things, for a good Cuban-American Catholic like myself. Jesus went 40 days, and I can't even go one. Jesus went for all of us, even gave up his life, and I still cannot even give a 24 hour period. 24 hours in a day, times 9, that's 216 hours - more than a months work at 40hrs/week. Can you imagine that at least? Getting through your 8hr workday with no food at all?

Now imagine going these 216 hours without food, on a hunger strike, for a cause. For people you do not know, and might never even meet. For people who might not know you exist, who quite possibly will not even thank you for what you are doing. But you do it anyway, for principle, because you believe in it. 9 days, 216 hours without food. Would you do that for someone else? Would you do that for a policy you believe is wrong? Do we all as a community have the dedication to go on a collective hunger strike? Well Ramon Sanchez is doing just that, 9 days, 216 hours and counting, to denounce his disgust towards the pies mojados/pies secos policy that caused 15 balseros to be repatriated because the pilings of the bridge where not considered "American soil" even though their feet were dry.

This man is putting his life at risk for his beliefs (go over to KillCastro to read Sanchez's express DNR), at least for the opportunity to be heard. Babalu has campaign going so that we all write the president, senator and congressmen on this. Ziva at Blog for Cuba, has a similar campaign addressing the media for their lack of coverage. And lack of coverage it is. Today as I went into my feed there were a number of news about the damn baseball team (sorry, but by now este asunto me esta empezando a sacar de tiempo), about the Stooge Fidel and his new train set courtesy of China (who reportedly is already worried about collecting payment), about the Cardinal in Venezuela who chose Mass as a political platform (I agree with him completely, I just don't believe el sermon is the place to do this)......but very few if anything regarding the balseros and Ramon Sanchez. The only thing I found was an editorial on the Palm Beach Post (which CB at KillCastro has).

I do not know this man, don't even remember him from the Elian days. He's been called a clown, a media opportunist anything but humane. Now as KillCastro shows, he has written his express willingness to die unless someone in the government wants to meet. And I ask you again, can you go 9 days, 216 hours without eating to help people whom you do not know?

Cuban Doctor in Miami

The Cuban doctor that was being held in Mexico after deserting from a Cuban mission last month, was freed by authorities and immediately traveled to Miami where he has requested political asylum. I'm assuming this is "dry feet". The story, though short, is here.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Away for the Weekend

Hi, Husband and I will be taking some welll deserved R&R on Niagara Falls Friday through Sunday. La Ventanita will be back up and commenting on Monday. Have a great weekend and please visit the sites on the Blogroll to keep up to date in Cuba issues.

Are you Fucking Kidding Me? Can we say Helms-Burton?

I have to admit this blew me out of the water! I'm still speechless after reading such an atrocity! How can state legislators be so "out of it"? Clearly the people in Nebraska live in an entirely different country. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't trade with Cuba have to be paid upfront and in cash? I don't think the US would accept cigars as payments!!!

Intrigued? Read what Nebraska legislators are up to.

Corn For Cubans? State Senator Wants It To Happen
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Trading corn for Cuban cigars? Omaha state Sen. Pam Brown wants to see it happen. She introduced a bill (LB1034) Wednesday that would allow Nebraska to trade agricultural products with Cuba in exchange for tobacco. Whether that would be allowed under federal trade laws isn't entirely clear, Brown said. "Nobody's done it before," she said. "I'm sure the ATF (the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) will find some reason not to like it." (No Kidding! It's called contraband!)
Brown got the idea after Gov. Dave Heineman made two trips to Cuba last year and made contracts worth $30 million for beans, wheat and other ag products. Heineman's spokesman had not seen Brown's bill and had no immediate comment. If the idea worked, Brown said, it would be an economic boon (I think they mean boom!) to Nebraska. Not only would the state benefit from the initial trade, it would also make money on taxes paid on the resale of the Cuban tobacco products, she said. Retail stores in Nebraska would have to enter a lottery for the right to sell the cigars. Brown, who doesn't smoke, said her intent was not to encourage people to light up but instead to give Nebraska a marketing edge.

This shows "promise": Bolivia 1, Venezuela 0

Yesterday as I read Larry's (Chavez) comments stating that if the US planned an attack or invasion against Bolivia, Venezuela would defend them bothered me. It didn't bother me because of the same old rhetoric of the US invading, that's old news. But it bothered me for the Bolivian people. I figured, if I was Bolivian I would think, who the fuck does this guy think he is? But more over, why the fuck do we need someone defending us? Here is this "ally" who flat out determines that Bolivians can't defend themselves, so that he has to come defend them. With all the problems that Larry has had with "sovereignty" and "internal affairs" recently, I was surprised somewhat that he would keep on. But alas! It seems the Bolivian people do have pride in their nation, and moreover in their democracy (at least Evo was elected democratically - crystal clear, unlike Larry's recall referendum which has been called a fraud).

In a nutshell, Bolivia was pretty mad about the comments made by Larry. A heck of a way to start a political relationship. The story in Spanish is here. And yes, it deserves the color blue.

Breaking News about the 15 Balseros

One for the good guys!!! Even if the 15 can't come back, this might set the precedent for the future. The judge overseeing the suit filed over whether the bridge is or not US Territory, has said in early declarations, that "el puente abandonado, es tan estadounidense como el pastel de manzana".

Aside he has admitted that the US may have made a mistake sending back the 15. The story in Spanish here. The story in English in Babalú and from CBS News.

No More Trips

As the MSM is in a trance with the Alito hearings and the NSA leak - and completely dissing the 7-Mile- Bridge-15, at least someone seems to be paying some attention to Cuba.

The Miami Herald has today two stories concerning the trips to Cuba and the 15 balseros. The US government is actively contacting and following up on the illegal trips to Cuba of two organizations - Pastors for Peace, and the commies of Brigada Venceremos. The purpose is to eventually fine them and collect the money. This will hopefully deter other groups, such as the wacko Pinkies, from illegally traveling to Cuba at the expense of the Cuban people in the island. The whole story is here.

The second story covers the visit of the director of the Office of Cuban Affairs and the Cuba Transition Coordinator to Miami, for a luncheon in Coral Gables with exile groups. This gave the groups the wonderful opportunity to bring their frustrations about the repatriated 15 to Bush officials, in order to bring their attention to how inhumane this policy, and its recent interpretation is. The groups are also mobilizing strong efforts in Washington D.C. to lobby in favor of a revision of the law. Maybe 2006 is the year that we see this absurd policy go back to what it used to be, and make the Hermanos al Rescate again the Brothers to the Rescue. The story is here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Prisoners of Conscience" in Cuba

Surprisingly, EFE News and CNN.com both today carry articles reporting on the violations of human rights occurring in Cuba.

The story in EFE News quotes Oswaldo Paya saying "the prisoners at Gitmo each better than any Cuban". Maybe that will shut up all those little groups who go and protest Gitmo while being blind to the atrocities inside Cuba. The persecution in Cuba, as we had guessed, has gotten worse, thanks in large part to the support Curly receives from Larry in terms of oil. Read the whole story in English here.

JSB has the link to the CNN.com story. Surprisingly, CNN reports a story on how the prisoners of conscience in Cuba (entiendase PRISIONEROS POLITICOS) has grown 10% over the past six months! You can also link to the full story here.

Additional coverage in English here from Reuters in Metro Toronto.

And people are protesting Gitmo???? Coño, how can these people do this? Wake up!!!

The Stooge Strikes Back

Honestly, there will come a point where I will not even comment any further on this, because I'm starting to sound as repetitive as the Stooge. This rhetoric gets old, and only ignorant people who have been kept away from reality, can believe this.

Larry (Chavez, who else?), not only accuses the US of plotting to invade Venezuela, but now he is starting to sell that story to the Bolivian people as well, claiming that if US invades Bolivia Venezuela will come to the rescue. He has also started to throw around accusations against the US, stating that for sure by now the embassy in Bolivia has started to plan a coup against Moe (Evo Morales). I really want some of the drugs this guy is taking, I think they will help me greatly in my studies! (not!). The interesting thing here is that his empty accusations, come at the same time as the US states that they are willing and able to carry a dialogue with Moe, in the hopes of maintaining positive relations. Larry's accusations in Spanish are here and here. The news about US-Bolivia dialogue is here.

Additionally, after Larry had said "no voy a responder a provocaciones" from Peru, he most surely did. Now is attacking and insulting presidential candidate Lourdes Flores. Why? Well because, though slim, she still leads in the polls against the leftist Ollanta Humala that as you all know is Stooge's favorite. The full story from EFE here.

You know sometimes, I dream of this "invasion" and what would happen. Larry once said that it would be a 100 year war if US invaded Venezuela. What he doesn't realize is that Venezuela is already in this "war", in this "invasion" but not by US but by Larry himself. Last week's fiasco with the highway is proof that the money is not going into Venezuela, but like the oil is flowing out. A story on the structural crisis of Venezuela here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dale Juana con la Palangana

You know, he just couldn't stay content with the visit of the third stooge....he had to come back to his whining....Again Larry (Chavez) is whining about the fact that the US will not sell them the replacement parts he needs for his fighter jets (is he planning to attack someone? why would he need them in the first place?), but now also accuses the US of "blocking" them from being able to purchase jets from Brazil, because the jets have US Technology and is threatening to purchase jets from China or Russia. Are you kidding me? Is this supposed to be a threat? Oh no! our economy will crumble because Venezuela won't buy some jets from us!!! What will we do???? Besides, according to documents the little boy stooge should've received his "parts" in November. What is he crying about??

Y para ponerle la tapa al pomo, of course, he again accuses the US of planning an invasion, and calls on his military to get ready!!!! Does this stooge understand the meaning of "this is getting old"???? Does he have absolutely nothing better to do?? The whole pathetic story in English here.

Two Sides, Two News, Two Nations, Two Loves

I've been toying with this all day, a blogosphere minute on the two stories that touched us these past two days - the Seven Mile Bridge 15, and the FIU professors which turn the Miami 5 into the Miami 7. As it happens Paxety Pages beat me to the punch not only with great commentary, but also with a roundup of The Usual Suspects covering the story. Kill Castro has a great post on how being Cuban-American can send you to an internal tug of war when faced with these contrasting stories at the same time. Feeling the pain of returning the 15 rafters, and the anger that the FIU spies probably got in due to more favorable policies at the time. Damn if you do, Damn if you don't. And in closing a letter to the president from Ziva.

The second story is something somewhat familiar, and somewhat surprising - Cuban spies hidden under the veil of Academia. As a future Academic, I know I will be surrounded by lefties, but that I can handle. However, to be surrounded by covert Cuban spies, I don't think I would manage all that well. I'm usually naive in the sense that if I find a Cuban out of Cuba, he is usually anti-Fidel. This is a heck of a reality check, not only for me, but also for the US Government. At a time when Cubans ask for a humane revision of the wet foot/dry foot policy, this arrest can only work against those efforts. This marriage of agents, reminiscent of the "Red Avispa" or the so called Miami 5, only highlights to the US the failings of a favorable immigration policy to Cubans. It gives people the grounds to say see what happens when we let them in? To us it tears at our very fabric that keeps us together: they are amongst us. Babalu had the first post on this, and today you can get this from El Nuevo Herald. The story in English you can get from The Real Cuba. Surprisingly Cuba has said nothing on the subject, so far.

Raising Eyebrows

I am not prejudiced against Islam, as I can recognize that not all in Islam are terrorists. However, Islam fundamentalists appear to be more radical and violent than other religions at the moment. Mix that with hot-blooded, passionate latinos, and it is definitely something to think about. Historically Hispanics, particularly in the Caribbean have been dominantly Catholic. Lately there had been a shift towards Protestant religions, in part due to desillusion with the Church. Now, as it turns out, it seems they are turning to Islam, and in pretty high numbers, and particularly women. The story (abbreviated) in Spanish here. The full story in English from the Sun-Sentinnel is here.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Dangerous Liaisons

If you thought there was some hope Moe (Evo) would remain a little bit to the center, think again. And The Three Stooges still insist that they are not "eje del mal". I'm sorry but with friends like this, I worry. I worry big time. Read about Moe's sudden visit to Iran, to fulfill a promise. The story in Spanish here.

Belafonte keeps singing the wrong tune

Some days back, I reported from El Universal, Belafonte's praises for Larry (Chavez) and his Bolivarian revolution, which pretty much didn't surprise us, but disgusted us still. Well, now the MSM has the report and additionally calls Bush a terrorist. Don't get me wrong, you can disagree with our president as much as you like, but don't go around supporting a totalitarian regime, with laws such as "ley mordaza" which curtails (censors) what can be said in the media, and is best friends with a murderer tyrant who tortures people only for being dissident. The story in English is here and here.

I want to urge ALL of you to read the El Nuevo Herald piece on torture, in particular the seventh installment about Las Cabañitas in Cuba. It is a riveting story told by a survivor. In Spanish you can read it here.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

New England Sunday Ritual

While Val over at Babalu has decided to torture us with a picture of "pastelitos y croquetas" (thanks Val, we love you too!), we here in New England, coming off a Patriots victory last night, get ready for yet another Football Sunday! I have not a clue what we will do once football season is over.....

BREAKING NEWS: Cuban Revolution reversible. The day a lot of us thought would never come, Cuba talking openly of its own demise. This is a possible explanation for the sudden and recent increase in the usual rhetoric, and the attack on dissidents. Read this and this.

Curly (Fidel) once said that there had been no tortures in his country (yeah right), however El Nuevo Herald has been covering this week a special piece on torture. I don't know what they had other days, but today they have a riveting piece on Cuban torture occurred on 1962. In Spanish, you can read it here. Word to the wise, not for the faint of heart.

"Poderoso Don Dinero" was a recurring saying in my house. It seems it filters to politics as well. Moe (Evo) has been well received every where he goes, which coincidentally are countries offering him money or with heavy investments in his country. The newest to the bunch, Chirac, whom Evo says he respects for defending the rights of the indigenous people of Latin America. The same Chirac, who a couple of months back had riots on his country from minorities who have been marginalized. Yes I can really "respect and admire" this country. Also from the herald, the whole article here and here.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Weekend in the News

Good news from Reuters, Bachelet heads the polls in Chile. This would be the fourth democratically elected government for Chile (after the end of the dictatorship), and the fourth consecutive government NOT from any of the parties associated with Pinochet (Renovacion Nacional and Union Democratica Independiente a.k.a. La Alianza).

While Ariel Sharon is still in a delicate state of health, there seems to be some improvement and some promise. His still in a medically induced coma, but seems to be "stabilizing". The story from ABC News here.

Worrying news from Cambodia, regarding the arrests of two human rights activists. This story smells of censorship. I hope Americans who read it appreciate the freedom we have here. Under Cambodia's president rules, all protestors of Bush with signs would then be arrested on criminal charges of defamation. And people here still dare call our FREELY ELECTED DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT a regime. What an insult!

"Pies Mojados/Pies Secos" is again causing controversy - the definition of US soil. Is the base of a bridge US Soil? Is a reef US Soil? It seems both are at issue not only from the government but also the Coast Guard. Babalu has a great commentary and piece on the story and so does El Nuevo Herald. A vigil was set for today, not to send the Cubans back. This story once again raises the issue of how unfair this policy is, and that it needs to be reformed. Either they are all accepted under the "asylum" policies, or they are all sent back. But this pick and choose, this battle at sea, has to end.

Follow up story - remember Babalu's reporting of Belafonte's trip to Venezuela? Well read what Belafonte and Glover, among others, had to say about their visit. I'm speechless.

To close, and in all fairness to Moe (Evo), I have to admit the guy said one thing I respected - he will take a 50% pay cut and give the money towards social actions. Don't be surprised, I may be radical, but I am fair. It's refreshing to see a president not wanting to steal. Now let's see if he lives up to the promise throughout his entire "mandato".

Friday, January 06, 2006

El que se pica es porque aji come

You all know about the documentary set to air tonight in Germany regarding Cuba's involvement in President Kennedy's assasination. Well, Cuba is defending themselves before it even airs. If you can stand to go into the Cuban press (and if you actually have time to read it - es mas largo que un discurso de Castro) it is here. And of course it is all a perfectly executed game by the US, in particular to detract attention from the Posada Carriles trial.

Haven't we all been saying this about Cuba's "Healthcare"

You know the drill, Cuba's so famed healthcare, the thousands of doctors he offers to other countries at the expense of his own. Well guess what, Cuba has a Healthcare crisis because (you guessed it) they have a shortage of doctors! 60% of them, YES %, have been sent outside the country. The story in Spanish is here.

It finally hits the MSM - Chavez's Anti-Semitism

While most of us have known about this through independent news and/or other blogs, the AP finally picked up the news thanks to the outcry from the Simon Wiesenthal center. Read the story here.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Isn't this interesting......

The fact that we are bipartisan, should never mean one party has to stand against the other. It means that they should work together towards the improvement of our nation, and most importantly our security. Now where is the MSM that this story is not being covered? Can liberal bias go this far?

And since pot likes calling the kettle black so much lately (Democrats jumping all over Republicans, as if they were holier) how's this and this?

The Blogosphere Minute

I plan to keep this as a daily segment in which to cover and comment, as well as direct you to, other blogs with interesting news.

Babalu has a great piece on The Russian Gas Crisis and its relationship with Castro. Additionally, it has a piece also in Publius, regarding rationing of supplies in Venezuela - the initial staple move of communist regimes. Pretty soon them Venezuelans might be carrying a rationing book. As a closer, their piece on Evo's self-comparison with Che is eye opening and reflects the pathetic mind set of Stooge Moe.

The Real Cuba has riveting news on a documentary to air in Germany tomorrow, in which it Castro is fingered as the possible mastermind of Kennedy's Assasination. This story is also covered here and in the Paxety Pages.

I have found two wonderful sites that attack not only the liberal bias in the media, but also the liberal political agenda of The New York Times, or as Front Page Magazine refers to it, the Treason Times. NewsBusters has two great stories. The first calls for an indicment of the Times for its Spy story. The second one wakes you up to just exactly what kind of media we are dealing with: The Unknown Commanders. This piece by Jay Nordlinger, exposes how the media frenzy is in love with Cindy Sheehan but neglects our true heroes. Definitely a must read. Times Watch has a great piece on the 10 Lowlights of the Times in 2005.

Lastly Front Page Magazine has a wonderful summary of the insanity behind the obsession with the Bush administration spying affair. I know some of you may disagree on this, but this is the most articulated support that I have found so far, and people just don't seem to get how important this is for National Security, and how much of a hole its leak has left.

The Latin America Gas Crisis

I was going to write a speculative post, comparing the current Russia-Ukraine gas crisis to what is to come in Latin America with Bolivia being the major source of gas for Chile (from whom they want a piece of land with sea) and Argentina (whom they've favored in the past). However La Nacion in Argentina beat me to it. Bolivia has already announced that it will raise prices and will end the "solidarity price" it offers the nation today which is a sixth of what Europe and the US pay for their markets. You think I'm kidding? I'm not read about it here. This is only the beginning of what is to come. More about Moe's trip to Spain here in which he asks Spain to not withdraw their investment. But wait aren't his plans to nationalize the gas industry? But he wants to do it with Spain's money? Last time I checked foreign investment in a government run industry was called "contractors", which gives the foreign entity some percentage of gain. Soon Evo will realize that things are not as easy as he thought, and that there is no way he will eradicate illiteracy in his country in 30-months.

Dangerous Dilusions - Iran becomes a real worry

Recent news have covered the strengthening of the relationship between Iran's president and two of the stooges, Chavez and Castro. The world is aware and watching Iran's quest to develop what they call a "pacifist nuclear program". Pacifist is an interesting word coming from someone who is quite aggressive in his speeches and apparently even dilusional. ABC News has a profile story on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which will certainly raise a hair or two on you back. No one in their right mind can read this and still not be scared of his nuclear program. After all, according to him the messia will come in two years and kill all the infidels; and being that he now believes a light surrounds him, he just might start believing and selling the idea that HE is the messiah. If you aren't scared yet, you also have this.

First Mexico, now Peru

Curly just doesn't know how to keep his mouth shut. As the first post of the day, we have this piece, in which those who accuse others of meddling in their nations sovereignty do the same, as is the case of Venezuela and Peru. The result, Peru pulls their Venezuelan ambassador back home. Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Star Wars with The Three Stooges

Surprise, Surprise...can this really surprise anyone? You can read the story in Spanish here and here. As Val said on the previous post, if you can't get them to join you buy them. Who are they kidding? Larry (Fidel) started with the outsourcing of Doctors at the expense of the healthcare of his own people, Curly followed with his oil/petroleum resources, and now we have Moe on the receiving end - but pretty soon he will be doing the same with his natural gas resources. However, mark my words, there will be no special pricing for Chile unless Bolivia receives some sea.....gee and I thought we were the ones imposing on other people. Additional pieces on Evo and his "evismo" (you know they all call it by their names, and he couldn't very well call it Moralismo because it's not moral), here and here

And now they call themselves "el eje del bien" in which they will be "liderando la lucha anti-imperialista". As my husband said this morning, what the fuck is this Star Wars??? Let's see, I guess United States is the Empire so that makes Bush the Emperor and Cheney or Condi, Darth Vader (since, you know we are "El Imperio"). Castro would be Yoda, since he is the teacher and of course Chavez is Luke Skywalker his young apprentice. Which doesn't leave us much for Evo, maybe Han Solo? And to finish the F.M.I. would of course have to be Jabba the Hut! But wait, that would make Kirchner Han Solo, so what again is Evo? C-3PO? R2-D2? I got it!!!! He is the Ewok!!!!!


US $30,000,000

While I haven't found this yet (haven't had much time) saw it on the news last night (Television Nacional de Chile) and heard it directly from Curly's (Chavez) mouth: "We are donating US $30,000,000 to Moe (Evo) and Bolivia".

Excuse me????? Donating???? What happened to the cause of eradicating poverty in Venezuela, giving free education, improving healthcare, creating housing??? Don't get me wrong, I'm not against countries helping each other, but as we say in Spanish "la caridad comienza por casa", meaning charity starts at home. I think Venezuela has enough need for the 30 million for them to be giving them away in donations. This is beyond disgusting.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Un Vistazo a "Latin America"

Well if it isn't good old CENSORSHIP by the left, at least that is what this radio talk show host is claiming in Argentina: Kirchner silenced him. I wouldn't be surprised, after all Kirchner stands next to two of the Stooges, and possibly will stand next to the new one as well. More on this story here, here, here, and here. At least the press and some politicians are disgusted with the censorship of the Argentinean government, as evidenced here as they not only denounce the cancellation of the program, but request its reinstallment.

So we move from censorship, to what could possibly be the fourth stooge - Ollanta Humala. As you all know, this is another "indigena" trying to go for a presidency this time around in Peru. And yes, you guessed it, another leftie commie. However, these news even surprise me. Read the whole disturbing affair here. And since we are on the topic of lefties, I will remind all of us Cuban-Americans that there are degrees to these lefties, and that not all socialists are communists. With that as a disclaimer, this upset my stomach and let me explain why. I've been to Chile many times, as my husband is Chilean, and have had the opportunity to discuss politics with people from all walks of life. Michelle Bachelet is a socialist yes, but you have to remember exactly what the right means in this country - Pinochet. There is no moderate or center right, so everything that is not right is basically left. These political tactics of the "right" are more leftist in nature. Bachelet belongs to the same political party and affiliation as the exiting Ricardo Lagos, and believe me when I say these people are not communists, far from it. Read about Lagos' presidency and you will learn how focused he is on foreign commerce, policy while at the same time taking steps to help the poor have access to healthcare and housing. He has even revised the constitution to make it more democratic after the changes La Dictadura de Pinochet had done. So please, don't believe everything you read.