Monthly Archives: March 2016

The History of Appeasement

reagan

By Fernando J Milanes MD

The latest fad among Obama supporters and extreme liberals seem to be to justify rapprochement with our longtime enemies, like Cuba, by attacking the credibility of the opponents of this policy, i.e. the original Cuban exiles.

The latest attempt to discredit this group was made by a lady named Fabiola Santiago that opines in The Miami Herald.

In the first decade of the Castro regime, most of the people that left the suffering island were doing so in search of liberty, many leaving behind the fruits of their honest labor.

During these early years, this group of “exiles” was trying to topple the tyrant’s regime by any means possible including arms.

Unfortunately, the history of this endeavor was filled with lack of support, broken promises, and even treason by the leaders of our new found homeland, the United States.

As time elapsed this original group was able through hard work and sacrifice to make a living, many achieving excellence, raise a family, and settle in.

So what is our sin, according to this group that attacks us with much more vigor than they do the tyrants of Cuba? Why the constant reminder of our age and present value with the demeaning epithet of “historic”, as your time to speak out is gone?

We have long ago renounced to the hope that we will live long enough to witness the return of the Cuba we knew. We fully realize that the future of our enslaved island is in the present population, one made by, and for the Castro’s with a limited knowledge of what true freedom means.

Continue reading The History of Appeasement

The Hipocrisy of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Travel to Cuba but not to North Carolina

cuomo

The Washington Free Beacon

New York’s Democratic governor banned state travel to North Carolina this week, citing its residents’ supposed lack of equal protection under the law, weeks after he announced efforts to facilitate travel from New York to Cuba, which is ruled by a repressive communist dictatorship that routinely imprisons political dissenters.

“In New York, we believe that all people—regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation—deserve the same rights and protections under the law,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in announcing a ban on “non-essential” state travel to North Carolina.

The move came in response to a new North Carolina law that restricts gendered restrooms to people of their respective biological sexes.

New York will no longer sponsor official travel to North Carolina, but Cuomo himself has recently undertaken official travel to Cuba, and teamed up with JetBlue airlines to encourage travel to the island nation, where the government has imprisoned and tortured transgender people.

Attitudes towards gay and transgender individuals on the island have liberalized in recent years, but many say they are still “harassed and detained by police,” according to a January report from Public Radio International. “They also say they can’t get jobs.”

One transgender individual described her attitude:

And even with US and Cuba relations normalizing now, she still can’t bring herself to ever go back home.

“I suffered too much trauma in Cuba. It would cause me too much panic to return there. I wouldn’t go back, even for a short visit.”

Her resolve hardens when she looks down at her arm. The self-inflicted scars left from her life in Cuba’s prisons are a permanent reminder of a time when she could not be free — could no [sic] be herself.

Dissent erupts inside Cuba’s Communist Party over secrecy of future reforms

FILE - In this April 19, 19, 2011 file photo, members of the Cuban Communist Party attend the 6th Congress in Havana, Cuba, when President Raul Castro was named first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party, with his aging brother Fidel not included in the leadership for the first time since the party's creation 46 years ago. Days after President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba in March 2016, party leaders are under highly unusual public criticism from their own ranks for imposing new levels of secrecy about the future of social and economic reforms.  (AP Photo/Javier Galeano, File)

Fox News Latino

Days after President Barack Obama’s historic visit, the leaders of Cuba’s Communist Party are under highly unusual public criticism from their own ranks for imposing new levels of secrecy on the future of social and economic reforms.

After months of simmering discontent, complaints among party members have become so heated that its official newspaper, Granma, addressed them in a lengthy front-page article Monday, saying the public dissatisfaction is “a sign of the democracy and public participation that are intrinsic characteristics of the socialism that we’re constructing.”

The article did little to calm many party members, some of whom are calling for a Communist Party congress next month to be postponed to allow public debate about the government’s plans to continue market-oriented reforms for Cuba’s centrally controlled economy.

“The base of the party is angry, and rightly so,” party member and noted intellectual Esteban Morales wrote in a blog post published before Obama’s visit. “We’ve gone backward in terms of democracy in the party, because we’ve forgotten about the base, those who are fighting and confronting our problems on a daily basis.”

Across the country, Cuba’s ruling party is facing stiff challenges as it tries to govern an increasingly cynical and disenchanted population.

Struggling to feed their families with state salaries around $25 a month, many ordinary Cubans see their government as infuriatingly inefficient and unresponsive to the needs of average people. The open anger among prominent party members in the middle of sweeping socio-economic reforms and normalization with the United States hints at a deeper crisis of credibility for the party that has controlled virtually every aspect of public life in Cuba for more than a half century.

The article in Granma appeared less than a week after Obama won an enthusiastic response from many ordinary Cubans by calling for both an end to Cold War hostility and for more political and economic freedom on the island. The unsigned article shared the front page with Fidel Castro’s sharply worded response to Obama, in which the 89-year-old father of Cuba’s socialist system said, “My modest suggestion is that he reflect and doesn’t try to develop theories about Cuban politics.”

Many Cubans are skeptical of free-market capitalism, wary of American power and cannot envision a society without the free health care and education put in place by the 1959 revolution. Party member Francisco Rodríguez, a gay activist and journalist for a state newspaper, said Obama’s nationally televised speech in Old Havana, his news conference with 84-year-old President Raul Castro and a presidential forum with Cuban entrepreneurs represented a sort of “capitalist evangelizing” that many party members dislike.

Rodríguez told The Associated Press that Obama’s well-received addresses to the Cuban people had nonetheless increased pressure on the 700,000-member Communist Party to forge a more unified and credible vision of the future.

“Obama’s visit requires us, going forward, to work on debating and defending our social consensus about the revolution,” Rodríguez said.

Continue reading Dissent erupts inside Cuba’s Communist Party over secrecy of future reforms

Back to reality: Fidel Castro knocks sweet-talking Obama after ‘honey-coated’ visit

garrincha

The Cuban mummy told Obama the same thing he has told Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and all other U.S. presidents who have previously tried to improve diplomatic relations with what Castro considers his private farm: “Thanks but no thanks! The 11 million Cubans don’t need anything and they are happy being my slaves”

Reuters

Retired leader Fidel Castro accused U.S. President Barack Obama of sweet-talking the Cuban people during his visit to the island last week and ignoring the accomplishments of Communist rule, in an opinion piece carried by all state-run media on Monday.

Obama’s visit was aimed at consolidating a detente between the once intractable Cold War enemies and the U.S. president said in a speech to the Cuban people that it was time for both nations to put the past behind them and face the future “as friends and as neighbors and as family, together.”

“One assumes that every one of us ran the risk of a heart attack listening to thfideese words,” Castro said in his column, dismissing Obama’s comments as “honey-coated” and reminding Cubans of the many U.S. efforts to overthrow and weaken the Communist government.

Castro, 89, laced his opinion piece with nationalist sentiment and, bristling at Obama’s offer to help Cuba, said the country was able to produce the food and material riches it needs with the efforts of its people.

“We don’t need the empire to give us anything,” he wrote.

Asked about Fidel Castro’s criticisms on Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the Obama administration was pleased with the reception the president received from the Cuban people and the conversations he had with Cuban officials.

“The fact that the former president felt compelled to respond so forcefully to the president’s visit, I think is an indication of the significant impact of President Obama’s visit to Cuba,” Earnest said.

After the visit, major obstacles remain to full normalization of ties between Cuba and the United States, with no major concessions offered by Cuba on rights and economic freedom.

“The president made clear time and time again both in private meetings with President Castro, but also in public when he delivered a speech to the Cuban people, that the U.S. commitment to human rights is rock solid and that’s not going to change,” Earnest said.

Fidel Castro took power in a 1959 revolution and led the country until 2006, when he fell ill and passed power to his brother Raul Castro. He now lives in relative seclusion but is occasionally heard from in opinion pieces or seen on television and in photos meeting with visiting dignitaries.

The iconic figure’s influence has waned in his retirement and the introduction of market-style reforms carried out by Raul Castro, but Fidel Castro still has a moral authority among many residents, especially older generations.

Obama did not meet with Fidel Castro during his three-day visit, nor mention him in any of his public appearances. It was the first visit of a sitting U.S. president for 88 years.

Fidel Castro blasted Obama for not referring in his speech to the extermination of native peoples in both the United States and Cuba, not recognizing Cuba’s gains in health and education, and not coming clean on what he might know about how South Africa obtained nuclear weapons before apartheid ended, presumably with the aid of the U.S. government.

“My modest suggestion is that he reflects (on the U.S. role in South Africa and Cuba’s in Angola) and not now try to elaborate theories about Cuban politics,” Castro said.

Castro also took aim at the tourism industry in Cuba, which has grown further since Obama’s rapprochement with Raul Castro in December 2014. He said it was dominated by large foreign corporations which took for granted billion-dollar profits.

Wounded rafters say shooters in Cuba tried to steal boat

Yaser Cabrera Romero, one of the rafters who arrived from Cuba on Saturday
Yaser Cabrera Romero, one of the rafters who arrived from Cuba on Saturday

The Miami Herald

Shortly before sailing from Cuba, 26 Cubans who were about to board a raft were set upon by a group of criminals who opened fire with a gun and wounded seven, including a pregnant woman, all in a failed attempt to steal their makeshift boat, two of the wounded migrants said upon arriving in Miami Sunday afternoon.

“We really don’t know who shot us, but we think it was criminals who wanted to steal the raft,” said Yaser Cabrera Romero, one of the migrants interviewed after arriving at the Doral office of Church World Service, an agency that helps refugees and immigrants resettle in the United States. “We were just arriving in a vehicle that took us to the raft, and while we were still on shore, four people showed up and yelled: ‘Stay where you are. The boat is ours!’ ”

Rather than surrendering, the 26 migrants confronted the criminals, one of whom then pulled out a gun — but the alleged thugs ultimately fled after wounding seven rafters. Though wounded, the rafters decided to continue with their plan. They say they boarded the raft in the area of ​​Matanzas, east of Havana, and sailed at 3 a.m. Saturday. They traveled for nine hours to the outskirts of Key West, where they were intercepted by the Coast Guard from United States.

“We sailed for nine hours, injured and bleeding,” Cabrera Romero said.

The dramatic story told by Cabrera Romero and another rafter, Jorge Luis Escalona, ​​who were transported to Miami from Key West after being released by the hospital, marked the first time that participants in the incident provided a detailed explanation of the initial mystery that surrounded the case.

Six of the rafters whose injuries were considered serious were taken to a hospital near Key West. The wounded seventh rafter was transferred with the other remaining 19 migrants to a Coast Guard cutter likely to be returned to Cuba, unless one or more claim fear of persecution if returned, in which case they would be taken to the naval base at Guantánamo to be processed for resettlement in a third country.

The case sparked widespread interest because seven of the migrants were wounded by gunfire, an unusual occurrence, and because U.S. authorities did not explain the circumstances surrounding the incident. The case raised suspicions about how the seven rafters came to be shot. Among the theories was that the migrants may have wounded themselves to force the Coast Guard to bring them ashore.

When the Coast Guard finds sick rafters, they are brought ashore to receive medical care. This allows the migrants transported ashore to stay in the U.S and apply for permanent residence after more than a year under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Generally, Cuban migrants who are intercepted at sea are returned to Cuba under the wet-foot/dry-foot policy.

But Cabrera Romero and Escalona, ​​the other rafter interviewed in Doral, said the incident was an attempted robbery.

“We confronted them and one drew a gun,” Escalona said. “It was very dark, and we think they were criminals who wanted to steal our raft.”

Escalona, ​​a nephew of his who was not interviewed and Cabrera Romero showed their wounds to journalists.

Escalona had a wound on his side, his nephew on the shoulder and Cabrera Romero in the abdomen. The three said the pregnant woman had been shot in the back and that the injured rafter who was not brought ashore had a bullet in the foot. It is not known where the remaining two rafters were injured. The woman and another rafter were still hospitalized, Cabrera Romero and Escalona said.

Cabrera Romero said doctors told him that his wound was not life-threatening but that the bullet was still inside his body.

“They gave me morphine, but I have still have the bullet inside and it hurts a lot,” Cabrera Romero said. “I’ve had that bullet in me for more than 24 hours.”

The Coast Guard issued a statement on Sunday morning: “The U.S. Coast Guard interdicted 26 Cuban migrants aboard a make-shift raft south of Key West, Florida, Saturday afternoon. Seven of the 26 migrants had gunshot wounds sustained prior to the interdiction. The most critical, six, were medevaced to a local area hospital. The remaining 20 migrants will likely be returned to their country of origin. The U.S. Coast Guard works hard to ensure the safety of migrants on our cutters after an interdiction and strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea. These trips are extremely dangerous and could lead to loss of life.”

According to KeysInfoNet, the six wounded rafters brought ashore were taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island. Coast Guard spokesmen said the Border Patrol was in charge of the six Cubans who were taken to the hospital.

Frank Miller, a Border Patrol spokesman, said four were released to the agency that generally handles their paperwork. He had no information on the other two.

Miller declined to provide more details because the case is part of an “ongoing investigation.”

Normally, Cuban rafters who reach shore and have not been wounded by gunfire are retained by the Border Patrol for a few hours, or at most a day, for background checks and to process their parole documents to remain in the country.

The Coast Guard reported last week that nine Cubans had died at sea during a voyage to South Florida, according to Cuban migrants who were rescued by a cruise ship near Marco Island, off the west coast of Florida. The 18 survivors, who were taken to Cozumel, Mexico, said they had tossed the bodies into the sea, according to the Coast Guard.

Also, in separate incidents last week, 58 Cuban migrants intercepted at sea on several vessels were repatriated.

According to Coast Guard figures, so far this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2,562 Cubans have been intercepted, sighted or have landed in Florida.

In fiscal year 2015, about 4,476 Cuban migrants were intercepted, spotted or arrived by sea, the largest number in more than seven years.

According to the Coast Guard, uncertainty about a possible change in U.S. immigration policy with Cuba has led to a larger number of Cuban immigrants since President Barack Obama in December 2014 ordered the restoration of relations with the island.

26 rafters intercepted by Coast Guard, seven of them had been shot

balserosheridos

The Miami Herald

It’s a mystery on the sea.

When a U.S. Coast Guard crew encountered a makeshift raft just south of Key West on Saturday, they found 26 Cuban migrants aboard — and seven had been shot.

Six had critical wounds and were taken to a hospital on Stock Island. A seventh wounded migrant was transferred with the remaining 19 to a Coast Guard cutter to await likely repatriation to Cuba, unless one or more claim fear of persecution if returned. If that happens, they would then be taken to the Guantánamo naval base to be processed for possible resettlement in a third country.

But who shot them?

Were they injured as they left Cuba? Did they wound themselves in order to get to a U.S. hospital on land? Did they fight among themselves or with a smuggler? Was it an accident?

Authorities aren’t saying much.

When the Coast Guard finds Cuban rafters injured or sick, they bring them ashore to receive medical care. That usually allows them to stay in the United States and apply for permanent residence after more than a year in the country under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Generally, Cuban rafters intercepted at sea are returned to Cuba under the wet foot/dry foot policy.

The Coast Guard issued a statement on Sunday morning recounting the number of migrants found and how many had gunshot wounds.

According to KeysInfoNet, the six were taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island. Coast Guard spokesmen said the Border Patrol was in charge of the six Cubans who were taken to the hospital.

Frank Miller, a Border Patrol spokesman, said four were released to the agency that generally handles their paperwork. He had no information on whether the other two remained in Border Patrol custody.

Miller declined to provide more details because the case is part of a “ongoing investigation.”

Normally, Cuban rafters who reach shore and have not been wounded by gunfire are retained by the Border Patrol for a few hours or at most a day for background checks and to process their parole documents to remain in the country.

The Coast Guard reported last week that nine Cubans had died at sea during a voyage to South Florida, according to Cuban migrants who were rescued by a cruise ship near Marco Island, off the west coast of Florida. The 18 survivors, who were taken to Cozumel, Mexico, said they had tossed the bodies into the sea, according to the Coast Guard.

Also, in separate incidents last week, 58 Cuban migrants intercepted at sea on several vessels were repatriated.

According to Coast Guard figures, so far this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2,562 Cubans have been intercepted, sighted or have landed in Florida, 269 of them during February.

In fiscal year 2015, about 4,476 Cuban migrants were intercepted, spotted or arrived by sea, the largest number in more than seven years.

According to the Coast Guard, uncertainty about a possible change in U.S. immigration policy Cuba has led to a larger number of Cuban immigrants since President Barack Obama ordered the restoration of relations with Cuba it began the process of normalization in December 2014.

Indiana woman sues Cuba alleging rape by soccer players

IndyStar

An Indiana woman who accused three members of the Cuban national soccer team of brutally raping her is now suing the Republic of Cuba, saying government officials there have refused to cooperate in a criminal investigation.

The lawsuit, which was filed March 18 in a federal district court in Indianapolis, comes as the United States works to restore the country’s relationship with Cuba. President Barack Obama recently concluded a historic three-day visit to Cuba, becoming the first sitting president to visit the communist island nation in nearly a century.

The woman, who lives in Avon, filed the lawsuit nearly a year after her attack, which she said happened March 31, 2015. She and her boyfriend were on a six-day vacation in Jamaica. Cuba’s national soccer team had just participated in an international friendly match against Jamaica’s team in the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

The incident happened in a women’s restroom in a club at the Holiday Inn Sun Spree Resort in Montego Bay, where the woman, her boyfriend and members of the soccer team had been staying, according to the complaint.

With her voice trembling and her hands shaking as she held a Starbucks cup, the woman described what she says happened in an interview with IndyStar.

She heard men barge in moments after she went inside the restroom. They entered the stall next to hers, she said. One by one, they climbed over to her stall and raped her.

“(One of the men) climbed over down into my stall and pulled me up and slammed me against the wall and proceeded to rape (me),” the woman, who’s in her early 50s, said, pausing between words. “Then when the first one was done, he jumped back over to the stall and the second one came and when he was done, he jumped back over…”

IndyStar typically does not identify people who are or may have been victims of sexual assault.

In the lawsuit, the victim said the Cuban government intervened on the players’ behalf and compromised the investigation. DNA evidence from the athletes was not provided to Jamaican authorities, according to law enforcement there.

To this day, no one has been arrested or charged.

Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the official police force of the country, confirmed the agency’s involvement in the criminal investigation. Investigators collected DNA samples from the victim, her boyfriend and the crime scene, he said, but the athletes did not provide DNA evidence, and Jamaican officers cannot legally compel them to do so.

“There was not sufficient DNA evidence to press charges against the three persons that were accused,” McGregor told IndyStar.

Media specialists at the International Press Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba did not respond to multiple emails from IndyStar. Efforts to reach them by phone were unsuccessful. The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, or CONCACAF, which organizes competitions for many national soccer teams, including Cuba’s, also did not respond to requests for comment.

Continue reading Indiana woman sues Cuba alleging rape by soccer players

Why many Cuban-Americans oppose Obama’s Cuba policy

People criticize those Cuban-Americans who do not agree with President Obama’s policy about Cuba, of “living in the past” and “not passing the page.”
But what they do not understand is that the same criminals who ordered the mass killings almost 60 years ago, are the same criminals who are still in power oppressing, jailing, torturing and murdering those who oppose the brutal system they imposed, after betraying everything they promised the Cuban people during the fight against Batista.
The criminal sitting with Obama at the baseball game; at the state dinner; the one joking and laughing with him during his visit is the same criminal who ordered mass executions of hundreds of Cubans without the benefit of a trial, the same who in 1996, as head of Cuba’s Armed Forces, ordered to shoot down two small planes flying over international air space killing three American citizens and a legalized American resident.
Just because he now wears a coat and tie doesn’t mean that he has changed. He is the same criminal who orders the weekly beatings of the Ladies in White every Sunday; who keeps 11 million Cubans poor and enslaved; who forces slave doctors to go to remote countries to work and then keeps 90% of the salary he charges in exchange for their services.
It was shameful for Obama to refer to the service provided by the slave doctors as “humanitarian,” when it is Slavery of the XXI Century. Those doctors cannot refuse to go or they will never be able to work again in Cuba, since the state controls all the hospitals and clinics. The contracts for their services are signed by Raúl Castro, as chief slave trader, not by the doctors themselves. The money paid by foreign countries for their services go directly to the Cuban government, who pays the slave doctors only a small portion of what they receive.
This is not a “humanitarian” gesture by Raúl Castro, it is a huge business that brings BILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year to the dictatorship!
For those who do not know who Obama’s new friend really is, here is an article that appeared in LIFE Magazine, on January 26, 1959.
Raulexecution1

If you want to read the entire article in LIFE and see the photos of Raúl Castro’s mass killing in Cuba click here: Life Magazine

 

Cuban activist interrupted a live ESPN broadcast from Havana and was arrested

ESPN’s Sportscenter sent Bob Ley down to Cuba to report live from Havana.

While Ley was reporting the results of the game between the Tampa Rays and Cuba’s National Team, he was interrupted on the set by a political protester, who began throwing pamphlets in the air and spreading his message over the airwaves.

Ley tried to push the protester out of view, but it was to no avail and he would get out of the way immediately and send the feed back to the game.

The protester and a companion were arrested by Castro’s police a few minutes after the incident, broadcast live around the woorld.

The violent arrest minutes later by Castro’s goons: