Tag Archives: Mariel

Has Cuba Manufactured a Refugee Crisis?

It seems that the Castro brothers are taking advantage of Obama the same as they did when another weak president, Jimmy Carter, was in the White House.  The Castros manufactured a marine exodus called Mariel during Carter’s presidency and now they are organizing a ground Mariel for their new ‘friend’ in the White House. American politicians never learn!:

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From The Daily Signal

A humanitarian crisis is developing in Central America along the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Earlier this week, the Nicaraguan military began refusing to allow the passage of around 2,000 Cuban refugees fleeing the Castro dictatorship.

Nicaragua’s socialist Sandinista government (and close ally of the Castro regime) has even resorted to using teargas and other deterrents.

But has the Cuban government manufactured this refugee crisis in order to strong-arm the U.S.?

Evidence of Havana’s manipulation can clearly be seen in the magnitude of refugee flows. Cuba is a totalitarian police state, where people are not even allowed to move from one house to another without the government’s approval. So is it reasonable to believe that 2,000 Cubans got to Costa Rica without Castro’s approval?

This point is reinforced by the circumstances surrounding their departure. Vast majorities are leaving via government-owned and operated planes en route to Ecuador. State permission is also needed to fly in most cases.

This is also not the first time the Cuban government has used refugees to coerce an American government to do its will, the most notable instances being the Mariel boatlifts of 1980 and the 1994 Cuban raft exodus. Prior to each, a common thread of events is clearly seen. In both cases, the regime sought to strong-arm the U.S.

The events occurring now in Nicaragua are not at all different.

The blame for this humanitarian catastrophe can then largely be attributed to President Obama’s new policy of support for the dictatorship in Havana.

Essentially, the Castro regime has been put in the driver’s seat of U.S. policy toward the island since Obama announced his new Cuba policy. The Obama administration has unilaterally granted a series of concessions at breakneck speed—without gaining anything in return from Castro.

In less than 11 months, the president has weakened our position with Cuba by giving into Havana’s demands to be prematurely removed from of the State Sponsor of Terrorism list and to lobby Congress to undeservedly lift the trade embargo.

Throughout this normalization process, the administration has stretched and arguably violated U.S. law in order to fulfill the Castro regime’s demands for normalization. Cuba’s bucket list has largely been fulfilled except for two items: removal of trade embargo and financial reparations for supposed damages caused by the U.S.

The trade embargo, codified under the Cuban Liberty and Democracy Act of 1996, can be repealed only through an act of Congress. Numerous bipartisan measures from the 114th Congress clearly indicate a rejection of the president’s dangerous new policy and a certainty that the Cuban government has not met the basic conditions for its repeal.

To the chagrin of the Castro regime, concessions via executive action have plateaued. The administration’s recent vote in support of the embargo at the U.N. general assembly has also undoubtedly upset Havana. Having grown accustomed to getting all for nothing, Cuba is now resorting to an old tactic of pressuring the U.S. by unleashing Cuban refugees.

In response to Nicaragua’s brutality, the State Department has only insubstantial statements asking for “all countries to respect the human rights of migrants and to ensure humane treatment of individuals seeking asylum or other forms of protection in accordance with international law and their own national laws.”

Obama’s capitulation to the Castro regime has called into question the administration’s commitment to the oppressed Cuban people. Hollow press releases from the State Department are inconsequential.

Considering the protected status and many benefits Nicaraguans and their government are given by the U.S., the administration can ensure a positive outcome for the Cuban refugees.

CEO of the Brazilian company that built the port of Mariel was arrested on corruption charges

The CEO of Odebrecht, the company that built the port of Mariel in Cuba at a cost of $800 million and is currently involved in a $207 million expansion project at José Martí Airport in Havana, was arrested today in Brazil on corruption charges:

From Reuters:

Brazilian police on Friday arrested Marcelo Odebrecht, the head of Latin America’s largest engineering and construction company Odebrecht SA, local media said, pulling the most high-profile executive into the corruption investigation at state-run oil firm Petrobras.
Federal officers had orders to arrest a total of 12 people in four states and bring them to the southern city of Curitiba where the investigation is based, according to a federal police statement that did not give the names of the detained.
Odebrecht, which has 200,000 workers and a presence in 21 countries, said in a statement police had raided its offices in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and made arrests, but did not confirm any names. The company said the arrests were “unnecessary” because it was collaborating with investigators.
Local media also said Otavio Marques Azevedo, head of another large Brazilian contractor Andrade Gutierrez, was among those arrested. Andrade Gutierrez did not confirm the arrest in a statement but said it was collaborating with the investigation.
Neither Azevedo nor Odebrecht have been formally charged, prosecutors said.
The arrests were widely expected as the companies are already being investigated by the country’s comptroller general for participating in an alleged cartel of construction firms thought to have overcharged Petrobras and passed on the excess as bribes to executives and politicians.
But putting an executive as powerful and well connected as Marcelo Odebrecht behind bars is a significant development in a country where the wealthy have long been thought to enjoy impunity.
The 46-year-old Odebrecht is the third generation leader of the privately held company.
The so-called “Lava Jato” probe, centered on Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the oil major is formally known, has led to the indictments of more than 100 people and implicated dozens of politicians, most of them from President Dilma Rousseff’s Workers’ Party.
Rousseff has denied knowledge of the corruption scandal and urged a thorough investigation.