Fidel Castro: Unidad e integración


Fidel Castro:Unidad e integracion, bases de la unidad en América Latina Continue reading

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January 24, 2017 · 11:01 am

The blockade is the most serious obstacle to our economic development and the welfare of the Cuban people


raul obama

 

Full text of statement to the press by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, at the Palace of the Revolution on March 21, 2016, “Year 58 of the Revolution” .

Author: Granma | internet@granma.cu

march 24, 2016 11:03:18

Photo: Estudio Revolución
(Council of State transcript / GI translation)

Good afternoon.
Mr. President Barack Obama:

We are pleased to welcome the first visit by a U.S. president to our country in 88 years.

We hope that during your brief stay on the island you will be able to appreciate the hospitality of the Cuban people, who have never harbored feelings of animosity toward the American people, to whom we are united by historical, cultural and emotional ties.

Your visit is an important step in the process toward the improvement of bilateral relations, which we hope will help advance further progress in our ties, to the benefit of both nations and the region.

We have just held a constructive and useful meeting, which continues on from the previous two we held in Panama and New York.

We note that in the 15 months since we announced the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations we have achieved concrete results.

We resumed direct postal mail and signed an agreement to reestablish regular flights.

We have expanded cooperation in areas of mutual interest. We signed two memorandums of understanding on environmental protection and marine areas, and another to improve the safety of maritime navigation. Today another will be signed on cooperation in agriculture.

Currently, another group of bilateral instruments for cooperation in areas such as combating drug trafficking, security of trade and travelers, and health are being negotiated. On the latter, we have agreed to intensify cooperation in the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases such as the Zika virus and chronic non-communicable diseases, including cancer. This cooperation is beneficial not only to Cuba and the United States, but also to our hemisphere.

Since the decisions taken by President Obama to modify the application of some aspects of the blockade, Cuban companies and their U.S. counterparts have been working to identify potential trade operations within the still restrictive framework of the regulations in force.

Some have been concretized, particularly in the area of telecommunications, an area in which our country has a program based on its development priorities and the necessary technological sovereignty to ensure the appropriate use of these to serve national interests.

Negotiations are also advancing on the purchase of medicines, medical equipment and equipment for power generation and environmental protection, among others.

Much more could be done if the U.S. blockade was lifted. Continue reading

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Barack Obama: The blockade is an outdated burden on the Cuban people


With reference to a fragment of one of the best known Simple Verses of Cuba’s national hero José Martí, “I Have A White Rose To Tend”, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, began his speech before representatives of Cuban civil societ

Author: Redacción Nacional | internet@granma.cu

march 24, 2016 12:03:17
President Barack Obama spoke before representatives of Cuban civil society, gathered in the Alicia Alonso Grand Theater of Havana. Photo: Yander Zamora

With reference to a fragment of one of the best known Simple Verses of Cuba’s national hero José Martí, “I Have A White Rose To Tend”, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, began his speech before representatives of Cuban civil society, gathered in the Alicia Alonso Grand Theater of Havana, after thanking the people and government of Cuba for their warm welcome.

“It is an extraordinary honor to be here today,” the President noted, before dedicating some words to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Brussels that same morning, “The thoughts and the prayers of the American people are with the people of Belgium. We stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people (…) we must be together, (…) in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.”

Obama stated that he came to Cuba to offer “el saludo de paz” (a greeting of peace), as part of a process marked by “barriers of history and ideology; barriers of pain and separation.”

During his speech, he recalled the days of the October Crisis, the attack on Playa Girón, and the decades of conflict between the U.S. and Cuba. He noted that there are differences between our peoples, but argued that we must recognize what we have in common, and mentioned the historical and cultural ties that unite both countries, including their tastes in music and sport.

“We both live in a new world, colonized by Europeans. Cuba, like the United States, was built in part by slaves brought here from Africa. Like the United States, the Cuban people can trace their heritage to both slaves and slave-owners. We’ve welcomed both immigrants who came a great distance to start new lives in the Americas. Over the years, our cultures have blended together,” Obama stated. He recalled that the work of Dr. Carlos Finlay in Cuba “paved the way for generations of doctors, including Walter Reed, who drew on Dr. Finlay’s work to help combat Yellow Fever.”

“Just as Martí wrote some of his most famous words in New York, Ernest Hemingway made a home in Cuba, and found inspiration in the waters of these shores,” the President continued, adding, “We share a national past-time – La Pelota (baseball) – and later today our players will compete on the same Havana field that Jackie Robinson played on before he made his Major League debut. And it’s said that our greatest boxer, Muhammad Ali, once paid tribute to a Cuban that he could never fight – saying that he would only be able to reach a draw with the great Cuban, Teofilo Stevenson,” Obama continued. Continue reading

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March 25, 2016 · 3:55 am

President of the United States of America Barack Obama will arrive in Cuba


Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States.

His history is that of the values of the United State’s heart, raised in a middle class family, in the devotion to education and work to progress in life and in the conviction that such a blessed life should be dedicated to serve one’s neighbor.

President Obama was born to a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. As a child he lived for some period with his grandfather, who served in Patton’s army and his grandmother who reached an intermediate range in a bank management as a secretary.

After taking university studies thanks to student loans and the scholarships obtained, President Obama moved to Chicago, where he worked with a group of churches to help rebuild the communities devastated by the closure of local steel mills.

Shortly after, he enrolled in the Law School of Harvard, where he became the first Afro-American chairman of Harvard Law Review. After his graduation, he returned to Chicago to lead an initiative to register voters, teach lessons of constitutional law at the University of Chicago and keep active in his community.

President Obama’s years of service respond to the strong belief that it’s possible to join the people around a policy of purpose. In the Illinois Senate, President Obama promoted the most important ethic reform in 25 years, he cut off the taxes of the families in the work force and enhanced health service for children and parents. As senator of Illinois, he worked alongside the opposition to moderate the influence of lobbies, to assure the weapons of mass destruction and promote governmental transparency reporting all the Government’s online expenditure.

He was elected President of the United States of America on November 4, 2008 and took oath on January 20, 2009. He was re-elected in 2012. He and his wife Michelle, are proud of their daughters Malia (17), and Sasha (15).

(Cubaminrex)

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Cuban Young People Will Share Experiences at Summit of the Americas


Havana, Mar 31 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Young people will share their experiences, realities and results at the 7th Summit of the Americas Youth Forum.

President of the Continental Latin American and Caribbean Students Organization Ricardo Guardia told Prensa Latina) that among the topics to be discussed in the Forum are the need t promote free and quality education and health care services, which are considered universal rights and fundamental for the radical transformation of America.

They will also discuss at the meeting next April, the need to promote youth employment policies, as well as others against drug abuse, in favor of security and real democratic participation, Guardia added.

Mora than 500 young people met at the Youth and Americas Forum, which held sessions today at the Pabellon Cuba venue, where they worked in commissions to discuss issues related to educations, health care, energy, governability and democratic participation, among others.

After the event signed a declaration asking for more equal, prosperous and fair societies in the Americas, that take into account the peoplesâ�Ö demands and guarantee human rights for all.

The Summit of the Americas proposes as main theme Prosperity with Equity: the Cooperation Challenge in the Americas, and, in order to achieve that prosperity we should talk about equal opportunities for all, therefore we have to talk about social justice, student leader said.

Cuban Young people also demand the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, condemn the inclusion of Cuba in the list of state sponsors of terrorism and foreign interference against several governments in Latin America, especially Venezuela.

sgl/cbr/rc/nda

Modificado el ( martes, 31 de marzo de 2015 )

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PENSANDO AMERICAS- THINKING AMERICAS


wallpaperwebhttp://www.pensandoamericas.com/oportunidades-de-negocio-e-inversion-en-cuba-0

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Naufragio del Remolcador 13 de marzo: La verdadera historia de un accidente – See more at: http://percy-francisco.blogspot.com/2014/07/naufragio-del-remolcador-13-de-marzo-la.html#sthash.xUPjjPOq.dpuf


cuba-leydeajuste

La verdad no puede cambiarse, ni manipularse. La historia tampoco puede trastrocarse. El propósito de este trabajo es presentar a la joven generación de cubanos los sucesos acaecidos en relación con el penoso acontecimiento del naufragio del remolcador “13 de Marzo”, hundido accidentalmente en la madrugada del 13 de julio de 1994, como resultado de una colisión contra otra embarcación perteneciente a la Empresa de Servicios Marítimos del Ministerio de Transporte, mientras se encontraba en su persecución cerca de 7 millas al norte de la Bahía de la Habana.

Lo cierto de los hechos es que un grupo de delincuentes involucraron a numerosas personas, 72 en total, entre ellas a decenas de niños y mujeres en el secuestro de esta embarcación, la que se encontraba en el muelle, a sabiendas de que misma no estaba en condiciones para navegar largas travesías, además de presentar una vía de agua que auguraba su hundimiento. El secuestro de la nave se realizó de manera ilegal, inutilizando el sistema de comunicación de la misma con el fin de desoír los llamados de las autoridades cubanas exigiendo su retorno y la peligrosidad de la desafortunada incursión.

Algunas de las víctimas del accidente.

vàicitimas 13 de marzo
Los secuestradores pretendían llegar a los Estados Unidos en su obcecado empeño, aun conociendo el estado técnico de la nave raptada y el enorme riesgo en que ponían a las personas inocentes que sumaron a su alocada aventura.

Esta irresponsable conducta provocó la muerte de 41 personas, incluyendo a mujeres y niños, quienes perdieron la vida cuando la el remolcador se hundió. Fueron rescatados 31 supervivientes, 20 de ellos hombres, quienes fueron sometidos a un proceso investigativo para determinar la forma en que se produjo el secuestro de la embarcación y otras acciones ilegales cometidas, así como para determinar la responsabilidad legal de los involucrados. En el caso de los niños y mujeres, los mismos recibieron atención médica y fueron enviados a sus lugares de residencia.

La investigación determinó quiénes fueron responsables del delito cometido, siendo liberado el resto de las personas en el trascurso de los días siguientes.

Luego del penoso incidente, ha sido empeño de los enemigos de Cuba –a lo largo de décadas-, presentar a las autoridades cubanas como culpables de la muerte de innumerables víctimas, desvirtuando los sucesos y descontextualizándolos de manera engañosa y descarada. La verdad es que los propios trabajadores de los remolcadores, apenas conocieron el secuestro, se movilizaron a toda velocidad para impedir el hurto de la embarcación. En realidad el accidente se produjo al chocar el 13 de Marzo con una de las embarcaciones que le impedían la huida, en medio de la oscuridad y en condiciones adversas de navegación. Las autoridades cubanas determinaron que no hubo la menor intencionalidad de hundir el barco.

Extracto de la Nota del MININT

anota+minint+remorcador+13+de_marzo
La manipulación deliberada del trágico accidente por parte de los sostenedores de la más criminal guerra ideológica anticubana, sobre todo presionando a algunos de los sobrevivientes, es fabricar la versión de que el Remolcador 13 de Marzo fue embestido deliberadamente por otras dos embarcaciones -los también remolcadores Polargo2 y Polargo5-, a la par que fueron hostigados por mangueras de agua a presión, provocando su hundimiento.

Otra de las falsedades sostenidas es la negación de auxilio a las personas que se encontraban en el agua. Sin embargo, la verdad fue otra. Todos los miembros del personal de las embarcaciones presentes en el lugar realizaron esfuerzos heroicos para salvar las vidas de estas personas, aun cuando las condiciones de navegación y la fuerza del mar (Fuerza 3) hicieron dificultoso el rescate.

Una de las razones principales de este trabajo es presentar la verdad tal como fue, sin tapujo alguno, respetando la memoria histórica, la cual no permitiremos que nos tergiversen descaradamente. Los cubanos #TenemosMemoria y la verdad, por dolorosa que sea, nunca nos ha asustado.
Jamás podrá entenderse este penoso accidente sin ubicarlo en su correcto contexto histórico. Solo eso permitirá deducir y asumir las responsabilidades de cada quien en torno al mismo.

A Cuba le duelen estas víctimas pues eran parte de su propio pueblo. Fueron mujeres y niños inocentes, conducidos hacia la muerte por un grupo inescrupuloso de secuestradores violentos, e incitados por la política hostil de un gobierno creador de la Ley de Ajuste, la cual abrió las puertas para que se realizaran acciones de robo de embarcaciones y aeronaves, garantizando la impunidad de los secuestradores al arribar a territorio norteamericano.

Estados Unidos manipuló el tema migratorio, usando al mismo como factor de desestabilización interna y promotor de la indisciplina social, a partir de la teoría de “la olla de presión”, con lo que se estimulaban las salidas ilegales, el secuestro y la frustración de los ciudadanos cubanos –quienes por diversas razones-, optaban por vías seguras para emigrar.

Junto a esta política agresiva, EE UU mantuvo total indiferencia ante las acciones terroristas realizadas contra Cuba en ese período por parte de organizaciones violentas radicadas en La Florida. Solo en contadas ocasiones se detuvieron a aquellos que venían a agredirnos, pero la justicia norteamericana los liberaba de inmediato y sin cargo alguno.

No es el gobierno cubano quien acoge a los secuestradores de barcos y aviones, no es gobierno cubano quien manipula políticamente el tema migratorio. No es desde Cuba que salen aviones y comandos terroristas para atacar objetivos en EEUU.

Salvo los dos delincuentes que promovieron los penosos sucesos del secuestro del remolcador, Cuba mira con respeto y dolor a todos aquellos que –murieron o no-, llevan aún los lastres de aquel triste suceso.

La política USA y la incitación a las salidas ilegales violentas.

La historia de estos sucesos tiene lugar cuando la administración Clinton dedicó sus empeños a incentivar las salidas ilegales desde Cuba, alentando a sus ciudadanos por diversas vías, sobre todo usando a la falaz emisora Radio Martí y todo el tinglado de fonías anticubanas. A la par, la SINA incumplió –siguiendo las indicaciones del Departamento de Estado-, la concesión de visas para aquellas personas que apostaban por una manera legal para emigrar.

Esta política de incitación a la emigración ilegal provocó que en fecha cercana al incidente del Remolcador 13 de marzo, se produjera el ingreso a EE UU de alrededor de 5 000 personas que usaron el canal ilegal marítimo, en franca violación de los acuerdos migratorios establecidos con Cuba.

La siguiente tabla, sobre la base de informaciones del Servicio de Guardacostas norteamericano, establece cómo las autoridades de ese país, particularmente durante la administración del presidente Clinton, permitió la emigración ilegal, en comparación con momentos anteriores, caracterizada en su mayoría por robo violento de embarcaciones, asesinatos cometidos contra personal de seguridad y otras acciones ilegales:

1983/89
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994 hasta agosto 1
630
467
2,203
2,557
3,656
4,731

Casi un mes después de los hechos funestos del 13 de julio, se habían producido 5 435 ingresos de ciudadanos cubanos que salieron ilegalmente del país. No obstante, la administración de Clinton mantuvo su política de permitir el flujo migratorio ilegal. Las declaraciones del entonces vocero del Departamento de Estado, David Johnson, emitidas ante estos hechos, mantiene el mismo patrón de política asociada a bendecir esta irracional conducta migratoria: “Cualquier persona que abandone Cuba puede adquirir la ciudadanía estadounidense con rapidez, ya sea por motivos políticos o económicos.”

Incitación a las salidas ilegales
Por su parte, las autoridades cubanas se mantuvieron en franco respeto a los acuerdos migratorios con su contraparte norteamericana, impidiendo en 1993 la salida ilegal de 11, 564 personas, mientras en 1994 (hasta agosto) impidió que 10,975 ciudadanos usaran esta vía ilegal.

Como puede apreciarse, desde inicios de 1994 esta situación se agravó peligrosamente, provocando que en los meses anteriores al evento del 13 de julio de 1994, la opción de salidas ilegales marcara la principal forma de emigrar hacia los EE UU.

A partir de esas acciones provocadoras y el rejuego de la administración Clinton con el tema migratorio, se agudizaron las acciones ilegítimas contra nuestro país. Agosto de 1994 se inició con actos de violencia que provocaron el asesinato de dos oficiales cubanos –el 4 y el 8 de agosto-, durante secuestros de embarcaciones en forma violenta, siendo aceptados en EE UU, con total impunidad, los perpetradores de estos actos criminales.

La consecuencia de estas acciones fue la legítima decisión cubana de dejar de proteger sus fronteras, lo que provocó un descontrolado flujo migratorio a partir de ese momento. Esa fue una consecuencia de la actitud irresponsable de la Casa Blanca. El 5 de agosto de 1994, Fidel declaró públicamente: “Si Estados Unidos no toma medidas rápidas y eficientes para que cese el estímulo a las salidas ilegales del país, entonces nosotros nos sentiremos en el deber de darles instrucciones a los guardafronteras de que no obstaculicen ninguna embarcación que quiera salir de Cuba.”

Acciones terroristas bendecidas por Washington.

Diversas acciones terroristas promovidas por grupos criminales de la mafia cubano americana desde territorio norteamericano, se sucedieron en estos días precedentes al evento del 13 de julio. Cuba denunció reiteradamente en diversos foros estas acciones y mediante notas diplomáticas enviadas al gobierno norteamericano.

Algunas de estas acciones hostiles y provocadoras fueron:

• 2 de septiembre de 1993: Detención del ciudadano mexicano Marcelo García Rubalcava, residente en California, EE UU, al tratar de introducir propaganda y material explosivo, por indicaciones de la organización terrorista Alpha 66. Sus objetivos eran la colocación de bombas en instalaciones turísticas y realizar un plan de atentado contra Fidel Castro.

El MINREX cubano entregó a la SINA su nota 275 sobre la actividad terrorista del mexicano Rubalcava, quien sería excarcelado en mayo de 1994 y entregado a autoridades mexicanas, a causa de su deteriorado estado de salud y mientras purgaba una condena de 10 años de privación de libertad.

● Luego de haber reclutado a dos ciudadanos de origen cubano para realizar acciones terroristas contra instalaciones turísticas –Olfiris Pérez Cabrera y Manuel Inda Ramos, quienes fueron neutralizados por la seguridad cubana-, la terrorista Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana (FNCA) indicó a Percy Francisco Alvarado Godoy –agente de la seguridad cubana infiltrado en este grupo terrorista-, la colocación de bombas y otras acciones terroristas contra firmas extranjeras e instalaciones turísticas, así como la planeación de un posible atentado contra Fidel.

El agente Fraile de la seguridad cubana fue abastecido por Luis Posada Carriles y Gaspar Jiménez Escobedo con explosivo suficiente para provocar la voladura del cabaret Tropicana y otros objetivos turísticos en La Habana y Varadero.

● El 29 de noviembre de 1993 el MINREX de Cuba envió la nota 1194 a la SINA en relación con amenazas realizadas por el ya fallecido jefe de Alpha 66, Andrés Nazario Sargen, en la que amenazaba con secuestrar a extranjeros en Cuba.

● El 11 de marzo de 1994 se produjo un ataque por mar contra el hotel Guitart-Cayo Coco, perpetrado por una lancha con terroristas de Alpha 66.

Hay verdades que no pueden ser ocultadas y que apuntan a la directa responsabilidad del presidente Clinton y de su administración sobre los hechos que provocaron el accidente del Remolcador 13 de Marzo.

El propio Fidel fue un cronista de la situación existente alrededor de los sucesos que provocaron el secuestro y el accidente posterior que provocaron la actividad violenta e irresponsable de los secuestradores, así como la responsabilidad política de la administración Clinton por desarrollar una política migratoria errada, la cual aún se mantiene a partir de la bochornosa Ley de Ajuste Cubano. Todavía esa política propicia la deserción de médicos y deportistas cubanos, permitiendo la creación de instituciones, mecanismos y legislaciones que la fomentan inescrupulosamente.

Varios de sus discursos e intervenciones sirven para lograr una visión íntegra del contexto histórico alrededor de este incidente:

Intervención de Fidel el 5 de agosto de 1994.
http://revolucioncubana.cip.cu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Comparecencia-del-presidente-Fidel-Castro-ante-la-Televisi%C3%B3n-Cubana..pdf

Intervención de Fidel el 11 de agosto de 1994.
http://revolucioncubana.cip.cu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Comparecencia-del-presidente-Fidel-Castro-ante-la-Televisi%C3%B3n-Cubana-y.pdf

Intervención de Fidel castro el 24 de agosto de 1994.
http://revolucioncubana.cip.cu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Comparecencia-del-presidente-Fidel-Castro-ante-la-Televisi%C3%B3n-Cubana-y….pdf

El próximo 13 de julio se cumplirán 20 años de este fatal incidente. Aún los inescrupulosos y jurados enemigos de la Revolución Cubana mantienen sus añejas e infundadas acusaciones contra nuestras autoridades, responsabilizándolas con la penosa muerte que nunca debió ocurrir. Son los propios responsables los que, paradójicamente, tratan de vendernos como culpables. Aún mantienen sus sucias campañas cargadas de hipócrita sensiblería y promueven condenas inmerecidas contra nosotros.

La inmensa mayoría de nuestro pueblo, la que no se encanta ni deslumbra con los cantos de sirena del capitalismo, se dedica este verano a disfrutar sanamente de su democracia verdadera, de su libertad conquistada con sacrificio y entrega. Ese pueblo ni odia ni guarda resquemores hacia el hermano que vive fuera de sus fronteras. Al contrario, le recibe y recibirá siempre como parte propia de él mismo.

Percy Francisco Alvarado Godoy
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– See more at: http://percy-francisco.blogspot.com/2014/07/naufragio-del-remolcador-13-de-marzo-la.html#sthash.xUPjjPOq.dpuf

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Without Any Exception Whatsoever?


by Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada

Oct. 23, 2009
Reprinted from CounterPunch

posada  carrilesVenezuela’s formal request for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles was well founded. There is an Extradition Treaty between Venezuela and the United States, ratified by both countries in 1922, which has been implemented for a century. Continue reading

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Filed under EE.UU., human rights, Luis Posada Carriles, terrorist, terrorista, THE CUBAN FIVE, vENESUELA

The Innocence of Gerardo


By Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada

gerardo_hernandez_0The meeting in London of the Commission of Inquiry on the case of the Cuban Five examined in depth the specific situation of Gerardo Hernández Nordeloand the infamous charge (Count 3 “conspiracy to commit murder”) lodged only against him. It forms the basis of his sentence, in which he must die two times in prison. He is falsely accused of having participated in the shoot-down of the two planes of the terrorist group that calls itself “Brothers to the Rescue.” Continue reading

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Gerardo Hernández: guilty as charged? Alan Gross: innocent as claimed?


Stephen Kimber

geraradoIt should be easier to make a deal. A 65-year-old American USAID subcontractor named Alan Gross is serving 15 years in a Cuban prison for smuggling sophisticated telecommunications equipment into Cuba. Cuban officials say they’re prepared to discuss his fate without pre-conditions as a “humanitarian” gesture. But it is also clear they want to exchange him for the three members of their Cuban Five intelligence network still in prison in the United States.

There are precedents for such a swap.

In 2010, Washington acted quickly to trade 10 Russian deep-cover spies for four men the Russian government had imprisoned for “illegal contacts” with the West. There is also the example of Israel. In 2011, Israel freed more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to win the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas five years earlier.

And yet — even after a November 2013 letter signed by a bipartisan group of 66 Senators urging President Obama to “act expeditiously to take whatever steps are in the national interest to obtain [Gross’s] release,” — the U.S. Administration refuses to negotiate.

Why? Three words: Castro, Cuba, murder.

Even for those who can get past the first two, the third is often, understandably, a show-stopper.

In 2001, Gerardo Hernández, the leader of the Cuban Five, was charged and convicted of “conspiracy to commit murder” in connection with a 1996 shootdown of two civilian aircraft over the Florida Straits that resulted in the deaths of four men. He was sentenced to two life terms plus 15 years in prison.

How can the United States exchange a man convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for someone the State Department continues to insist did nothing wrong?

It’s worth unpacking both sides of that conventional wisdom.

Let’s start with the case of Gerardo Hernández.

The shootdown

On February 24, 1996, Cuban Air Force MiGs shot down two Brothers to the Rescue planes, killing the four civilians aboard.

The shootdown triggered not only an international incident between the two countries but also an outpouring of rage and demands for revenge from Miami’s Cuban-American exile community.

We can argue today whether the planes were in Cuban or international airspace when they were shot down. Or debate whether the shootdown was a reasonable response to Brothers’ provocation.

But none of those legitimate debates has anything to do with the central issue: What role, if any, did Gerardo Hernández play in the shootdown of the planes? Could he have known in advance the Cuban military was planning to shoot down the aircraft? Would he have had any control over, influence on, or role in the Cuban military’s plan to bring down the planes?

Hernández and the shoot down

During much of the time leading up to the shootdown (from October 1995 to January 26, 1996), Gerardo Hernández was on vacation in Cuba. Another agent, identified in trial documents as Manny Ruiz, took his place and remained in Miami until at least mid-March 1996. Ruiz, a major and Hernández’s superior in the Cuban intelligence command structure, controlled the decoding program required to communicate directly with their bosses in Havana until after March 14, 1996 — 17 days after the shootdown.

On January 29, 1996, Havana sent a high frequency message to Ruiz: “Superior headquarters,” it said, “approved Operation Scorpion in order to perfect the confrontation of counter-revolutionary actions of Brothers to the Rescue.” The message said Havana needed to know “without a doubt” when Brothers leader José Basulto was flying and “whether or not activity of dropping of leaflets or violation of air space.”

Although prosecutors would later claim these documents showed Hernández played a role in Operation Scorpion — the basis of the conspiracy to commit murder charge — the documents clearly show this message was addressed to Ruiz, not Hernández.

Two weeks later, on February 12, a second message concerning Operation Scorpion was sent to field agent René González and signed using the code names for both Ruiz and Hernández. Hernández says he “did not write or send the message of February 12.”

There are a number of reasons to believe him. For starters, the message adopts almost precisely the same wording as the January 29 message, including repeating two errors Ruiz might not have caught but Hernández surely would.

The message cryptically instructed González to “find excuse not to fly” on future Brothers missions. The reality was that González had stopped flying with Brothers more than two years earlier. Hernández would have known that.

The message also referred to González as Iselin, one of his two code names, but one which Hernández did not use in any of his other messages to him.

And what did “perfect the confrontation” mean? Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch — in her 2008 dissent from a decision of the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals — pointed out: “There are many ways a country could ‘confront’ foreign aircraft. Forced landings, warning shots, and forced escorted journeys out of a country’s territorial airspace are among them — as are shoot downs.”

Would Cuban State Security have told Hernández in advance it planned to shoot down the planes? That’s highly unlikely. Cuban intelligence is incredibly compartmentalized; information is shared on a need-to-know basis only. Hernández, a mid-level field intelligence agent, would have had no need to know.

During this time, Hernández did have other important mission responsibilities. He was in charge of Operation Venecia, an unrelated plan to help another agent inside Brothers, Juan Pablo Roque, to re-defect back to Cuba. Operation Venecia was successful — Roque flew out of Miami on February 23, 1996.

On March 1, the Cuban Intelligence Directorate sent a message of congratulation to its agents in Miami: “Everything turned out well,” it said. “The commander in chief visited [Roque] twice, being able to exchange the details of the operation. We have dealt the Miami right a hard blow, in which your role has been decisive.”

The message did not refer to either Operation Scorpion or Operation Venecia. Instead it offered “our profound recognition” for Operation German. Based on the context of the message and the fact that Roque’s code name was “German,” it seems clear this message refers to Roque’s defection. During the trial, however, prosecutors argued the message congratulated Hernández for his role in the shootdown.

Prosecutors also claimed Hernández’s promotion to Captain in Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior on June 6, 1996, represented another acknowledgment of his key role in the shootdown. But June 6 is the anniversary of the founding of Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior, the date on which routine long-service promotions are granted to qualifying MININT employees. Having completed four years as lieutenant, Hernández had automatically been promoted.

As Judge Kravitch concluded in her appeal dissent, prosecutors “presented no evidence” to link Hernández to the shootdown. “I cannot say that a reasonable jury — given all the evidence — could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Hernández agreed to a shoot down.”

The charge

Which brings us to the issue of why prosecutors decided to charge Hernández with conspiracy to commit murder. It was not one of the original charges laid after the Cuban agents were arrested on September 12, 1998. Prosecutors only added it seven months later, on May 7, 1999.

Why the delay?

FBI agents had penetrated the Cuban network as early as December of 1996, and decrypted and translated the relevant messages well before the arrests.

There are several possible explanations for the decision to escalate the case by tacking on the murder charge.

Although prosecutors in 1998 boasted the FBI broke a “very sophisticated” spy ring, journalists and commentators quickly focused on just how unsophisticated the operation seemed. Critics had begun to dismiss the case as “second-rate.” That changed, of course, as soon as the murder charge was added.
The FBI was under fire from exile leaders in Miami for failing to charge anyone in connection with the shootdown. Soon after the 1998 arrests, Congressman Lincoln Díaz-Balart called on the Clinton administration to charge the arrested agents “for the murder of four members of Brothers to the Rescue” — even though no evidence then connected them to the incident.

The trial

The conspiracy to commit murder charge became the central focus of the seven-month trial.

Did the prosecution present a compelling case?

Theydidn’t believe so. At the conclusion of the trial, they filed a last-minute emergency petition to prevent the jurors from voting on the murder count. During her instructions to the jury, Judge Joan Lenard had outlined the level of proof required to convict Hernández of conspiracy to murder. In a petition to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal on May 25, 2001, the prosecutors threw up their hands. “In light of the evidence presented in this trial,” the petition declared, the judge’s instruction “presents an insurmountable hurdle for the United States in this case, and will likely result in the failure of the prosecution.”

The Appeal Court rejected their petition, but the jury convicted the Five on every single count, including conspiracy to murder.

The jury

Which brings us to the jury, and the political climate in Miami at the time of the trial.

There is a traditional hostility among Miami’s exile community to anyone associated with the Castro government. But the climate was even more toxic in the lead-up to the trial:

Elian González, a Cuban boy, had washed up on Florida’s shores in November 1999. After an emotional and legal tug of war between his father in Cuba and his extended family in Miami, he was returned to his family in Cuba, ratcheting up the anger toward Cuba among many in Miami.
Although much of the Miami media would have been reflexively anti-Cuban in the best of circumstances, we now know some virulently anti-Cuban journalists and commentators, including some who wrote about the case before and during the trial, were secretly paid thousands of dollars by the U.S. Government through the Board of Broadcast Governors.
There was still anger and frustration among many in Miami because no one had been charged for the shootdown of the planes two years before, with some officials suggesting indicting Fidel Castro; Gerardo Hernández, it is fair to suggest, became the best available substitute.

Before and during the trial, the defence applied for a change of venue because of the climate of hostility in Miami. Those requests were all turned down.

In the years since their convictions, however, a number of respected international organizations have raised questions about whether the accused got a fair trial.

Amnesty International, in a 2010 report concluded: “A central, underlying concern relates to the fairness of holding the trial in Miami, given the pervasive community hostility toward the Cuban government in the area and media and other events which took place before and during the trial. There is evidence to suggest that these factors made it impossible to ensure a wholly impartial jury.”

Added the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in a 2005 report: “The climate of bias and prejudice against the accused in Miami persisted and helped to present the accused as guilty from the beginning. ”

Amnesty International also questioned “the strength of the evidence on which Gerardo Hernández was convicted of conspiracy to murder… [Amnesty] believes that there are questions as to whether the government discharged its burden of proof that Hernández planned a shoot-down of BTTR planes in international airspace, and thus within US jurisdiction, which was a necessary element of the charge against him.”

To repeat, once again, the opinion of Judge Kravitch, prosecutors “presented no evidence” to link Hernández to the shootdown. “I cannot say that a reasonable jury — given all the evidence — could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Hernández agreed to a shoot down.”

The case of Alan Gross

If it’s obvious the case against Gerardo Hernández is not as clear cut as the State Department would have us believe, neither is the case for Alan Gross.

On December 3, 2009, Cuban authorities arrested Gross and later charged him with “acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state.” He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Although the State Department continues to describe him as a humanitarian do-gooder attempting to help Cuba’s small Jewish community connect to the Internet, the facts are more complex.

Cuba’s 1,500-member Jewish community has generally good relations with the island’s government. And they already had Internet connections. As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a global Jewish news service, would report later: “the main Jewish groups in Cuba denied having any contracts with Alan Gross or any knowledge of his project.”

In 2008, Gross had signed a one-year deal with Development Associates International, a USAID-connected firm, to import communications equipment into Cuba, set up three WiFi hot spots — one each in Havana, Camaguey and Santiago — and train Cubans to use them. He was paid $258,264.

That equipment included BGANS (Broadband Global Network Systems, which function as a satellite phone bypassing the local phone system and can also provide Internet signals and be used to establish its own WiFi hotspot, allowing it to operate undetected by government servers) and at least one specialized sophisticated SIM card, capable of preventing satellite phone transmissions from being detected within 400 kilometres. Such SIM cards are not available for general sale in the U.S. and are most frequently used by the CIA and the Defense Department.Despite U.S. travel restrictions, Gross made five visits to Cuba in 2009 alone. He never informed Cuba of his mission, and invariably flew into the country on a tourist visa. To smuggle his equipment into the country without arousing suspicion, Gross sometimes used unsuspecting members of religious groups as “mules.”

In December 2009, Gross had been scheduled to deliver a BGANS device to a Havana university professor who’d been using a similar U.S.-supplied device to send information on “the Cuban situation” to his handlers in the United States. He was actually a double agent working for Cuban State Security. Gross was arrested.

When Cuban authorities arrested Gross, they uncovered a treasure trove of reports back to his bosses in Washington in which he acknowledged the dangerous nature of the work he was doing. “This is very risky business in no uncertain terms,” he wrote at one point, adding that “detection of satellite signals would be catastrophic.”

Conclusion

So if Alan Gross is not quite as innocent as claimed, and Gerardo Hernández is not as guilty as judged, where does that leave us?

The truth is that — whatever their violations of the laws of the countries in which the two men were arrested — both Alan Gross and Gerardo Hernández are two more human victims of more than 50 years of failed American policy toward Cuba.

Their continued incarcerations represent — for both sides — a major impediment to improving relations between the two countries.

The Cuban government has expressed a willingness to discuss Alan Gross’s fate without pre-conditions. It is past time for the United States, which is ultimately responsible for Alan Gross’s failed mission in Cuba, to do the same.

http://stephenkimber.com/gerardo-hernandez-guilty-as-charged-alan-gross-innocent-as-claimed/

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Cuba and Russia Develop Project for Regional Firefighters Center


HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 18 (acn) The Headquarters of Cuban Fire Department (CBC by its Spanish acronym) announced the existence of a project, which is in its development stage, for Cuba-Russia Regional Centre for Rescue Training and Firemen (CRESB by its Spanish acronym).

The aim of the institution is to strengthen the capacity of Latin America and the Caribbean countries to prevent, cope with and recover from disasters and other emergencies, Colonel Luis Carlos Guzman Matos, CBC head, said.

Guzman Matos spoke at the 5th Firemen International Conference, based at Havana Conventions Palace, in presence of professionals from 22 countries, some of whom come from Latin America.

According to the official, CRESB will provide instruments for equipments in specialized classrooms, laboratories, intensive training complex, specialized vehicles for the teaching process and firefighting, search and rescue, as well as training of chosen personnel.

CRESB lies in the National Fire College and will be visited on Thursday by people attending the event, which ends a day later, according to CBC experts, institution that is improving the training system of its forces.

The 5th Firemen International Conference is part of the 9 th International Congress on Disaster, which is also running in the same venue.

The Cuban program on tackling climate change includes the forecast of sea level rising impact for 2050 and 2100, Major General Ramon Pardo Guerra, Chief of the National Civil Defense General Staff, said at the opening ceremony.

These long term estimates are contained in a macro-project on coastal hazards and vulnerabilities that are taken into account when planning the economic and social development of the country, Pardo Guerra stated.

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LEGAL DRUGS


drogas-usaby Yadira Escobar on June 17th, 2014

drogas usa

Humans possess the largest number of neurons (more like around 86 billion actually) and with adequate surroundings and a healthy breakfast, most children will produce that desired academic excellence. Unfortunately a nutritional stimulus isn’t exactly what some teachers are suggesting parents put into their kids mouths. When a student can’t sit perfectly still in a chair for several hours, the traditional method of signing them up for counseling is too often criticized as inefficient and costly. Instead of focusing on the proper scholarly environment that is flexible enough to adapt to each child’s unique pattern of learning a trip to the drugstore is advised.

It is not surprising to learn that the vast majority of these chemically sedated students come in from poor neighborhoods and low income families. A child’s psychology is very fragile and will inevitably catch the distressing anxiety of struggling parents who are trying to make ends meet. The consequences of growing up in a violent neighborhood, seeing quarreling parents deteriorate under the pressure of pilling bills and mortgages plus even enduring periods of hunger sometimes manifests itself as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in the classroom.

Ever since it was first classified as a mental disorder in the mid 80s it still isn’t diagnosed through blood tests or anything similar, a simple checklist is used. We have to take their word for it. Not only does this human evaluation favor massive frauds, like college students at exam time faking the disease in order to be prescribed for Ritalin or Adderall. It wrongly treats many healthy minded children that simply disturb or annoy teachers.

The State Department of Education asks schools to have at least 1 licensed nurse operating at all times. This nurse administers daily the drugs and medications students are required to take, if the child presents a written permission from a parent then they may administer their own medication for chronic conditions. It isn’t right when the school, not the doctor, jumps to the conclusion that a specific child needs drugs.

These are short-term solutions to deeper, underlying problems. The issue will not be solved by flipping through another revised edition of medical catalogues, but by bravely facing our social problems. The extensive arsenal of drugs like Prozac, Xanax or lithium has yet to prove long term results in their patients. They are being prescribed too liberally to children that are simply being overly stimulated by our fast-paced, excitable and stressed out cities. Not everyone learns at the same pace, and those are the kids that benefit greatly from that pharmaceutical help.

Administrating antipsychotics like Risperdal or dispensing Ritalin to students at lunchtime seems like the easy way out. Again, there are clear cases in which medications will bring order to a chemical imbalance but ADHD does not affect every child that is jittery in his seat. Our cultural and social woes will not dissipate under doctor’s prescriptions and by refusing to address the real issue too many children are being wrongly sedated.

Reports reveal a horrifying reality: 3 million children in this country are taking drugs to concentrate at school. If at least these heavy narcotics could produce better grades then perhaps the achievements could justify the extreme sacrifice. Actually, in spite of it all, school test scores repeatedly rank the Unites States below many countries including Russia, the Czech Republic and Korea.

This school year’s price tag on each student was raised up to $11,810…and by late 2014 expenditure per student will be even heftier; $ 12,281. Numerous schools throughout the years have protested and cried out for more money but the statistics prove that all those billions of dollars have not been enough to boost the learning capacity. The school system isn’t adapting to the lifestyle and learning needs of modern children. On top of everything money is not being spent wisely so the wrong sectors are benefiting their pockets while each new generation wastes its most precious years without learning essential life skills.

What sort of example is our society in turn showing these children who later as adults confess that at the time, by their private judgment they did not really need narcotics? Not only are we crushing the self-esteem of thousands of sound kids, we are also setting the wrong example that drugs offer quick solutions. With what morale do school administrations profess the slogan of “just say no”? If prescription medication is alright for subjugating classroom behavior, then other recreational drugs, psychedelics or hallucinogens are acceptable when emotionally down and blue?

The inspiring, isolated cases of the few who were either taken off the unnecessary medications or once reaching maturity decided to pull the plug themselves have shed incredible light on the adverse side effects. Deciding between the two options of one excitable and unfocused child or an addicted, suicidal child with paranoid delusions plagued with headaches doesn’t seem like a difficult decision.

I don’t believe drugging America’s future to be an answer the Founding Fathers would have proposed. Instead of opiating students because of low grades, future educational practices should simply generate a different teaching approach to properly engage and integrate the struggling students. Addressing the social problem of poverty and thus the adjacent obstacle of dysfunctional households will eliminate perhaps more than half of all current yet avoidable medication addictions in minors.

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La ONU confirma la participación del Sector Derecho en la masacre de Odesa el 2 de mayo


18/06/2014 22:31·3 comentariosLecturas: 45

ucraniaLos observadores de la ONU han confirmado que los militantes del movimiento radical ucraniano Sector Derecho remataron a los heridos durante el asedio a la Casa de los Sindicatos de Odesa.

9cbc3bd50a349a89382df16665b1a6f4_articleSegún el comentario del representante oficial del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de Rusia, publicado en el sitio web de la cancillería, los observadores de la ONU “confirmaron que en los acontecimientos del 2 de mayo en Odesa participaron militantes del Sector Derecho, que remataron a las víctimas que trataban de escapar del edificio en llamas”.

Los representantes de la ONU presentaron “un informe más objetivo que la versión anterior del mismo documento”, se dice en el comentario. Pero la información no está completa, nota el representante de la cancillería rusa, puesto que el informe no contiene datos sobre el uso de sustancias nocivas y la cifra de víctimas que indica es menor que la real.

El comentario publicado constata también la falta de información sobre “las represalias por parte de los radicales sobre los partidarios de la federalización, llevadas a cabo con la connivencia del Gobierno local”.

En general, la cancillería rusa aplaude el nuevo informe más objetivo, pero se ve obligada “a constatar que los autores del documento siguen defendiendo al Gobierno de Kiev, a sus aliados y a la Policía, que son culpables de la muerte de decenas de personas inocentes”.

El 2 de mayo en la ciudad ucraniana de Odesa murieron 46 personas y más de 200 resultaron heridas como consecuencia de los choques que enfrentaron a activistas anti-Maidán y partidarios de la federalización con radicales derechistas que provocaron un incendio en la Casa de los Sindicatos.

Un análisis forense indicó que las llamas no fueron la única causa de las muertes, sino que contribuyeron también golpes y heridas de armas de fuego, una información confirmada por las imágenes y los videos difundidos por la Red.

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UN Expert Praises Scope of Cuban Economic Guidelines


HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 17 (acn) The implementation of the Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Cuban Revolution contributes to make the agricultural sector to be more opened and improvements can be expected in food production in a short and long terms, said an expert of the United Nations.

In statements to ACN, Theodore Friedrich, UN representative for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to Cuba, specified in this capital that particularly the handing over of land in usufruct contributes to increase the number of farmers linked to the agricultural sector.

This makes it possible for a larger number of persons to have access to food, he asserted, and underlined that the strategy is in line with the work objectives of the FAO to boost family agriculture on the planet in 2014.

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German Organization in Cuba Boosts Local Development


HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 17 (acn) Local development programs aimed at strengthening the sustainability of food security in Cuba have been boosted for two decades now by the German non-governmental organization Welthungerhilfe.

Joint programs include strategies focused on the mitigation of the effects of draught on the island’s five eastern provinces, Susanne Scholaen, its representative to Cuba, told ACN on Tuesday during a work panel to analyze the achievements and challenges of intentional cooperation.

She pointed out that an important step to achieve the high productive results shown by the involved cooperatives is the systematic training of farmers on topics having a direct bearing on economic management, the transfer of technology and the planning of long-term investment projects.

Actions also included the diversification of productions, topics on gender equity, and monetary aid after the passage of hurricanes through national territory.

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http://www.cubanews.ain.cu/culture/909-cuban-animation-film-wins-prize-at-shorts-festival-in-spain


LAS TUNAS, Cuba, Jun 18 jun (AIN) With an animation audiovisual that reflects on the fleetingness of life, entitled Un dia mas, Cuban filmmaker Marcos Menendez obtained the Latin America Prize in Shorts, given by the 12th edition of the Short Film Festival Notodofilmfest 2014, held in Madrid, Spain.

Results were made public on Monday night, during the closing gala of the contest, one of the most important of its kind in the world and that is held through the Internet, with the participation of millions of film lovers and specialists of several Iberian-American nations.

The Festival’s Grand Prize was for El Alpinista, by Oriol Segarra and Adrian Ramos, as announced by the jury, which was headed by Spanish filmmaker Isaki Lacuesta.

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La Web de Yoanis Sánchez creado por el Consorcio mediático PRISA


Por Yadira Escobar, residente en Miami

Acaba de estrenarse en la web un nuevo diario digital antinacional. Fue creado por grupos de “Inteligencia y Dinero” en colaboración con la bloguera creada por el grupo Prisa…Yoanis. Este diario anunciado día tras día por TV Martí en el área de Miami (transmisiones ilegales según las leyes mismas del Congreso) quiere ganar el corazón de las nuevas generaciones con mentiras y manipulaciones sobre nuestra compleja realidad cubana.

La derecha internacional cierra filas y sigue vistiéndose de “demócrata”. Nos presentan esta nueva pagina digital como una alternativa a los medios oficiales de la información en la isla. Desde ese punto de vista pudieran engañar a alguien medio despistado que idealice la libertad de expresión en medio de la guerra psicológica contra la soberanía de Cuba.

Esa nueva página Web se presenta como medio de prensa, pero en realidad es de opinión. Existe el periodismo de opinión así que no deberían avergonzarse de presentarse como tal.
El sitio Promueve una ideología definida, por lo que pude leer y no logran disimularlo. Es la ideología de las transnacionales y de las grandes empresas. En especial es una fachada mas de LOS imperialismoS que no resisten esa adorable manía de los cubanos por hacer gobierno propio.Con la idea torcida de abrir las puertas a la reacción internacional, no hay que ser adivinos para deducir cual será su metodología en el ataque:

1) Debilitar la dignidad nacional con chismes amarillistas (violencia callejera, prostitución,drogas ,etc.)
2) Descalificar las misiones médicas y todo tipo de cooperación regional.
3) Tratar de presentarse como representantes de la sociedad civil.
4) Promover el “Salvase quien pueda” del neoliberalismo moderno con la excusa de la libertad individual.
5) Tratar de dividir la cultura colectiva haciendo énfasis exagerado en los derechos de supuestas minorías maltratadas.
6) Manipular los problemas del racismo y discriminación por orientación sexual para sembrar anarquía dentro del pensamiento de izquierda en Cuba.
7) Ocultar deliberadamente la vida política de los cubanos emigrados que tienen ideas progresistas y piden respeto a la soberanía nacional.
8) Presentar de forma negativa las reformas y avances reales del país, y en todo caso atribuir a la contrarrevolución los méritos por supuestamente haber presionado al gobierno.
9) Comparar el modelo cubano con socialismos nórdicos propios de sociedades opulentas, y apelar a la intelectualidad europea como máxima autoridad política dentro de “la nueva izquierda”, a la que hay que obedecer sin cuestionar.
10) Presentar a la oposición antinacional como un movimiento pacifico desvinculado con los servicios secretos y la inteligencia de las potencias del norte.

Al final del día, proyectos así solo generan dinero para los organizadores pues los cubanos con acceso a Internet buscan otro tipo de material en la Web. Ellos viven allá y no necesitan cuentos ni interpretaciones de SU realidad. Sin contar que la mayor parte de la población seguirá leyendo el Granma como lo hacen mis abuelos y sus vecinos casi todas las tardes. Queda evidente que ese nuevo sitio esta diseñado para los extranjeros, no los nacionales.

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LA FAMILIA by Yadira Escobar on June 7th, 2014 familia cubana


familia cubana
familia-cubana1
Yo realmente no se lo que es criarse con familia. En la antigüedad, incluso en muchas culturas actuales, una parejita con dos niños es demasiado reducida y débil para considerarse familia. El inmigrante sufre la perdida casi por completo de sus seres queridos y por ahora puedo decir que criarse sin los abuelos, tíos y primos es una verdadera desgracia…especialmente cuando sabes que TODOS están VIVOS. Solo otros cubanos americanos que hayan vivido una experiencia similar, sin familia en EE.UU, pueden entender ese vacío.

Lo que mas le agradezco a mis pobres padres, que salieron de Cuba ambos con 28 años, es que no me dejaron sola en un país extranjero. Mi mayor tesoro en esta vida, donde ni me toco heredad monetaria ni “socios” para conseguirme palancas…son mis hermanos. Confio en ellos 100% pues se que me cuidan la espalda. Nunca me traicionaran. Aunque ahora son teenagers ya les veo la madurez floreciendo.

Como es lógico, creo en la familia.

Todos mis hermanos han ido a Cuba…lo que nunca todos a la misma vez por razones económicas. Es verdaderamente imposible. Con la excepción del mayor, todos han nacido en EE.UU. e independientemente del camino que escojan, creo que es importante aunque sea una vez conocer sus origines. Aunque en el futuro vivan en Seattle o Chicago, por lo menos una vez pude ver a mi hermanito Josh montando bicicleta por las polvorosas calles de mi natal Camagüey. También haciendo amiguitos en la cuadra y comiendo frijoles colorados con ají cachucha. Nunca podrán bañarse en los canales de Miami-Dade pero pudieron zambullirse en las frías aguas del rió Máximo. Las raíces no se pueden olvidar.

Este post lo hice pensando en la necesidad de mirar con simpatía a la familia tradicional cubana. Me he criado sin mis abuelos, y ya el paterno murió, de manera que hemos sufrido separaciones prolongadas. Ellos en la distancia ni siquiera podrán leer este post, y eso es triste. La familia cubana tiene sus penas, y si alguien cree que no se puede estar peor, siento decirle que una familia separada y débil, lo más probable es que empeore su situación.

Ya hay gente por ahí pensando en modificar muchas cosas que solo hacen daño, y ese es uno de los síntomas de cierta cansona decadencia que golpea a la nación. No quiero entrar hoy en lecturas políticas, not now. A pesarr de todo creo en la bondad humana, y me parece suficiente con señalar que nuestro problema no es político…es moral. Recuerden que de tanto halar ese muelle, puede ser que violentamente se recoja a su estado natural.
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Fernando y René piden fin a la injusticia contra sus hermanos


videoconferencia-de-los-cinco-La-Habana-580x445Los antiterroristas cubanos René González y Fernando González reiteraron el pedido al gobierno de Estados Unidos para que ponga fin a la injusticia contra sus compañeros Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino y Antonio Guerrero, quienes aún guardan prisión en cárceles de ese país.

Ambos fueron los participantes principales en una vídeo-conferencia Washington-La Habana, celebrada desde la sede del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, insertada entre las actividades finales de una jornada de denuncia y solidaridad que se celebra desde el pasado 4 de junio, hasta este martes, en la capital estadounidense.

Los dos luchadores contra el terrorismo, que cumplieron la totalidad de sus injustas condenas en prisión y se encuentran junto a sus familias en la isla, dijeron que no se sentirán enteramente libres hasta que Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino y Antonio Guerrero vuelvan a su país.

Estamos aquí porque hace casi 16 años alguien decidió cometer un crimen y castigar a Cuba a través de Los Cinco, violando todos los derechos constitucionales y humanitarios de Estados Unidos en un juicio injusto, dijo René a la audiencia en ambas capitales en referencia al arresto de ellos el 12 de septiembre de 1998.

Aunque en política la inercia parece ser ley, por primera vez esa inercia hacia Cuba está cambiando, expresó el luchador al referirse al apoyo que desde varios sectores norteamericanos está recibiendo el caso.

Fernando González insistió por su parte en que este podría ser un momento particular en la batalla por los Cinco, pero “falta la voluntad política del gobierno de Estados Unidos” y se preguntó por qué todavía la Casa Blanca no ha tomado una decisión al respecto.

Fernando declaró que la reciente Jornada “Cinco días por Los Cinco”, que desde el miércoles último tiene lugar en Washington, deberá tener un impacto positivo, donde se demostró que la verdad se va imponiendo ante tanta injusticia cometida.

Otros miembros del panel en Washington, como el abogado José Pertierra, afirmaron que actualmente Los Cinco están en el radar de la opinión pública estadounidense, y es el momento de ejercer más presión sobre el gobierno.

El prestigioso analista hispano-francés Ignacio Ramonet, que acompañó a Pertierra y otras personalidades políticas desde la capital norteamericana, calificó el contexto actual de oportuno para un cambio de política de EE.UU. hacia Cuba, donde la libertad de los antiterroristas cubanos debe ser el comienzo.

Los Cinco, como los conoce el mundo, alertaron desde territorio estadounidense acerca de los planes de grupos violentos radicados en el sur de la Florida, que se han dedicado a financiar y ejecutar el terrorismo contra Cuba a los largo de más de 50 años.

La III Jornada Cinco días por los Cinco, que organiza el Comité Internacional por la Libertad de los antiterroristas, concluyó este martes sus actividades en Washington, después un intenso programa que incluyó una conferencia que debatió el futuro de las relaciones Estados Unidos-Cuba.

Además, se realizó una marcha pacífica desde la Casa Blanca hasta el Departamento de Justicia, y las visitas al Capitolio, para intercambiar con legisladores.

(Con información de la AIN, Cubadebate y Escambray)
Panel en Washington con el abogado José Pertierra, el intelectual Ignacio Ramonet y

Panel en Washington con el abogado José Pertierra, el intelectual Ignacio Ramonet, la coordinadora del movimiento solidario con Los Cinco en EEUU Alicia Jrapko y otros invitados. Foto: Katrien Demuynck
Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes, en el ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba (MINREX), en La Habana, el 10 de junio de 2014. AIN FOTO/Marcelino VAZQUEZ HERNANDEZ

Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes, en el ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba (MINREX), en La Habana, el 10 de junio de 2014. AIN FOTO/Marcelino VAZQUEZ HERNANDEZ
Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes, panel participante desde EEUU. Foto: Katrien Demuynck

Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes, asistentes al panel desde EEUU. Foto: Katrien Demuynck
Intervención del Héroe de la Republica de Cuba, Fernando González, durante la Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes, en el ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba (MINREX), en La Habana, el 10 de junio de 2014. AIN FOTO/Marcelino VAZQUEZ HERNANDEZ

Intervención del Héroe de la Republica de Cuba, Fernando González, durante la Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes, en el ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba (MINREX), en La Habana, el 10 de junio de 2014.AIN FOTO/Marcelino VAZQUEZ HERNANDEZ
Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes, panel participante desde EEUU. Foto: Katrien Demuynck

Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes. Foto: Katrien Demuynck
Intervención del Héroe de la Republica de Cuba, Fernando González, durante la Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes, en el ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba (MINREX), en La Habana, el 10 de junio de 2014. AIN FOTO/Marcelino VAZQUEZ HERNANDEZ

Intervención del Héroe de la Republica de Cuba, Fernando González, durante la Videoconferencia entre La Habana y Washington, sobre los Cinco Héroes, en el ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba (MINREX), en La Habana, el 10 de junio de 2014. AIN FOTO/Marcelino VAZQUEZ HERNANDEZ

CUBA-LA HABANA-VIDEOCONFERENCIA SOBRE LOS CINCO

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What is the U.S. plotting in Bolivia?


images-gallery-imperialism1-300x308In a tactical shift toward Bolivia, the U.S. State Department has sent Jefferson Brown to the country, indicating a likely increase in subversive activity against the Morales government. He was apparently sent to clean house, and replace all embassy personnel in preparation for the July arrival of a new attaché, Peter Brennan, an uncommon diplomatic practice.

It appears that the White House has decided to make a turn – for the worse – in its relations with Bolivia. After removing Larry Memmott, considered a dove in U.S. secret services circles, the State Department has sent Jefferson Brown, as interim business attaché, who will remain on the job only through June, before handing over the position to the much more experienced hawk, Peter Brennan.

Changes at the U.S. embassy in La Paz are not limited to replacing the business attaché, the highest ranking official present in the country since President Evo Morales expelled Ambassador Philip Golberg in 2008, for engaging in subversive activity in conjunction with hard-line opposition forces in the city of Santa Cruz. All indications point toward the replacement of the entire staff, giving greater weight to secret services and an increase in efforts to destabilize the Morales government, within the framework of a regional counter-offensive.

Brown arrived in Bolivia April 23, immediately after he was appointed.
According to reliable sources linked to the State Department, greater changes will take place in July, implying the nature of the task assigned Brown, a career diplomat who has worked in Brazil, El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador and Argentina, among other countries. He must conduct a clean-up before the arrival of Peter Brennan, who has been a State Department advisor and responsible for policies in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Cuba.

These unusual shifts at the U.S. embassy in La Paz were addressed in an article in La Epoca published March 17, which indicated that the untimely exit of Larry Memmot came as a result of pressure from the CIA and security officials who were convinced that he was too soft, in a place where a hard-liner was needed.

The change was attributed to the health of a Memmot family member, but speculation began when orders were additionally given for the withdrawal of Mitchel Ferguson, assigned as Memmott’s second in command, and subsequently sent to head the political office, instead of Geoffrey Frederick Schadrack, the CIA’s man in Bolivia. The departure of these two was also strange. The State Department gave them just 10 days to leave the country.

Despite the fact that during Memmott’s stay secret service activities were not interrupted, disagreement over priorities led to tension between the embassy and intelligence forces. Memmot did not ignore or oppose intelligence work, but was inclined toward emphasizing civic action, to gain the Morales government’s confidence, thus alienating hard-liners.

Two important secret service operations were not reported to Memmot, as is normally the case, at least in general terms. On May 1, 2013, two Drug Enforcement agents, with close ties to the CIA, illegally entered the country to develop a damaging profile of Felipe Cáceres, deputy minister of Social Defense, about drug trafficking. The agents, David Wayne Paiz and Bert Davi Castorino, arrived on a commercial Copa Airlines flight from Panama.

The second took place December 15 last year, when a CIA team arranged the escape of U.S. citizen Jacob Ostreicher, who was on house arrest and facing drug trafficking charges. The La Paz operation was led by Geoffrey Frederick Schadrack, the resident CIA representative who was provided cover as the embassy’s political officer. He convinced Memmott to help the individual for humanitarian reasons, without informing his superior of Ostreicher’s ties to the CIA.

Although there were rumors that Memmott did not manage the embassy’s resources very carefully, the arrival of secret service auditors four days after his departure, indicate that concerns went beyond bookkeeping issues.

Jefferson Brown’s actions thus far give some idea of what his assigned task entails. Despite the fact that he is not scheduled to remain in Bolivia long, he has been busy.

As soon as he arrived, he met with opposition political figures and analysts to discuss two opinion polls about upcoming elections published in April. Next he visited the embassies of several other countries.

Brown’s two-month assignment and the arrival of Peter Brennan in July are troubling. Their records indicate that the White House has decided to take a harder stance against President Evo Morales, who is projected to handily win the upcoming October elections, giving his administration an uninterrupted 14 years in office.

Brennan will arrive in La Paz during the final stretch of the campaign, at a time when Washington hopes the opposition will have put together a common front to prevent the reelection of Morales, who will go down in history as a revolutionary leader, and as the candidate receiving the greatest electoral majority in the country’s history – 54% in 2005 and 64% in 2009.

It is expected that Brown and Brennan will continue to work on uniting the opposition in Bolivia, but surely, at the same time, they will move ahead with the strategy of engineering a “soft coup” – the new model of U.S. intervention based on destabilization, as has been evidenced in Venezuela.

Brennan has served as second in command at U.S. embassies in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, playing a hard-line interventionist role, as revealed in cables publicized by Wikileaks and other news sources. In 2007, Brennan pressured the Costa Rican government of Oscar Arias to send the country’s police to train “discreetly” at the U.S. Southern Command Academy – given the absence of military forces there.

During the Enrique Bolaños administration in Nicaragua, in March of 2003, Brennan informed Chief of Staff General Julio César Avilés that military aid to the country – estimated at 2.3 million dollars – was to be suspended until the government destroyed all missiles and defensive military capacity assembled by the Sandinistas over a 10 year period. He was one among those responsible for maintaining political stability in Pakistan and promoted trips for youth to the United States to learn about “democratic initiatives.”

Brennan’s experience, like Brown’s, in what are called “democratic initiatives” by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and United States Aid for International Development (USAID), involves multiple subversive efforts in Cuba. On January 13, 2011, along with three State Department officials, he took advantage of an official visit to discuss migratory issues to secretly meet with Cuban dissidents, whose subversive efforts are organized and financed by the U.S. government.

As head of the Cuban Affairs Office, he worked on efforts to win the release of Alan Gross, a UASID-contracted agent who was convicted of attempting to install an illegal communications system in Cuba and is serving a 15 year sentence.

With Brennan in charge of the Cuba office, U.S. aggression toward the country increased. The recently revealed mobile phone social network, Zunzuneo, known as the Cuban Twitter, set up to promote subversion, originated during this period. Brennan will now be putting this experience to work in Bolivia, as of July. (Excerpted from Rebelión)

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Congreso de España aprueba ley de abdicación de Juan Carlos I (+ Video)


Este miércoles ha sido aprobada la ley que hace efectiva la abdicación de Juan Carlos I, con la anuencia de 299 integrantes del Congreso de los Diputados, que está compuesto por 350 e hicieron uso del voto 341.

Salvo aislados casos, los representantes del PP y PSOE han cerrado filas en torno a la postura de respeto constitucional manifestada por el secretario general, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. Esos casos aislados han sido los Odón Elorza, quien se ha abstenido, y Guillem García, quien no ha participado en la votación.

Junto a los dos principales partidos han votado a favor UPyD, Unión del Pueblo Navarro y Foro Asturias.

La Izquierda Plural, ERC, el BNG, Compromís, Geroa Bai y Nueva Canarias se han posicionado en contra, mientras que los nacionalistas de CiU, PNV y Coalición Canaria se han abstenido.

Los siete representantes de Amaiur, que sí ha intervenido en el debate, han decidido ausentarse del hemiciclo antes de que los diputados tuviesen que comenzar a votar. De esta forma, la ley ha recibido 19 votos en contra y 23 abstenciones.

A petición de la Izquierda Plural y el Grupo Mixto, la votación se ha realizado por llamamiento individual y público, lo que significa que los parlamentarios han votado uno a uno y en voz alta desde su escaño.

Los diputados de los grupos que reclaman un referéndum sobre la monarquía han aprovechado la emisión de su voto para reivindicar la consulta. Así, los representantes de la Izquierda Plural han votado con distintas fórmulas, como “por más democracia voto no”, “por la democracia y la república voto no” y “no, por más democracia y libertad”. También los de ERC han usado frases del tipo “por la república catalana voto no”.

Estos grupos han sacado a relucir el tema del referéndum a lo largo de sus intervenciones previas, pero tanto el PP como el PSOE se han negado a debatir sobre ello y se han centrado en el proyecto de ley.

“La forma política de Estado no está en el orden del día de esta sesión”, ha sentenciado el presidente, Mariano Rajoy, al inicio de una sesión en la que se han podido ver carteles con el lema “Referéndum ya”, camisetas por “el derecho a decidir” y hasta la portada censurada de El Jueves.

Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, portavoz de CiU, ha sido uno de los más críticos y ha reprochado a las fuerzas mayoritarias que lleven tiempo, según sus palabras, excluyendo a Cataluña de la historia de España.

El proyecto de ley pasará ahora al Senado, donde será debatido y votado en un pleno previsto para el próximo 17 de junio, en esa ocasión de forma telemática.

Coincidiendo con este debate monográfico, la Coordinadora 25S ha convocado una concentración en Neptuno bajo el habitual lema ‘Rodea el Congreso’, cuyo objetivo era reclamar la abolición de la monarquía. A ella han acudido no más de 30 personas.

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Haití evalúa entrar como miembro pleno al ALBA


El presidente de Haití, Michell Martelly, anunció este miércoles a teleSUR que está evaluando la posibilidad de que su país ingrese a la Alianza Bolivariana para los pueblos de Nuestra América (ALBA) como miembro pleno y deje de ser un Estado observador. El mandatario ratificó la importancia de “trabajar” con los pueblos hermanos para la reconstrucción de la nación caribeña.

En declaraciones exclusivas para teleSUR, Martelly expresó que está interesado en ingresar al ALBA como miembro pleno, lo que significaría abandonar la posición de observador que ocupa desde el año 2007.La enviada especial de teleSUR a Puerto Príncipe (capital), Madeleín García, reportó además que al ser cuestionado sobre si esta decisión afectaría las relaciones de Haití con Estados Unidos, Martelly aseguró que no se trata de un asunto ideológico sino de reconstrucción de un país.

“Ellos son pueblos hermanos y vamos a trabajar con ellos”, afirmó el Gobernante. Las declaraciones del Martelly fueron dadas este miércoles, posterior a una rueda de prensa en la que el jefe del Estado haitiano anunció que gracias a ayuda de Canadá, se pordrá llevar a cabo la reubicación de 20 mil familias que viven en campamentos improvisados desde el terremoto del 2010.

(Con información de TeleSur)

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ALBA conmemorará en La Habana su décimo aniversario


El Consejo Político de la Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (Alba), integrado por los ministros de Exteriores de cada país miembro, se llevó a cabo este martes 10 de junio en Caracas, capital venezolana, para disertar sobre distintos temas de interés regional entre los que destacó el apoyo a la democracia y paz de Venezuela ante la injerencia internacional.

La reunión adoptó entre sus acuerdos el de realizar una Cumbre Conmemorativa del décimo aniversario del ALBA en la capital cubana el próximo 14 de diciembre.

Al concluir el XIII Consejo Político de la Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América-Tratado de Comercio de los Pueblos (Alba-TCP), el canciller Elías Jaua, hizo lectura de la declaración final.

En el manifiesto, los Cancilleres y delegados latinoamericanos se solidarizaron con el Estado ecuatoriano ante los intentos de extorsionar con fines políticos la sentencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH), sobre los derechos del pueblo de Sarayacu dictada el 27 de junio de 2002.

Reconocieron a San Vicente y Las Granadinas por su gestión al frente de la Caricom y desearon éxito a Antigua y Barbuda, país que asumirá la presidencia de la Comunidad del Caribe.

En la declaración final, también, reiteraron su apoyo a la República del Ecuador que presidirá la Celac en el año 2015 y será sede de la IV Cumbre de América del Sur África-Asa en el año 2016.

Resaltaron la importancia de que la República Bolivariana de Venezuela asuma la presidencia del Movimiento de Países No Alineados en el año 2015.

Saludaron la realización del encuentro internacional antimperialistade trabajadores que se realizará el 02 de julio del 2014, en la ciudad de Cochabamba (Bolivia).

Este encuentro internacional está organizado por la Federación Sindical Mundial y la central obrera boliviana, donde se ratificará la posición política de los trabajadores de los movimientos sociales contra el imperialismo y la defensa de los gobiernos progresistas de América Latina y el Caribe.

El Consejo Político de la Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América TCP acordó:

Impulsar la agenda política de coordinación entre el Alba – TCP y los movimientos sociales a través de reuniones periódicas y realizar la reunión del consejo de los movimientos sociales del Alba-TCP en noviembre de 2014 en el Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia.

Continuar avanzando en las negociaciones para la conclusión del tratado constitutivo del Alba – TCP.

Ratificar su compromiso con la construcción de la zona económica complementaria Alba – TCP – Petrocaribe como espacio de complementariedad económica productiva constituida por 21 países, en este sentido acordaron trabajar con fuerza para lograr la sustentabilidad de los programas y acciones sociales que han elevado el vivir bien de los pueblos y que ha sido el signo distintivo de Alba-TCP.

Decidieron convocar para el 27 de junio de 2014 la segunda conferencia sobre países afectados por las transnacionales en Caracas, Venezuela.

Asimismo, celebrarán una reunión de ministros de comunicación e información en julio de 2014, para acordar estrategias conjuntas en materia comunicacional contra la guerramediática.

Como parte de las acciones para conmemorar el décimo aniversario del Alba- TCP, una conferencia durante el periodo de sesiones de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas en New York sobre los logros del Alba-TCP.

Semana informativa y conmemorativa mundial entre el 15 y el 21 de noviembre de 2014 sobre los logros del Alba – TCP.

Realizarán la cumbre conmemorativa del décimo aniversario del Alba TCP en La Habana-Cuba el 14 de diciembre de 2014, como conmemoración de ese sueño hecho realidad de los Comandantes Fidel Castro y Hugo Chávez.

“En nombre del pueblo de Venezuela y del presidente Nicolás Maduro, nosotros queremos agradecer la solidaridad expresada respecto a Venezuela, al derecho del pueblo venezolano a vivir en paz y el rechazo a cualquier tipo de injerencia a nuestro país y las amenazas a la vida del presidente Nicolás Maduro”, sentenció el canciller venezolano, Elías Jaua.

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Gerardo Hernández: guilty as charged? Alan Gross: innocent as claimed?


 

Stephen Kimber

It should be easier to make a deal. A 65-year-old American USAID subcontractor named Alan Gross is serving 15 years in a Cuban prison for smuggling sophisticated telecommunications equipment into Cuba. Cuban officials say they’re prepared to discuss his fate without pre-conditions as a “humanitarian” gesture. But it is also clear they want to exchange him for the three members of their Cuban Five intelligence network still in prison in the United States.

There are precedents for such a swap.

In 2010, Washington acted quickly to trade 10 Russian deep-cover spies for four men the Russian government had imprisoned for “illegal contacts” with the West. There is also the example of Israel. In 2011, Israel freed more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to win the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas five years earlier.

And yet — even after a November 2013 letter signed by a bipartisan group of 66 Senators urging President Obama to “act expeditiously to take whatever steps are in the national interest to obtain [Gross’s] release,” — the U.S. Administration refuses to negotiate.

Why? Three words: Castro, Cuba, murder.

Even for those who can get past the first two, the third is often, understandably, a show-stopper.

In 2001, Gerardo Hernández, the leader of the Cuban Five, was charged and convicted of “conspiracy to commit murder” in connection with a 1996 shootdown of two civilian aircraft over the Florida Straits that resulted in the deaths of four men. He was sentenced to two life terms plus 15 years in prison.

How can the United States exchange a man convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for someone the State Department continues to insist did nothing wrong?

It’s worth unpacking both sides of that conventional wisdom.

Let’s start with the case of Gerardo Hernández.

The shootdown

On February 24, 1996, Cuban Air Force MiGs shot down two Brothers to the Rescue planes, killing the four civilians aboard.

The shootdown triggered not only an international incident between the two countries but also an outpouring of rage and demands for revenge from Miami’s Cuban-American exile community.

We can argue today whether the planes were in Cuban or international airspace when they were shot down. Or debate whether the shootdown was a reasonable response to Brothers’ provocation.

But none of those legitimate debates has anything to do with the central issue: What role, if any, did Gerardo Hernández play in the shootdown of the planes? Could he have known in advance the Cuban military was planning to shoot down the aircraft? Would he have had any control over, influence on, or role in the Cuban military’s plan to bring down the planes?

Hernández and the shoot down

During much of the time leading up to the shootdown (from October 1995 to January 26, 1996), Gerardo Hernández was on vacation in Cuba. Another agent, identified in trial documents as Manny Ruiz, took his place and remained in Miami until at least mid-March 1996. Ruiz, a major and Hernández’s superior in the Cuban intelligence command structure, controlled the decoding program required to communicate directly with their bosses in Havana until after March 14, 1996 — 17 days after the shootdown.

On January 29, 1996, Havana sent a high frequency message to Ruiz: “Superior headquarters,” it said, “approved Operation Scorpion in order to perfect the confrontation of counter-revolutionary actions of Brothers to the Rescue.” The message said Havana needed to know “without a doubt” when Brothers leader José Basulto was flying and “whether or not activity of dropping of leaflets or violation of air space.”

Although prosecutors would later claim these documents showed Hernández played a role in Operation Scorpion — the basis of the conspiracy to commit murder charge — the documents clearly show this message was addressed to Ruiz, not Hernández.

Two weeks later, on February 12, a second message concerning Operation Scorpion was sent to field agent René González and signed using the code names for both Ruiz and Hernández. Hernández says he “did not write or send the message of February 12.”

There are a number of reasons to believe him. For starters, the message adopts almost precisely the same wording as the January 29 message, including repeating two errors Ruiz might not have caught but Hernández surely would.

The message cryptically instructed González to “find excuse not to fly” on future Brothers missions. The reality was that González had stopped flying with Brothers more than two years earlier. Hernández would have known that.

The message also referred to González as Iselin, one of his two code names, but one which Hernández did not use in any of his other messages to him.

And what did “perfect the confrontation” mean? Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch — in her 2008 dissent from a decision of the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals — pointed out: “There are many ways a country could ‘confront’ foreign aircraft. Forced landings, warning shots, and forced escorted journeys out of a country’s territorial airspace are among them — as are shoot downs.”

Would Cuban State Security have told Hernández in advance it planned to shoot down the planes? That’s highly unlikely. Cuban intelligence is incredibly compartmentalized; information is shared on a need-to-know basis only. Hernández, a mid-level field intelligence agent, would have had no need to know.

During this time, Hernández did have other important mission responsibilities. He was in charge of Operation Venecia, an unrelated plan to help another agent inside Brothers, Juan Pablo Roque, to re-defect back to Cuba. Operation Venecia was successful — Roque flew out of Miami on February 23, 1996.

On March 1, the Cuban Intelligence Directorate sent a message of congratulation to its agents in Miami: “Everything turned out well,” it said. “The commander in chief visited [Roque] twice, being able to exchange the details of the operation. We have dealt the Miami right a hard blow, in which your role has been decisive.”

The message did not refer to either Operation Scorpion or Operation Venecia. Instead it offered “our profound recognition” for Operation German. Based on the context of the message and the fact that Roque’s code name was “German,” it seems clear this message refers to Roque’s defection. During the trial, however, prosecutors argued the message congratulated Hernández for his role in the shootdown.

Prosecutors also claimed Hernández’s promotion to Captain in Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior on June 6, 1996, represented another acknowledgment of his key role in the shootdown. But June 6 is the anniversary of the founding of Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior, the date on which routine long-service promotions are granted to qualifying MININT employees. Having completed four years as lieutenant, Hernández had automatically been promoted.

As Judge Kravitch concluded in her appeal dissent, prosecutors “presented no evidence” to link Hernández to the shootdown. “I cannot say that a reasonable jury — given all the evidence — could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Hernández agreed to a shoot down.”

The charge

Which brings us to the issue of why prosecutors decided to charge Hernández with conspiracy to commit murder. It was not one of the original charges laid after the Cuban agents were arrested on September 12, 1998. Prosecutors only added it seven months later, on May 7, 1999.

Why the delay?

FBI agents had penetrated the Cuban network as early as December of 1996, and decrypted and translated the relevant messages well before the arrests.

There are several possible explanations for the decision to escalate the case by tacking on the murder charge.

  • Although prosecutors in 1998 boasted the FBI broke a “very sophisticated” spy ring, journalists and commentators quickly focused on just how unsophisticated the operation seemed. Critics had begun to dismiss the case as “second-rate.” That changed, of course, as soon as the murder charge was added.
  • The FBI was under fire from exile leaders in Miami for failing to charge anyone in connection with the shootdown. Soon after the 1998 arrests, Congressman Lincoln Díaz-Balart called on the Clinton administration to charge the arrested agents “for the murder of four members of Brothers to the Rescue” — even though no evidence then connected them to the incident.

The trial

The conspiracy to commit murder charge became the central focus of the seven-month trial.

Did the prosecution present a compelling case?

Theydidn’t believe so. At the conclusion of the trial, they filed a last-minute emergency petition to prevent the jurors from voting on the murder count. During her instructions to the jury, Judge Joan Lenard had outlined the level of proof required to convict Hernández of conspiracy to murder. In a petition to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal on May 25, 2001, the prosecutors threw up their hands. “In light of the evidence presented in this trial,” the petition declared, the judge’s instruction “presents an insurmountable hurdle for the United States in this case, and will likely result in the failure of the prosecution.”

The Appeal Court rejected their petition, but the jury convicted the Five on every single count, including conspiracy to murder.

The jury

Which brings us to the jury, and the political climate in Miami at the time of the trial.

There is a traditional hostility among Miami’s exile community to anyone associated with the Castro government. But the climate was even more toxic in the lead-up to the trial:

  • Elian González, a Cuban boy, had washed up on Florida’s shores in November 1999. After an emotional and legal tug of war between his father in Cuba and his extended family in Miami, he was returned to his family in Cuba, ratcheting up the anger toward Cuba among many in Miami.
  • Although much of the Miami media would have been reflexively anti-Cuban in the best of circumstances, we now know some virulently anti-Cuban journalists and commentators, including some who wrote about the case before and during the trial, were secretly paid thousands of dollars by the U.S. Government through the Board of Broadcast Governors.
  • There was still anger and frustration among many in Miami because no one had been charged for the shootdown of the planes two years before, with some officials suggesting indicting Fidel Castro; Gerardo Hernández, it is fair to suggest, became the best available substitute.

Before and during the trial, the defence applied for a change of venue because of the climate of hostility in Miami. Those requests were all turned down.

In the years since their convictions, however, a number of respected international organizations have raised questions about whether the accused got a fair trial.

Amnesty International, in a 2010 report concluded: “A central, underlying concern relates to the fairness of holding the trial in Miami, given the pervasive community hostility toward the Cuban government in the area and media and other events which took place before and during the trial. There is evidence to suggest that these factors made it impossible to ensure a wholly impartial jury.”

Added the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in a 2005 report: “The climate of bias and prejudice against the accused in Miami persisted and helped to present the accused as guilty from the beginning. ”

Amnesty International also questioned “the strength of the evidence on which Gerardo Hernández was convicted of conspiracy to murder… [Amnesty] believes that there are questions as to whether the government discharged its burden of proof that Hernández planned a shoot-down of BTTR planes in international airspace, and thus within US jurisdiction, which was a necessary element of the charge against him.”

To repeat, once again, the opinion of Judge Kravitch, prosecutors “presented no evidence” to link Hernández to the shootdown. “I cannot say that a reasonable jury — given all the evidence — could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Hernández agreed to a shoot down.”

The case of Alan Gross

If it’s obvious the case against Gerardo Hernández is not as clear cut as the State Department would have us believe, neither is the case for Alan Gross.

On December 3, 2009, Cuban authorities arrested Gross and later charged him with “acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state.” He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Although the State Department continues to describe him as a humanitarian do-gooder attempting to help Cuba’s small Jewish community connect to the Internet, the facts are more complex.

Cuba’s 1,500-member Jewish community has generally good relations with the island’s government. And they already had Internet connections. As the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a global Jewish news service, would report later: “the main Jewish groups in Cuba denied having any contracts with Alan Gross or any knowledge of his project.”

In 2008, Gross had signed a one-year deal with Development Associates International, a USAID-connected firm, to import communications equipment into Cuba, set up three WiFi hot spots — one each in Havana, Camaguey and Santiago — and train Cubans to use them. He was paid $258,264.

That equipment included BGANS (Broadband Global Network Systems, which function as a satellite phone bypassing the local phone system and can also provide Internet signals and be used to establish its own WiFi hotspot, allowing it to operate undetected by government servers) and at least one specialized sophisticated SIM card, capable of preventing satellite phone transmissions from being detected within 400 kilometres. Such SIM cards are not available for general sale in the U.S. and are most frequently used by the CIA and the Defense Department.Despite U.S. travel restrictions, Gross made five visits to Cuba in 2009 alone. He never informed Cuba of his mission, and invariably flew into the country on a tourist visa. To smuggle his equipment into the country without arousing suspicion, Gross sometimes used unsuspecting members of religious groups as “mules.”

In December 2009, Gross had been scheduled to deliver a BGANS device to a Havana university professor who’d been using a similar U.S.-supplied device to send information on “the Cuban situation” to his handlers in the United States. He was actually a double agent working for Cuban State Security. Gross was arrested.

When Cuban authorities arrested Gross, they uncovered a treasure trove of reports back to his bosses in Washington in which he acknowledged the dangerous nature of the work he was doing. “This is very risky business in no uncertain terms,” he wrote at one point, adding that “detection of satellite signals would be catastrophic.”

Conclusion

So if Alan Gross is not quite as innocent as claimed, and Gerardo Hernández is not as guilty as judged, where does that leave us?

The truth is that — whatever their violations of the laws of the countries in which the two men were arrested — both Alan Gross and Gerardo Hernández are two more human victims of more than 50 years of failed American policy toward Cuba.

Their continued incarcerations represent — for both sides — a major impediment to improving relations between the two countries.

The Cuban government has expressed a willingness to discuss Alan Gross’s fate without pre-conditions. It is past time for the United States, which is ultimately responsible for Alan Gross’s failed mission in Cuba, to do the same.

http://stephenkimber.com/gerardo-hernandez-guilty-as-charged-alan-gross-innocent-as-claimed/

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The Innocence of Gerardo


 

By Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada

The meeting in London of the Commission of Inquiry on the case of the Cuban Five examined in depth the specific situation of Gerardo Hernández Nordeloand the infamous charge (Count 3 “conspiracy to commit murder”) lodged only against him. It forms the basis of his sentence, in which he must die two times in prison. He is falsely accused of having participated in the shoot-down of the two planes of the terrorist group that calls itself  “Brothers to the Rescue.”

From a legal point of view, for it to have standing in a United States court, the deed in question had have had to occur in international airspace, outside of Cuban jurisdiction. Otherwise, no court of the United States would have been able to take it up.

That is why in the Miami trial the exact location of the incident was discussed at length, repeating what had taken place before in the Security Council of the United Nations and in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In those discussions, the contradictions between the Cuban radar and those of the United States arose continuously. There is certainly a great deal to write about the U.S. data, for example, the delay of several months in handing it over, which forced a delay in the work of the ICAO and the suspicious destruction of some records, all of which is stated in the ICAO report.

In order to try to resolve the discrepancy in the radars, the ICAO asked the United States to submit the images from its space satellites, a request that was rejected in 1996. Washington also refused to permit the Miami Court to view them. For a long time now it has been opposing the repeated requests by the Center for Constitutional Law and Human Rights of California and has litigated in the Courts of that State in its effort to keep the images from being seen. Soon it will be 20 years of obstinate censorship.

Only the United States has been able to examine what its satellites filmed, but no one else is permitted to see them. Not the UN Security Council, nor the ICAO, nor the United States courts. Why?

There is only one answer. Washington knows that the incident occurred inside Cuba’s territorial waters, very close to the Havana coast and consequently, it never had legal jurisdiction over it. Since the satellite images are irrefutable proof of the Yankee lie nobody but the United States authorities will ever be able to see them.

But the issue is not whether the satellite images exonerate Gerardo. They were not necessary because to convict him the Prosecution had to prove that he personally participated in the incident, something totally absurd, impossible to sustain regardless of where the shoot-down of the invading planes occurred. That problem was and is for Washington.

A problem, because the images prove that the United States, its authorities and its courts had no right whatsoever to try an incident that took place outside its territorial jurisdiction. It should be pointed out, that according to the U.S. radars, the planes flew together the whole time in a southerly direction and at least one of them, according to the U.S.’s own version, had penetrated Cuban territory. Indeed, if one accepts the United States theory about the planes’ location, they were in the vicinity of the Cuban capital, very close to its most central and populous part. In a few minutes they would have flown over it and would have been able to cross the island to the southern coast.

This did not take place near the United States airspace, rather it was far below the 24th Parallel which demarcates the zones of aerial supervision of both countries. It was there, within the area under Cuban control where a good part of the flight transpired, southward toward Havana and ignoring the indications and warnings issued by the Air Traffic Control Center of our country.

In any case, Gerardo had absolutely nothing to do with the deed, no matter where it occurred. And the United States authorities knew that perfectly well.

According to the Indictment of September 1998, the FBI had identified Gerardo and knew the mission he was carrying out. From 1994 on they were viewing his communications with Cuba, more than two years before that incident which grievously affected the situation between both countries.

The mobs of the Batista-terrorist mafia called then for war in the streets of Miami. Meanwhile, according to what President Clinton wrote in his Memoirs, the White House was discussing a possible bombardment of Cuba. He opted to promote the Helms-Burton law, accompanied by bellicose threats. Can anyone believe that they would not act against Gerardo if he had been involved? They did nothing precisely because his innocence was clear to them.

It is also the reason they did not charge him when he was arrested together with his comrades in September 1998. In the initial indictment not one word is said about the event of February 24, 1996, nor is anything said about the plane shoot-down or related issues. They did not do that because the FBI, which possessed and had read the messages between Gerardo and Havana, knew he was innocent.

Count 3 (“conspiracy to commit murder”) was drawn up only against Gerardo. It was more than seven months after the arrest of the Cuban Five, when they were in solitary confinement — the infamous “Hole” — isolated from the world and where it was impossible to defend themselves. To that end the Prosecution presented a Second Superseding Indictment that — as the Miami press described it — was created in meetings openly carried out by the FBI, the Prosecution and the leaders of the terrorist groups.

It was an arbitrary accusation, fabricated top to bottom, with the sole objective of satisfying the criminals, inflaming the hatred against Gerardo and his comrades and guaranteeing beforehand the worst, most illegal and irrational convictions. Count 3 was the focus of the lawless and vulgar media campaign, promoted and financed by the Federal Government. Like a tsunami of lies, it slammed a defenseless community paralyzed by terror. It was five articles per day in the print newspapers, endless commentaries day and night on radio and local television, creating what the panel of judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005 characterized as a “perfect storm” of hatred, prejudice and hostility.

A major part of the trial centered on Count 3. Inside and outside the courtroom, individuals linked to “Brothers to the Rescue” agitated and made strident statements that the local media amplified. They and the U.S.-paid “journalists” persecuted and besieged the members of the jury who complained to the judge. She, for her part, several times also complained to the Government, of course, to no avail.

In the courtroom, despite all this, the baseless lie of the Prosecution was defeated. The accusers, who were so effectively promoting hatred and prejudice against him, were unable to present one single proof to connect Gerardo to the events of February 24. Not a thing.

So overwhelming and obvious was its defeat that the Government did something highly unusual. At the end of the discussions, when the judge was about to issue her instructions to guide the jury in its verdict deliberations, the prosecutors objected, surprisingly, to the text that the Judge had prepared, which reflected the Indictment word for word. They proposed changing it radically. The Judge, for good reason, did not accept the request, asserting that they had spent seven months discussing the prosecution’s indictment and it was much too late to modify it. That same day the Prosecution rushed to do something even more unusual: In an action that it acknowledged was “unprecedented,” the Prosecution appealed to the Court of Appeals with an “emergency writ of prohibition,” seeking to overturn the decision of the trial court as well as postpone the trial.

In the strange document the Prosecution maintained that “In light of the evidence presented in this trial, this [the instruction given by the judge] presents an insurmountable hurdle for the United States in this case, and will likely result in the failure of the prosecution on this count.”

It should be emphasized that, according to the universal principle of Law, a person is innocent unless and until proven otherwise and it is the obligation of the accuser to present the necessary proof or evidence to show the guilt of the accused. The Prosecution certainly faced “an insurmountable obstacle” for the simple reason that it could not show any proof against Gerardo, merely because it does not exist, nor can it exist. They lacked any evidence against him and worse still, they knew — since they possessed all his communiqués of several years with Havana, including the years before the planes’ incident —that he had had no relation whatsoever with that deed. In other words, when the Prosecution issued its Second Superseding Indictment, it was fully aware that it was accusing an innocent man and consequently was perverting justice in an unpardonable and gross manner.

Count 3 was a grave violation of the Constitution and law and also the legal and professional duty of the prosecutors. They worked hand in hand with the FBI of Miami as agents and accomplices of a terrorist mafia whom they should be combating, when in reality they were at their service with a scandalous subservience.

The Court of Appeals did not accept the late petition of the Prosecution and from that point on, developments occurred that would be surprising if we were dealing with a case which from beginning to end, has been and is an enormous mockery of justice.

Very quickly, without expressing any doubts, without asking any questions, in a few hours the Jury declared the Cuban Five guilty of each and every one of the Charges lodged against them, including Count 3. It did not matter to them that regarding Count 3 the Prosecution had admitted its failure and persisted in trying to get it withdrawn.

Upon the trial’s conclusion in the first week of June 2001, the Judge announced that she would impose the sentences in mid-September. The abominable terrorist act on the 11th of that same month and year apparently made her change her mind. Neither she nor the Government would feel comfortable brutally punishing anti-terrorist heroes while W. Bush joyfully and with great fanfare launched his “war on terrorism” throughout the planet. They would wait three months.

Finally, on December 14, 2001, Gerardo was sentenced to two life sentences plus 15 years.

Everyone in the Courtroom knew they were punishing an innocent man.

 

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Recibe la Aduana Ciego de Ávila respuesta a carta enviada a los 5 héroes


Misleydis Díaz Gopa
5 Junio 2014 – 4:45pm

Recibe la Aduana Ciego de Ávila respuesta a carta enviada a los 5 héroes

 La aduana Ciego de Ávila en conmemoración al 51 aniversario de la Aduana Socialista se propuso como tarea enviar una carta a los 5 héroes prisioneros del imperio en nombre de los trabajadores de esta unidad. La misiva le fue  entregada al compañero Irineo Socarrás (El avileño que mantiene comunicación sistemática con los  5 hérores), Hoy recibimos con orgullo la respuesta que nos enviara Tony a través de Ireneo. Se realizó un vespertino con todos los trabajadores de la unidad para dar lectura a la carta recibida y así continuar desde nuestra trinchera la lucha por el regreso de nuestros hermanos injustamente prisioneros. Primeramente queremos compartir el contenido integro de nuestra misiva con todos los trabajadores del sistema de  órganos aduaneros, así como la respuesta a la misma por parte de uno de nuestros héroes.
Ciego de Ávila, 5 de Febrero de 2014
¨ Año 56 del triunfo de la Revolución ¨
Queridos Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio y Fernando.
Cada día crece y se multiplica el cariño y respeto de nuestro pueblo hacia ustedes.
El ejemplo que han trasladado a todas las generaciones de cubanos ha permitido que crezca  entre nosotros el repudio hacia el enemigo brutal que los ha mantenido encerrado de manera cruel.
Sabemos que ustedes han resistido y resistirán, mientra nosotros seguimos uniendo voluntades y encontrando amigos que nos apoyan para que más temprano que tarde regresen a su patria. 
Los trabajadores de la Aduana Socialista de Ciego de Ávila, aprovechamos para abrazarles y repetimos junto a ustedes la frase que pronunciara Máximo Gómez en nuestras tierras:
¨ El enemigo es fuerte y tenaz ,  el día que no haya combate será un día perdido o mal empleado¨
Un abrazo a los   5
Hasta la Victoria Siempre,
Colectivo de trabajadores de la Aduana Ciego de Ávila
Respuesta:
ANTONIO GUERRERO (58741004)
22/05/2014 11:07:14 a.m.
RE: Nueva carta de Ireneo
Querido Hermano Ireneo
Gilda y Julián, como siempre, me han hecho llegar tu carta del pasado 15 de mayo, junto a las decimas, buenas y certeras, que son tan parte de ti.
Ayer me llego un paquete que me enviaste.
Trae cartas tuyas para mi del 7/12/2013, 8/1/2014 y dos del 5/2/2014, una de estas últimas de puño y letra.
Además me ofreces tus intercambios con los amigos venezolanos Michel Maloum y José Luis Moronta; así como con tu amiga de España. Elida López Fernández. Todo ello con tus inseparables espinelas.
Muy especial es la carta que me enviaron los compañeros del Colectivo de trabajadores de la Aduana, fechada 5 de febrero de 2014.
Leí con interés tu carta a Yoanka Rodríguez Núñez, Presidenta del ICAP y tus versos titulados La América Nuestra.
Gracias por todo.
Por acá, seguimos en la pelea, en medio de tareítas que se multiplican pero son razones que nos hacen sentir útiles y libres.
Siempre optimistas y firmes, te confirmo que “nos veremos por allá”.
Un saludo a los compañeros de la Aduana, a tu familia y a todos los avileños.
Escribo poco, pero te llevo conmigo siempre.
Cinco abrazos fuertes.
Tony Guerrero
22 de mayo de 2014

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Denuncian silencio de la gran prensa sobre caso de héroes cubanos


AIN
6 Junio 2014 – 10:45am

Denuncian silencio de la gran prensa sobre caso de héroes cubanos. Afirma René que jornada en Washington confirma crecimiento de la solidaridad

Publicado en 5 junio, 2014de 

Parlamentarios, políticos, artistas, y activistas sociales de más de 40 países, denunciaron el silenciamiento que tiene en EE.UU. la causa de los Cinco Héroes cubanos, encarcelados en esas tierras por combatir el terrorismo.
La apertura de la III Jornada de denuncia y solidaridad Cinco días por los Cinco, que se inició en Washington, resultó un reclamo al gobierno norteamericano de un cambio en su política hacia Cuba, que debería empezar solucionando el caso de estos luchadores, refiere una nota del Comité Internacional por la Libertad de Los Cinco.
La indiferencia y tergiversación de los hechos por los medios de comunicación estadounidenses más influyentes también fue blanco de los primeros conferencistas, en esa ciudad, donde pormenorizaron en el Club Nacional de Prensa la situación actual de Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino y Antonio Guerrero, aún en cárceles del imperio.
Numerosas redes sociales subrayan el interés que la III Jornada ha suscitado en la ciudadanía de la capital norteamericana, en la que tiene lugar lo que ha sido considerado el más importante evento organizado a favor de Los Cinco.
En intercambio con la AIN, el Héroe René González, quien junto a su compatriota Fernando González ya se encuentra en Cuba -ambos luego de cumplir totalmente sus condenas-, afirmó que la jornada demuestra gran cohesión y un sentido de solidaridad que va creciendo.
Hoy todos esos esfuerzos deben volcarse en Washington ahora, donde tanto se ha silenciado la verdad de Los Cinco; es el momento de ejercer presión para que el gobierno norteamericano preste oídos a los reclamos del mundo, dijo.
Este jueves se abrirán los paneles referidos a la historia del terrorismo contra Cuba, perspectivas de las relaciones entre ambas naciones, los escándalos de los programas de la Agencia de Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID), y el intercambio cultural bajo la presidencia de Barack Obama. (AIN)

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Celebran cumpleaños de Gerardo Hernández y Ramón Labañino


Rolando Silven Laffita
6 Junio 2014 – 11:00am

Celebran cumpleaños de Gerardo Hernández y Ramón Labañino

Publicado en 5 junio, 2014de 

La Habana.- Con la intención de que llegue a sus celdas enEE.UU. la buena energía del pueblo cubano, niños, jóvenes, amigos y familiares de los Cinco Héroes, celebraron este cuatro de junio el cumpleaños de dos de estos luchadores antiterroristas: Gerardo Hernández y Ramón Labañino.
En el Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos, en un clima alegre y también nostálgico, la compañía infantil La Colmenita actuó para quienes decidieron evocar en esta jornada las causas nobles por las que los luchadores cumplen injustas condenas.
Junto a diversos mensajes de solidaridad llegados de varios lugares del mundo, especial repercusión tuvieron el del propio Gerardo y su compatriota de lucha, también encarcelado, Antonio Guerrero, ambos convencidos de la importancia de defender en momentos como estos la alegría.
A través de una llamada telefónica a sus familiares, Gerardo manifestó su entusiasmo al conocer que festejaban su cumpleaños junto a “La Colmenita”, por la que él y su esposa Adriana Pérez sienten una gran admiración.
En la misiva de Tony, este recordó que de Ramón y Gerardo emana una fuerza incontenible, y que de ellos siempre recuerda la alegría que los acompañó en los momentos más difíciles, aun cuando la injusticia parecía acabar con todo.
René González, uno de Los Cinco, quien ya se encuentra en Cuba, comentó a la prensa que este cuatro de junio, en que Gerardo cumple 49 años, y el próximo lunes, cuando Ramón arribe a los 51, muchos gestos de solidaridad se generarán en el mundo, lo cual es un gran regalo, dijo.
Respecto a la III Jornada Cinco días por los Cinco en Washington, que comenzó este miércoles, refirió que se trata del evento por los Cinco más importante del año, y quizá sea el más efectivo de las campañas realizadas, a partir de que involucra un sinnúmero de personalidades e importantes activistas.
Es un regalo de cumpleaños, es una obligación con ellos, es lo menos que podemos hacer por estos hombres que durante mucho tiempo arriesgaron sus vidas para que niños como los que están aquí ahora sean felices, dijo. (Rolando Silven Laffita)

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5 X los 5 en el ICAP de Granma


Noemi Rabaza Fernández
6 Junio 2014 – 11:00am

Como cada día cinco, en reclamo de LIBERTAD para nuestros luchadores antiterroristas: Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino y Antonio Guerrero, nos reunimos una vez más en el patio de la sede del Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos en Granma, en nuestro habitual espacio “5 por Los Cinco”, que este mes unió su voz a la de miles de amigos de todo el mundo, quienes protagonizan en Washington DC la Tercera Jornada de Denuncia y Solidaridad “Cinco días de acciones por Los Cinco”.
Jóvenes, estudiantes, trabajadores, combatientes, juristas, artistas, trabajadores del ICAP y pueblo en general, se dieron cita en este fraternal encuentro, para manifestar su apoyo a la importantísima Jornada, que desde este miércoles ha convertido a la capital de los Estados Unidos en el epicentro del Movimiento Internacional que apoya la justa causa de Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando y René.
Con la participación especial del amigo chileno Juan Ñanculef Huaiquinao, profesor e investigador de la cultura Mapuche, y su esposa, levantamos nuestras voces para exigir que se les haga Justicia a Gerardo, Ramón y Antonio, y también a sus hermanos de lucha, Fernando González y René González, quienes felizmente se encuentran hoy en Cuba, pero no debemos olvidar que cumplieron hasta el último minuto sus injustas y arbitrarias condenas.
También recordamos que esta Jornada “Cinco días de acciones por Los Cinco”, comenzó en una fecha de especial significación, pues este cuatro de junio el Héroe de la República de Cuba, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, arribó a su cumpleaños número 49; y ¿qué mejor manera de festejarlo que exigiendo su inmediata liberación? ¿Qué mejor forma de agasajar a Gera que peleando sin descanso por su derecho a vivir, y a regresar a su país junto a aquellos que lo aman y a su pueblo?
Artistas y participantes recordamos igualmente que, junto a los cumpleaños de Gerardo y Ramón, junio trae otra fecha muy especial: el Día de los Padres; fecha en la cual debemos recordar que durante más de 15 años, CINCO padres, tíos, hermanos, cinco amigos, han estado ausentes a la celebración. Ese día, debemos tener presente que ni Ramón ni Tony podrán ser abrazados por sus hijos; y que por otro año más, a Gerardo se le escapa el sueño de ser Padre.
Recordemos ese Día, que como consecuencia de sus injustas condenas, aunque ya están en Cuba, René no podrá regocijarse en la mutua felicitación con su padre, ni con su hermano; y Fernando perdió para siempre la posibilidad de tener hijos con su amada Rosa Aurora.

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Premios Nobel envían mensaje a jornada por los Cinco en Washington


Redaccion Internacional Granma
6 Junio 2014 – 11:15am

Premios Nobel envían mensaje a jornada por los Cinco en Washington
Los premios Nobel Rigoberta Menchú, de Gua­temala, y Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, de Argentina, enviaron mensajes de apo­yo a la III Jornada Cinco días por los Cinco

Autor:  | internacionales@granma.cu

6 de junio de 2014 00:06:29

Al encuentro concurren personas de casi 30 países. Foto: Internet

WASHINGTON.— Los premios Nobel Rigoberta Menchú, de Gua­temala, y Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, de Argentina, enviaron mensajes de apo­yo a la III Jornada Cinco días por los Cinco, que se celebra en la capital estadounidense.
Esos textos, así como el del teólogo brasileño Frei Betto, fueron leídos este jueves poco antes del inicio de la conferencia Nueva Era en las Relaciones Estados Unidos-Cuba, que sesionará hasta este viernes.
“Más de 250 personas están reunidas ahora mismo aquí”, explicó vía telefónica a Prensa Latina desde la capital norteamericana, Alicia Jrapko, coordinadora del Comité Inter­na­cio­nal por la Libertad de los Cinco.
Jrapko reseñó que ya se incorporaron a la jornada los parlamentarios procedentes de El Salvador, Ecuador y República Dominicana, y se espera el arribo próximamente de las representaciones, entre otras, de Argentina y Brasil.
Comentó que se unió a la lista de personalidades asistentes “el patriota puertorriqueño Rafael Cancel Mi­ran­da” y además es notable la presencia de varios abogados, así como de sindicalistas de Reino Unido, Australia y de Estados Unidos.
“Hay una enorme solidaridad de todas partes del mundo” subrayó Jrapko al especificar que  al encuentro concurren personas provenientes de casi 30 países, entre las que resaltan las regiones de América Latina y el Ca- ribe, sobre todo el cono Sur, y los que han venido desde Canadá.
Del propio territorio estadounidense “hay una buena representación”, desde el punto de vista geográfico, añadió.
Mientras, en cerca de 42 países se reportan acciones de respaldo a la III Jornada.

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Mensaje de Tony del 30/5 “Rectificando un error”


Antonio Guerrero
6 Junio 2014 – 11:30am

ANTONIO GUERRERO (58741004)
30/05/2014 04:51:42 p.m.
RECTIFICANDO UN ERROR
Queridos amigos
Ahora que vuelvo a leer mis líneas sobre la partida de ajedrez con los estudiantes de la Universidad de Camagüey me percato que cometí un grave error cuando hable del comentario de Ernestico a la extraordinaria jugada que encontró y le dio la victoria a las PIEZAS NEGRAS, NO A LAS BLANCAS. Se que ese error que cometí en mi redacción puede causar tremendo enredo (mas allá de saber leer la partida de ajedrez) para entender el desenlace, que fue la victoria de los estudiantes, grupo del cual Ernestico forma parte, quienes, reitero, conducían las PIEZAS NEGRAS.
Un fuerte abrazo.
Tony

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Mensaje de Tony del 5/6 “Mensaje a la III Jornada en Washington”


Antonio Rodriguez
6 Junio 2014 – 11:30am

ANTONIO GUERRERO (58741004)
05/06/2014 09:50:38 a.m.
MENSAJE A LA III JORNADA EN WASHINGTON
Queridos amigos que participan y apoyan en muchos lugares del mundo la III Jornada Internacional por nuestra libertad en Washington
Meditando sobre que decirles en un breve mensaje que pudiera abarcar el infinito agradecimiento que sentimos los cinco por su apoyo y el eterno aprecio por su amistad fiel, me vino a la mente un poema que escribí hace mas de 15 anos, el 28 de febrero de 1999, aislado en una celda del llamado “hueco”.

Mis versos se titulan FIEL AMIGO

Cuanto aliento, fiel amigo,
me dan tu canto y tu fe
para que respuesta de
a cada embate enemigo.

Cuanto vuelo, fiel amigo,
con tus alas yo levanto
y subo tan alto, tanto,
que tocar el sol consigo.

Cuanto valor, fiel amigo,
derramas por la espesura,’
en el mar o en la ventura
yo puedo contar contigo.

Cuanta bondad, fiel amigo,
hay en tu odio a la guerra,
de tu cuidado a la tierra
soy partidario y testigo.

Cuanto amor, mi fiel amigo,
de tu amor pongo en mi pecho
para entregar sin despecho
un grano, a todos, de trigo.

Este poema estaba inspirado y dedicado a aquellos primeros amigos que comenzaron a escribirme tras nuestro arresto. Eran personas que me habían conocido en Key West, compañeros de trabajo algunos, otros los familiares de Maggie y amistades que había hecho en diferentes lugares de este país. Cada carta de ellos era un rayo de luz y de esperanza. Ni nosotros ni ellos pensamos nunca que se cometería tal colosal injusticia. Ni nosotros ni ellos imaginamos que aquellos fieles amigos se multiplicarían por cientos, por miles, para llegar a ser una inmensa ola de solidaridad que, tras 15 años y medio de injusto encarcelamiento, reclama con pujante fuerza nuestra libertad, dándonos cada día su canto, su fe, su valentía y su amor.
Hoy, ciertamente, podría escribir también estos versos.
Hoy, fieles amigos, les volvemos a decir gracias, los llevamos en nuestros corazones.
Éxitos en todas las actividades de la Jornada.
!Venceremos!
Cinco abrazos fuertes.
En nombre de los cinco,
Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez
5 de junio de 2014
Prisión Federal de Marianna.

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ZunZuneo: El “twitter” del gobierno de EEUU para la subversión en Cuba


ZunZuneo: El “twitter” del gobierno de EEUU para la subversión en Cuba.

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Photographs of Fidel Castro at Argentinean Book Fair


fidelHAVANA, Cuba, Apr 28 (acn) A compilation of photos of Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro is part of the Cuban samples to the International Book Fair in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The photographic compilation includes images taken by photographers Osvaldo Salas, Liborio Noval, Roberto Salas, Pablo Caballero and Alex Castro.

The fair, running till May 12, Cuban intellectuals will pay tribute to outstanding poetess Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda. The event is being attended by 10 thousand professionals from several countries.

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Cuban Website Warns About New US War Strategies


eeuu banderaHavana, Apr 10 (Prensa Latina) The people should be aware of and prepared to face the US war strategies, as the non-conventional war, according to an article published today by the Cuban website Cubahora.

Cuban Journalist Norelys Morales Aguilera siad that while Washington is forced to reduce its funds for the Pentagon, it increases to unprecedented levels the resources for the Special Operation Forces (SOF), which work in tight cooperation with intelligence agencies.

That is the new war of president Barack Obama, with its Smart Power and the Soft Power, with the participation of foundations and including financing, equipment, training, mercenaries, manipulation, sophisticated espionage and great pressure by the media, the article said.

The article also says the objective is to undermine the foundations of the legitimate Governments that do not yield to the interests of the White House, as shown by the SOF Training Circular 18-01, published in November, 2010, entitled “The Non-Conventional War.”

The text makes reference to the role of groups and non-governmental organizations as Open Society, of George Soros, Freedom House and the Institution Albert Einstein, of Gene Sharp, sponsored by US Government entities in the so-called Color Revolutions in Europe.

The mentioned US Army circular synthesizes the US military experiences and mentions countries where it carried out operations with minimum participation to put pressure on an adversary: the Baltic States (Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia), Guatemala, Albania, Tibet, Indonesia, Cuba, North Vietnam, Afghanistan or Nicaragua.

As part of those US destabilizing efforts, through the International Aid Agency (USAID), it implemented an illegal secret platform in 2009, called ZunZuneo, to boost a Cuban Twitter and manipulate sectors of the population, with political messages.

Cuban President Raul Castro denounced recently the new forms of aggression applied in countries as Ukraine and Venezuela. The head of State warned about plans to apply the non-conventional war against Cuba, especially to influence young people.

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Modificado el ( jueves, 10 de abril de 2014 )

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Sandra Levinson, Executive Director of the Center for Cuban Studies in New York, Sends a Letter to Obama


sandra_levinson_0SANDRA LEVINSON is the President and Executive Director of the Center for Cuban Studies, and was one of the Center’s founders in 1972. In 1991 Levinson spearheaded a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department which resulted in legalizing the importation of original Cuban art.  She is currently directing works at the Cuban Art Space, which she founded in 1999, to properly house and archive the thousands of posters, photographs and artworks which the Center has collected in the past 42 years. The Center collection consists of more than 3,000 works of art, 2,000 photographs and 5,000 posters and the Art Space shows art exclusively from Cuban artists. It also sponsors talks, film showings, performances, and serves as an arena for visiting artists and writers from Cuba. In 2004 Levinson was awarded the José Maria Heredia Medal in Santiago de Cuba, that city’s most important cultural award, for her dedication to the city’s artists. Earlier, she was given Cuba’s Friendship Medal from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples.
 
 
April 5, 2014
President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear President Obama:

I write you today to urge that you look at the case of the three Cubans still held hostage to our outworn and dangerous foreign policy towards Cuba. Called “The Cuban Five” by their supporters, they were sentenced to lengthy prison terms in 2001 for the crime of trying to protect the lives of their fellow citizens-and, for that matter, the lives of many U.S. citizens too. Two have been released from prison, and of the three who remain, one was sentenced to life imprisonment. I understand far too well the urgency that led the Cuban government to send these very brave men to infiltrate the Cuban exile terrorist organizations.

“Terrorist” is not too strong a word to describe the groups these men infiltrated in Miami. For decades they have ignored the laws of the United States which gave them new lives and protection. These groups were left alone by U.S. authorities to carry out a war against both Cuba and these with whom they disagree on U.S. territory. Many of them were U.S. citizens. I am one of these victimize by them.

In March, 1973, a member of one of those exile terrorist organizations placed a large plastique bomb in the Center for Cuban Studies, almost destroying the entire facility in Greenwich Village, New York City. The only part that was NOT destroyed was where I was sitting – my only injuries occurred because the blast caused the large glass window next to me to shatter and fall on me as I was typing.

For me, then, the “Cuban Five” represent a heroic effort to disrupt activities deemed illegal by our own government. It is past time for the release of the three remaining imprisoned.

Sincerely
Sandra Levinson
Executive Director
Center for Cuban Studies 
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The Cuban 5: Obama is in the wrong side of the history


obama_2Here’s a true story. It’s about a Chicago-born US citizen who has dedicated his life to fighting terrorist attacks against his country. It’s about a man that left his wife and 1 year old daughter to infiltrate renowned terrorist groups who have planned and executed many bombings and killed innocent victims, including tourists. This man worked assiduously and brilliantly in this anti-terrorist endeavour and put his life at risk to save others on many occasions. As well as providing evidence to the US state forces that helped catch and jail drug dealers and crooks he was a major part of a unit which presented a very thick file to the FBI about embedded terrorists on US territory.

His reward?

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Words of Fernando at the Cuban National Assembly session


fernando_anppComrade General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Cuba and President of the Councils of State and of Ministries.
Comrade Esteban Lazo, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power.
Comrade delegates.
Invited guests.

Upon contemplating the content of my talk, I thought about the meaning and symbolism of this forum and its fundamental role in the history of our Homeland, since it has been here, in democratic representation of all the people, that the most important decisions for the country have taken place.

On remembering and thinking about the patriotic symbols that preside over the sessions of the Assembly of Deputies who represent all Cubans; these symbols that we see in this hall and that convey so much sentiment of patriotism and historic responsibility, it compels us to summon history and mention those transcendental days of April 1869, when for the first time the regional representatives of the Cubans in Arms met in Democratic Assembly: The Assembly of Guáimaro, whose anniversary we will commemorate in coming days.

It is important to remember that you, the deputies here present are the inheritors of those patriots who met in Guáimaro — in representation of a people determined to struggle and make the needed sacrifice to gain its freedom and independence from the Spanish colonial yoke — who met in Camagüey territory to give legal form and unity to that Republic in Arms and which was born out of a nation’s will to struggle, in the defining moments of its formation and crystallization.

So it is an immense honor for me to direct myself to you from this platform.
I consider my first duty in these circumstances to express my gratitude and that of my four brothers in struggle.

The first and most heartfelt appreciation is for whom we Cubans respect and admire so much: the historic leader of the Revolution, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz. He is the synthesis of the traditions of struggle of our people together with the ability to win. They were for us the principal source from which we derived the energy and determination to resist, the optimism that has accompanied us all these years and the conviction that each and every one of us will return.

It was the Commander-in-Chief who devised, set in motion and has given impetus to the public struggle for our liberation; an effort that today involves every corner of the world.

In the most critical and defining moments for us Five, our absolute confidence in the Revolution and in Fidel were the compass that guided the path for us to follow: that of resistance and struggle, and of confidence in victory. Our people and the Five have learned this from Fidel. Therefore, to the Commander-in-Chief, our most profound sentiment of gratitude.

On behalf of ourselves and our families, I wish to thank the leadership of the State and Government and especially to comrade General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz, for his permanent support of the battle for the freedom of the Five, his constant attention and concern for us and all the efforts that have been done and are being done to bring us back home.

I can assure you that those efforts were always felt by us in the prisons we were in, as today Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio can perceive them too, and that we have the fullest confidence in all of you.

I thank as well the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) for the arduous work carried out all these years, which is reflected in the hundreds of Committees to Free the Cuban Five throughout the world, and the outstanding work of the National Committee in the United States and the International Committee who work for our freedom, as well as all the solidarity efforts that in one way or another thousands of friends and people of almost every country carry out. For those persons and for all the solidarity movement, our message of gratitude.

Comrade deputies:

This Assembly has had extraordinary solidarity with the cause of our liberation. In the course of these more than 15 years, this Parliament has issued Resolutions, Calls and countless actions in defense of our right to freedom. In this forum on many occasions there have been interventions by deputies or leaders of the Party and State which have filled us with emotion and multiplied our determination to resist as well as our certainty of victory.

Each time that they tried to isolate us or acted arbitrarily against the Five or against one of us individually, this Parliament formally declared its denunciation of the situation and its demand that the U.S. authorities correct it.

You also called for international solidarity, including that of other Parliaments in the world, to exercise pressure to achieve the remedy that was sought, and in some way to alleviate our reality.

I thank comrade Esteban Lazo, President of the National Assembly, the deputies who are part of the current legislature and all those who have been members in the last 15 years for your solidarity with our cause and the role played by all of you in the battle for our liberation.

I also express my gratitude and that of my brothers to comrade Ricardo Alarcón, who has been a tireless defender of the Five in all the forums and events and before the most diverse audiences.

To the Cuban people, who are represented here by all of you, is not only the gratitude of ourselves and of our families for the support and solidarity manifested during all these years, but also thanks for the countless displays of affection and respect that we have received since our return to the country, spontaneous acts, full of patriotism and Cuban identity, heartfelt expressions of happiness for our return and of a determination to continue struggling to win the return of Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio.

I urge this Assembly and all Cubans to redouble our efforts to achieve this objective. We cannot allow for Ramón and Antonio to have to complete their sentences in those prisons and much less, that Gerardo pass the rest of his life in that place that he does not belong.

I have no doubt about the will of everyone to work for the return of our three brothers. I call on you, Cubans of all ages, the thousands of friends of Cuba and of the Five in all parts of the world to consecrate all the energy and initiatives possible to achieve this objective as soon as possible.

I invite each person to analyze, in their situation, what they can do individually and what the institution you belong to can support in the effort to bring Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio home.

I call on the institutions that can have a role in the struggle for the Five’s liberation to continue tightening the coordination amongst you, to coalesce even more your efforts, to achieve an even greater impact with the actions and work of solidarity that you carry out.

To the youth of our country I exhort you to apply all your enthusiasm and initiative, your creative capacity as well as your abilities and ease in handling the modern forms of communication to reach to all corners of the world with the message of justice.

Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio will return. Of that we are certain, and they share that certainty.

We for our part, have to do everything within our reach to convert that certainty into a reality in the shortest time possible, so that Adriana and Elizabeth have their husbands Gerardo and Ramón together with them. So Aily, Laura and Lisbeth can enjoy the affection and guidance of their father Ramón and so Mirta can receive the embrace and kiss of her son Antonio. They all deserve this.

Thank you very much.

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Venezuela: Derecha tras el poder político


venezuela-violencia1Caracas, 17 mar (PL) La agenda de la derecha venezolana, concentrada en generar desestabilización y promover el desconocimiento a la institucionalidad del país, apunta al objetivo real de lograr el poder político por cualquier vía frente al gobierno constitucional.

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Spanish Students Demand Release of Cuban Five


cinco-espanaMadrid Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) Spanish students demanded the release of the anti-terrorist Cuban fighters unfairly held in US prisons in an event of solidarity with Cuba during which they also demanded the end of the US blockade against the Island.

On behalf of student associations of the Charles III University of Madrid, Paula Madinabeirtia said that Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, or The Cuban Five, as they are internationally known, were arrested and given unfair, harsh sentences for monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups operating against Cuba. Continue reading

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More Fatalities From New York Explosion


eeuu-explosionmanhatanWashington, Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) At least seven people died, nine are still missing and more than 40 were injured after two building collapsed in Manhattan, New York, following an explosion. CNN reported today. A spokesperson from the local police said the number of fatalities is likely to increase as the search continues through the rubble, since there were many people present at the time. The explosion in East Harlem may have been caused by a gas leak, but official causes have not been determined yet. Continue reading

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Russia Warns About Military Exercises in Ukraine”s Conflict Area


maniobras-militaresMoscow, Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) Russia”s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov today criticized massive military training exercises in eastern and southern Ukraine, where protests against the recent coup continue.

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Iran Deems Unacceptable and Politicized UN Report on Human Rights


ban ki moon2Tehran, Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) Iran Foreign Ministry deemed today as unacceptable the recent report on Human Rights made by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon on the situation of human rights in Iran, while analysts forecast strained relations with the United States. The spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, Marziyeh Afkham, said Ban report, presented last Tuesday to the UN Council of Human Rights, “lacks legal credibility due to its accusations and illegal demands without evidence.” Continue reading

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Maduro Calls Opposition Students to Peace Conference


maduro-pazCaracas, Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro called opposition university students to attend the establishment of a Student Youth Chapter of the National Peace Conference, in full development in various sectors and regions of the country.

Repeatedly, the Head of State called the right-wing students to hold talks and now the agreement is conditioned that the meeting between the president with the students groups of the opposition and the revolutions must be separate.

Maduro said that he had proposed establishing a conference with the entire youth and student sector of Venezuela but unfortunately the opposition university leaders said no, it must first be installed in two chapters: the Bolivarian and socialist majority, and then the opposition. “All right then,” he noted. Continue reading

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Arabs and Cubans, A Reciprocal Solidarity


keniaserrano-libanoBeirut, Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) Although geographically distant, the similarity of struggles, joy, pain and hopes unites Arabs and Cubans, committed even more to solidarity after a fraternal meeting recently held in the capital of Lebanon.

For the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Kenia Serrano, the recently concluded Arab Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba showed the admiration triggered worldwide by the Caribbean nation, its revolution and leader, above all in the Middle East region. Continue reading

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US Choir Yale Glee Club Brings Music to Havana


cubandemocracyHavana, Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) The Yale Glee Club choir from the United States, comprised of students from that prestigious university, is giving a single concert today at the Minor Basilica of the Convent of St. Francis of Assisi in Havana.

The vocal group is touring Cuba from March 10 to 15, with performances and cultural exchanges in Havana and Matanzas.

Along with Cuban choir Entrevoces, directed by Digna Guerra, the Yale Glee Club will perform many pieces of Caribbean music, among them, compositions by Guido Lopez-Gavilan, one of the most prestigious contemporary musicians on this island. Continue reading

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Cuba Attends Parliamentary Meeting of Friends of Syria Countries


siria-solidaridad1Tehran, Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) Cuba and Venezuela stood out among the extra-regional guests to the first meeting of parliamentary leaders of the Friend of Syria countries, held this week in the Iranian capital, Cuban diplomatic sources reported here today.

The invitation to the heads of delegations of the two Latin American countries along with the presidents of the Foreign Policy Commissions in the legislative bodies was interpreted as a deference, during a meeting convened by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) of Iran.

Delegations from Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Russia also attended the forum, a press release stated.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani stressed the importance to increase support and solidarity with which Syria was defined as sister, and condemned that the territory of the neighboring country has turned into a workshop to manufacturing terrorists and send them to other neighboring countries.

This should embarrass the international community, Larijani said.

On the other hand, the president of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament), Alaeddin Boroujerdi, stressed that in his recent tour of Latin America, he had the opportunity to visit Venezuela and Cuba, where he held fruitful exchanges with authorities.

Cuban ambassador to Iran, Vladimir Gonzalez, ratified the solidarity, friendship, and brotherhood of his country with the Syrian people and government, in confronting foreign aggression and terrorist actions.

Gonzalez states that the island, on the basis of principles leading its foreign policy, condemns the crimes committed against the Syrian people and reject terrorism in all its forms and expressions.

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Academics Discuss in Cuba Social Commitment in Higher Education


congreso-universidades2014Havana, Feb 12 (Prensa Latina) Delegates of the 9th edition of the 2014 International University Congress focuses debates today in this capital on the social responsibility of higher educational centers in the world.

According to the event’s program, a master lecture by Brazilian teologist Frei Betto about teachers’ role in the political training of students is scheduled for today.

Other outstanding plenary activities are debates on the commitment of the universities with the society, by Cuban Higher Education Minister Rodolfo Alarcon. Also on the list is a panel of debates to highlight the support of students to the cause of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters, four of them still in U.S. prisons.

The panel is coordinated by the Network of Universities in Solidarity with the Cuban Five, as Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez are universally known.

They received long sentences in that northern country for preventing actions against Cuba by violent groups mainly settled in Miami.

Almost 60 countries from all continents, among them more than a dozen of higher education ministers and many heads of regional and continental organizations are attending this Congress.

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Modificado el ( miércoles, 12 de febrero de 2014 )


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The Second Declaration of Havana, a program for the Revolution


Jorge Wejebe Cobo

Cuban Agency News

This time, the heads of Yankee central intelligence (the CIA) and the Pentagon, embittered over their total defeat at the Bay of Pigs, in April 1961, thought up a strategy for US armed forces to directly attack the Island, together with representatives of puppet Latin American armies.

A significant development to justify the attack was Cuba’s expulsion from the Organization of American States (OAS) during a meeting that took place in Punta del Este, Uruguay. At this meeting, with the sole exception of Mexico, every single Latin American country broke off diplomatic relations with the revolutionary government.

This fact and the general climate that presaged the attack, drove Fidel Castro, the Leader of the Revolution, to declare on 4 February 1962, the Second Declaration of Havana, approved unanimously by the People’s General Assembly that had assembled in Plaza de la Revolución José Martí.

On this occasion, Fidel denounced these plans, reaffirmed his decision to resist the imperialist attack and delivered a historical analysis of the revolutionary situation on the continent and the imperialist exploitation that had endured. For almost a century, the Latin American governments had cowered in submission to Washington’s interests.

One part strikes out:
“We will resist on every single battle site: we will resist on the economic battleground, we will persist in advancing on the cultural front (…) Our Fatherland is not toiling away for today. Rather, our Fatherland sweats for tomorrow. And this will be a tomorrow, overflowing with promises that nobody will be able to snatch away from us; no one will be able to deny us it, because with our people’s pietas, we are going to win it; through our people’s bravery and heroism, we are going to conquer.”

The Second Declaration of Havana aroused support from the people of Latin America and was an inspiration for the revolutionary processes across the entire continent. And this consolidated in a political and moral victory for Cuba against the whole world. [What’s more], it served as a warning to the White House: if it attacked the island, it would be faced with a trump card: the active opposition of the peoples against the puppet governments in the surrounding lands.

In this respect, the Cuban Leader said that the poor would rise up like of wave of
“fibrilating rancour, justice demanded and rights that had been trampled. A wave that is beginning to surge throughout the lands of Latin America”.

Fidel ended with words repeated years later by Ernesto Guevara at the UN:
“Because this great humanity has said “enough’s enough!” and has awoken. Because this march of giants will not stop until it has won true independence; because they have died more than once in vain. Today, in any event, those that may die, will die like those in Cuba, those at the Bay of Pigs. They will die for a single, genuine independence that can never be given up!”

The Second Declaration of Havana heralded an entire initial phase of resistance and victory for the Cuban Revolution, still a newborn, and for the revolutionary heroic acts of Latin America during the 1960s. This revolution found its greatest expression in the guerrilla, Che, in Bolivia. Such heroic acts sowed the seed of processes – anti-imperialism and revolutionary in kind – that are currently taking place in the region; that, today in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, are fighting against imperialist aggression, which with just as much anger, is trying to topple them.

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Washington: the anti-Cuba conspiracy continues


Written by Nicanor León Cotayo

CubaSi

The plot includes a letter that five former diplomats sent to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to reverse Obama’s policy toward Cuba.

El Nuevo Herald journalists, Nora Gámez Torres and Patricia Mazzei, wrote in Miami last Wednesday that their aim is to bring down measures geared at “softening the embargo”.

The text –typical of the extremist language– also asks Trump to hinder further collaboration “with Cuban security forces”.
Since then, the signatories show an interesting concern: that business interests hamper their ultra-right aims against Havana.
One can see this when they request Trump to in his first one hundred days of government, cancel as soon as possible the executive orders that lifted restrictions “to do business with the Castro regime”.

The letter was signed by Everett Ellis Briggs, former ambassador to Panama and Honduras, as well as special assistant to George W. Bush at the National Security Council (NSC).

Also signed were Elliot Abrams and Otto Reich, former Undersecretaries of State for Latin America, as well as Jose S. Sorzano, former ambassador to the United Nations.

Maybe one of the most noteworthy signatures was that of the pretty controversial former head of US diplomatic mission in Havana and current mayor of Coral Gables, James C. Cason.

“We want you to take a fresh look at politics toward Cuba”, stated the latter referring to Trump.

And then added “We have given too much, now the president-elect should step back and reconsider it”.

Although he immediately cleared up: “Not to break relations completely, but certainly to give nothing else”.

By the way, Cason’s statement reinforces criteria on apparent friction between rightwing hardliners and business sectors.

“We still have to wait and see whether principles win over profits”, he ascertained.

He went on to say: “So many enterprises are talking about what is profitable for them that is why we expect there could be an argument”.

Herald journalists recalled that Trump has promised to put an end to the meltdown in bilateral relations if “Castro’s government does not offer concessions”.

On this regard, analysts on the Cuban issue have remarked that, Havana is not precisely which established an economic blockade on United States, nor has it invaded its territory or launched subversive programs against its authorities, set up radio and TV stations to defame its reality or built a military base on US soil.

What are those mistrusts from the far right?

According to experts on the subject, they are frightened by eventual recoil from Trump that will reverse the progress achieved with Cuban “exiles” who voted for him in Florida.

The letter by Washington’s former diplomats also criticised the performance of U.S. at UN, where its ambassador, Samantha Power, abstained for the first time at a voting that Cuba presents against US blockade.

“It’s scandalous”, commented Sorzano. “The administration abandoned its constitutional responsibilities to defend the law”, he added.

The signatories reach so far as to state that “there’s no need” to nominate an ambassador in Cuba.

New pretext? Until, due to security reasons, hiring of its employees is not carried out as they determine.

At the same time, they suggested that a new manager be appointed “more in line with the views of the new Administration”.

The letter, revealed journalists Gamez and Mazzei, was coordinated by the so-called Center for a Free Cuba (CFC), which supports a hard-line and intransigent policy against Havana.

Hence other pending chapters before one can talk about a real improvement in Cuba-U.S. relations.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

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Cuban Pitcher, the Best Starter in Caribbean All Star Team


Culiacan, Mexico, Feb 8 (Prensa Latina) Cuban right-handed Lázaro Blanco was picked up the Best Starter of the 2017 Caribbean Baseball Series, that the Puerto Rican Caguas Creoles won by beating Mexically Eagles, of Mexico, 1-0 in a sensational final game.

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Martí in Fidel: All the Glory in the World Fits in a Kernel of Corn


foto fideljosñé martí
Arnold August*

Montreal, (Prensa Latina) The last week of January held special significance for Cubans, and indeed for the progressive men and women around the world. This year, January 25 marked the second month since the passing of Fidel Castro on November 25, 2016, while January 28 marked José Marti’s day of birth in which Cubans pay a special tribute to his legacy.

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US Ex-Officials File Affidavit Against Trump Immigration Order


The group, composed of 10 former diplomats and senior security officials, described the executive directive as ‘poorly conceived, poorly implemented and poorly explained,’ NBC News reported.

According to the text of the affidavit, the order cannot be justified on grounds of national security or foreign policy, since it does not fulfill its declared task of protecting the nation from the entry of foreign terrorists.

The document, also endorsed by former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, stressed that in fact very few attacks against US territory since that time have been linked with foreign citizens.

The former officials urged Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals not to reinstate the entry ban while deciding whether the president has the legal or constitutional authority to issue that order.

Trump signed on January 27 a directive banning the arrival of people from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, and blocking the refugee program for four months, in the case of the Syrians, indefinitely.

See more Washington, Feb 6 (Prensa Latina) Several former US officials filed an affidavit against the immigration order signed by President Donald Trump, saying it made the country less secure, local media reported today.

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