Wednesday, October 11, 2006

US Anti-Terror Agency to Divert Resources... to Cuba??

Below is a composite of various reports:
A task force of US agencies has been formed to strengthen enforcement of the embargo on Cuba. As announced, it will strongly pursue those who violate the current US bans on travel, trade, remittances or investment.

This comes 2 years after a report to Congress revealed that the enfocement institution - OFAC - the Treasury Department agency entrusted with blocking the financial resources of terrorists has assigned five times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to track Osama bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's money, documents show.

The announcement was made by a Cuban-American US District Attorney, who noted in a press conference that the objective of these actions is to "isolate" the Cuban government and "speed up" the destruction of the Revolution.

Persons who violate the blockade regulations could receive prison terms of up to 10 years and fines ranging from $250,000 to $1 million in the case of corporations.

Cuba policy watchers have speculated that the announcement was meant to appease hard-liners in the Cuban American community who support restrictions on Cuba.

"Maybe it'll make a difference if they actually make this a higher priority than other issues," said Philip Peters of the Lexington Institute, a public policy group in Arlington, Va. "What is clear is the impact is on people in Miami and families in Cuba and that this task force doesn't have a prayer of really affecting the finances of the Cuban government in a decisive way."

Silvia Wilhelm, executive director of the Cuban American Commission for Family Rights said the regulations would not result in a speedy transition.

"It is very, very sad when our government sends a message to a community that we're going to keep hurting your family by keeping these provisions in place that do nothing but separate Cuban families," she said.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh oh, looks like your second (illegal) trip to Cuba might have to be postponed!


5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't want you to miss out on my response to your comment from Iraq Firsthand:

Oh please Matthew. Every time you speak on the situation in Iraq, you further demonstrate your lack of knowledge on the situation from the ground. Keep watching this war from your couch and telling people who have experienced it that your view is more accurate.

"I don't think journalists volunteering for duty in Iraq are doing it for the wonderful hotel rooms or pampered Baghdad lifestyle."

Okay, so tell me; why exactly are these journalists volunteering to cover the war? Pay raise, promotion, notoriety? They're certainly not doing it to depict the full scope of the war effort.

"They want the story and would love nothing more than to be able to go out and get it. But just leaving the green zone is very, very dangerous."

Oh I get it now, so they would love nothing more than to get the story - they're just not willing to put themselves at risk to do so. Wow, I guess they might want to think twice about volunteering to work in a WAR ZONE then, wouldn't you say?

That's almost as stupid as that Lt. Watada moron who volunteered for the Army (after the invasion, mind you) only to protest going to Iraq.

Lack of nuts.

Journalists can easily get out of the green zone. Almost every unit in the Marine Corps alone accepts embedded journalists.

But journalists, for the most part, would rather report from the safety of their green zone hotel balconies than get out and report on all the good taking place.

"In the previous post I stated the reason I think "bad news" big-picture stories are more needed than smaller "good news" pieces about schools re-opening or what have you..."

Of course you do. That's exactly my point. You would rather report on all the bad instead of all the good. And for the most part the media agrees with you. Personally, I would like to see both. Sure we should hear about the violence - but we should ALSO hear about a school opening just down the road.

"They are more needed so Americans (and our leaders) understand the reality."

You are so biased it's pathetic. The reality is that Iraq is both a violent war zone and a healing nation. However, you only wish to hear about the violence. Strange coming from someone who claims to be such a fan of peace.

"I want truthful, curious, enlightening stories. I want the average American to understand what is going on there..."

As you stated, you want stories that depict one side of the war. And to be honest, as a vet of this war, I'm appalled.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Spike Plugger said...

Good blog, offtopic but wondered if you might like to see this


2:53 PM  

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