Thursday, August 31, 2006

US Congressman Declares Respect for Terrorists

August 31, 2006

Cuban born US Congressman Lincoln Diaz Balart told a Miami TV
audience that he respects and is fond of two notorious anti-Cuba
terrorists Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo Mitat, both arrested for arms
trafficking. He admitted that he and two other congresspersons are
involved in secret plans to obtain their release.

The confession was analyzed by a group of journalists on the daily
televised program, The Round Table.

The TV footage shows Diaz Balart stating that he felt profound
respect for such people as terrorists Santiago Alvarez and Osvaldo
Mitat who were arrested in November for the illegal possession of a
huge stash of weapons including automatic machineguns, ammunition,
grenades, a grenade launcher, explosives and blasting caps.

Diaz Balart defended his comments cynically saying, "They do not
plant bombs in markets."

The deadly loads planted in hotels and restaurants in Cuba back in
the 1990s by terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles, Alvarez and Mitat,
are seen with sympathy by this lawmaker from the state of Florida,
who justifies the murder of innocent civilians in these cases.

Isn't there an Ethics Committee in the US House of Representatives to
grill Diaz Balart for such statements?, asked The Round Table
panelists, who added that the makers of US policies against Cuba are
disconcerted because of their failures, and wasting their time
speaking about a political transition on the island.

The daily broadcast also discussed other televised comments coming
out of Miami like one made by Diego Sanchez, a representative from
the Cuban Liberty Council-a sister organization of the Cuban American
National Foundation (CANF)- who said that the US Marines should
invade the island.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

US Trying to Destabalize Venezuela

After the announcement last week that a new CIA unit is being put together to deal with Venezuela and Cuba, a Freedom of Information request has revelaed that millions of US taxpayer money is going to groups and individuals that we are not allowed to know about (the names are blacked out). Sounds like real clean democracy promotion doesn't it?

From the Mail and Guardian:
August 30, 2006

The United States government has been accused of trying to undermine the Chávez government in Venezuela by funding anonymous groups via its main international aid agency.

Millions of dollars have been provided in a "pro-democracy programme" that Chávez supporters claim is a covert attempt to bankroll an opposition to defeat the government.

The money is being provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAid) through its Office of Transition Initiatives. The row follows the recent announcement that the US had made $80-million available for groups seeking to bring about change in Cuba, whose leader, Fidel Castro, is a close ally of Chávez.

Information about the grants has been obtained following a Freedom of Information request by the Associated Press. USAid released copies of 132 contracts but obscured the names and other identifying details of nearly half the organisations.

The Office of Transition Initiatives, which also works in such "priority countries" as Iraq, Afghanistan, Bolivia and Haiti, has overseen more than $26-million in grants to groups in Venezuela since 2002.

Among the grants detailed in the information are: one for $47 459 for a "democratic leadership campaign"; $37 614 for citizen meetings to discuss a "shared vision" for society; and one of $56 124 to analyse Venezuela's new Constitution.

"What this indicates is that there is a great deal of money, a great deal of concern to oust or neutralise Chávez," said Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (Coha) in Washington on Tuesday. "The US is waging diplomatic warfare against Venezuela."

He said that while the US had accused Chávez of destabilising Latin American countries, the term "destabilisation" more aptly applied to what the US was trying to do to Chávez.

"It's trying to implement regime change," Eva Golinger, a Venezuelan-American lawyer who wrote The Chávez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela, told AP. "There's no doubt about it. I think the US government tries to mask it by saying it's a noble mission."

She added: "It's too suspicious to have such a high level of secrecy."

Chávez has also accused groups of taking US money and predicted that the US will seek to use its influence in Venezuela's December polls.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cuba: Major Role in Global Humanitarian Assistance

Cuba doctors popular in quake-stricken Java

BBC News
By Tom Fawthrop

Many of the international aid teams that descended on Indonesia after the 27 May earthquake in Java, have packed up and gone home. But a medical team from Cuba has proved so popular that locals have asked it to stay on for another six months.

More than two months after the quake, the 135-strong Cuban team sees up to 1,000 patients a day at two field hospitals set up in the earthquake zone, 30km (18 miles) from Jogyakarta.

Nearby, there are crushed houses and rubble - ugly reminders of the earthquake that killed more than 6,000 people and destroyed 100,000 homes.

The Cubans are the last hope for many Indonesians given the scant primary health care services provided by the government in Jakarta.

But it is not only here in Java that they are playing an important role - Cuban medical teams have quietly assumed a major role in global humanitarian relief operations usually seen as the domain of wealthy nations.

Last October, Havana sent more than 2,000 medical staff to Pakistan and set up 30 field hospitals after the earthquake there, treating more than 1.5 million people.

The two Cuban hospitals in Java are fully-equipped with X-ray machines, laboratories, operating rooms and specialists to handle the broken bones and other injuries common to earthquake victims.

In Prambanan Field Hospital, Dr Luis Sandoval says he has few problems in understanding his patients. He says: "Communication is good thanks to the translators," referring to a group of volunteer interpreters, many of them Indonesian medical students.

Inside the huge consultation tent, several patients are examined at the same time by a team of family doctors.

About half of the 65 Cuban doctors are women, a great advantage in Muslim countries, where women may be reluctant to be examined by a male doctor.

"Most important is the relationship between doctors and patients," explains Cuban doctor Oscar Putol, who works in the Intensive Care Unit at the Gantiwarno field hospital. "The patients trust us - they appreciate we are not just doctors, we are also human beings."

Khalida Ahmad of Unicef, who witnessed Cuban teams working in the Pakistan emergency, agrees: "They treat patients like people, not just cases. Everyone I spoke to from the affected areas was so grateful. They felt they could always go to the Cuban doctors to ask a question, despite language difficulties."

Most of the Cubans had previous experience in Indonesia and Sri Lanka helping survivors of the massive tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean in December 2004.

Regional health co-ordinator Dr Ronny Rockito in Klaten is enthusiastic about the impact of Cuban aid.

"I appreciate the Cuban medical team. Their style is very friendly. Their medical standard is very high. The Cuban hospitals are fully complete and it's free, with no financial support from our government. We give our special thanks to Fidel Castro," he says.

The Cuban hospitals are fully complete and it's free, with no financial support from our government. We give our special thanks to Fidel Castro, says Dr Ronny Rockito Klaten Regional Health Co-ordinator

Few quake victims either in Pakistan or Indonesia expected Cuba to come to their rescue.

"We felt very surprised about doctors coming from a poor country, a country so far away that we know little about," Dr Rockito says.

"We can learn from the Cuban health system. They are very fast to handle injuries and fractures. They X-ray, then they operate straight away.

"People are coming from Jogyakarta, many not affected by the earthquake, to get free treatment and because they are too poor to pay. The people are very glad it is free," he adds.

After one doctor performed a caesarean section, the grateful parents decided to name their child "Cuba" in appreciation.

Cuba currently has about 20,000 doctors working in 68 countries across three continents, without much being said about it.

Havana rejects any suggestion of strings attached to its aid.

"We are here purely out of humanitarian motives - we hope that governments around the world will see that health is most important," says Dr Putol.

From the early days of the 1959 revolution, President Fidel Castro prioritised education and health as pillars of the new society, and the Caribbean island now has the highest ratio of doctors per person in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

Many things could change in a post-Castro era, but most Cubans would fiercely resist any attempt to undermine the extraordinary success of their health system.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/18 14:21:02 GMT

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Unicef: Cuban Health Care Could Save 700,000 Latin Lives a Year

This nugget comes from Fidel's recent book written by Ignacio Ramonet, editor for the prestigious Le Monde Diplomatique. I knew things were bad in the region but 700,000 lives a year is a huge number of people who die needlessly. Apparently these human's rights mean nothing to the major rights organizations who spend their time worrying about comfortably paid agents of the United States. Same with President Bush and his so-called committment to life. I guess you have a right to be born into poverty, but no right not to die. Just the way God likes it I suppose?

The infant mortality rate in the (Latin America) region is 65 per every thousand births, while ours is less than 6.5; that is, ten times more children die in Latin America than in Cuba, as an average. Malnutrition reaches 49% of the Latin American population; illiteracy is still rampant; tens of millions are unemployed, and there’s also the problem of the abandoned children: 30 million of them. As the President of UNICEF told me one day, if Latin America had the medical care and health levels Cuba has, the lives of 700.000 children would be spared every year.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Unbelievers on Cuba

Cubans celebrate their President's 80th birthday (against his wishes) with a massive concert.

Even though the much awaited proof about Fidel Castro's fate has been presented, Washington DC and Miami seem to still be reading off the wrong script. In the power circles of both cities Cuba always lies and here was an obvious example. To most Cuban-Americans interviewed on the radio or in press, Castro was either dead, gravely ill or setting a trap.

Miami radio and blogs called the photos fakes as soon as they came out. Media outlets picked up on the (non) story. Now Tony Snow, foxy White House press secretary, has called the first photograph of Castro "the cheesy Photoshop picture." After Rueters recent embarressing photoshopping scandel - as well as the much lesser known scandel involving Miami's La Nueva Herald (Miami Herald's sister rag) such accusations are serious business. But when slandering Cuba, facts are never needed.

With the recent release of the Castro-Chavez video, it seems this BS can finally be put to rest. Fidel seems weakened, speaking softly, eating milkshakes - but alert, funny, and in good spirits. He appears able to begin working via the phone very soon and will be back in no time (I knew I should have placed a wager on it.)

I have to say that the international mainstream press working in Cuba did a pretty decent job since the news getting the voice of the Cuban people themselves, heard. Even though I'm sure they were exactly what their editors back home wanted. No more than a couple interviewed (out of dozens) expressed any skepticism of the official line - even fewer showed any signs of happiness or spoke positively of change. After the video, there is no doubt they were right to believe in their leaders.

Friday, August 11, 2006

In Miami, Graying Anti-Castro Movement Is Losing Steam

A pretty well-written piece here by Carol Williams of th LA Times on the current hapless state of the Cuban-American community. Defending attacks and planning for an invasion of Cuba used to be no-brainers in Miami, but after 9/11 and Elian, things changed, she argues. More recent migrations are also not as fiercely anti-Castro. They want to visit family and send them money, something US Law under "compassionate" Pres. Bush has now made next to impossible.

I might have stressed that the Cuban-American political voice and influence within the Adminstraiton remains quite strong and hard-line, as evidenced by the statements coming out of their mouths about not waiting to intervene and ability to successfully lobby the Pentagon divert military aircraft for Radio and TV Marti (propoganda broadcasts encouraging sedition right now). I might have also stressed the basic moral and legal problems with the hard-line arguments in favor of intervention and violence.

The once-monolithic voice of exiles that dictated a hard-line U.S. policy on the island nation has fractured along generational lines.

By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer
August 11, 2006

MIAMI — At the height of the Cuban-American exile rallies after President Fidel Castro ceded power July 31, there were never more than a few hundred participants in the streets. Their noisy celebrations of Castro's latest illness showed a bitter face to the rest of the world.

But the embarrassed quiet that now prevails is perhaps a more accurate indicator of the mood among the city's largest ethnic minority.

The community's once-monolithic political voice that dictated a hard-line U.S. policy on Cuba for four decades has fractured along generational lines and weakened as a national force.

Militancy is out of fashion in this post-9/11 world, as evidenced not only by the recent sparsely attended demonstrations but by government cases against its last defiant practitioners.

It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago for immigration authorities to detain Luis Posada Carriles, a Bay of Pigs veteran, CIA operative and suspected bomber of a Cuban airliner.

When Castro foes held every major political office here, powerful businessmen like developer Santiago Alvarez never faced the indignities of prosecution and jail for allegedly organizing armed assaults against the regime in Havana.

For most of the nearly 48 years that Castro has been in power, Jose Antonio Llama, who now admits to an assassination plan for which he was tried and acquitted, would have feared for his life after revealing in interviews the names of others who plotted with him.

But today, Alvarez idles in a federal jail on charges of amassing assault weapons, Posada awaits deportation for illegal entry into the U.S., and Llama talks with impunity, contending there is nothing to fear from fellow exiles he sees as having gone soft.

Cuba Enjoys Warm Carribean Relations

By BEN FOX Associated Press Writer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Looking for foreign aid after his election, Haitian President Rene Preval stopped in Havana. When Trinidad's prime minister needed heart surgery, he twice turned to Cuban doctors. And when the U.N. held its annual vote to denounce the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, the Caribbean Community trade bloc gave its unanimous support.

In sharp contrast to the bitter U.S.-Cuba divide, relations between the Cuban government and the rest of its neighbors have never been warmer _ a situation highlighted by reactions to the surgery that required Fidel Castro to relinquish power temporarily.

Caribbean leaders, even from nations that had Cold War differences with Cuba, sent get-well-soon messages to Castro, while the U.S. government offered encouragement to the ailing leader's opponents and Cuban exiles danced in the streets of Miami.

"We pray for President Castro and we wish him God's blessings," said Prime Minister Kenny Anthony of St. Lucia.

The friendly relations stem in part from small-state admiration for Castro's defiance of the United States, which also has strong ties throughout the region. But there's also gratitude for Cuban assistance, in medical care and education, to Caribbean nations despite the communist government's financial struggles.

"Cuba has been a long-standing friend to the entire Caribbean," said Barry Collymore, spokesman for Grenadan Prime Minister Keith Mitchell.

An Open Letter To Journalists Covering the Mexican Election

Before reading this, also check out an open letter from Andres Manueal Lopez Obrador in the in today's New York Times.

August 10, 2006

I would like to call your attention to the mishandling and lack of transparency in the recounting of ballots in this election, which may be repeating themselves as the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TRIFE) conducts its second partial recount, this time of 11,839 or approximately 9 percent of casillas.

Our own analysis “An Analysis of Mexico’s Recounted Ballots” of the recount, was released on Tuesday; Hugo Almada Mireles, Professor of Research Methods at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, also analyzed the recount data in the attached article (¿Qué Pasó con los Paquetes que se Abrieron?), a version of which also appeared in Proceso this week. Professor Almada reaches very similar and disturbing conclusions from the same recount data.

The two analyses of the data were carried out independently and without any knowledge of each other.

Attention to this matter is vital because the current recount is under way and if it proceeds in the same way as the prior recount, the public will know very little about what happened in these recounted casillas.

It is now two days into this recount and there is very little information available to the public about what is happening. It took a full month following the first recount before we even knew exactly which casillas were recounted. It is already August 10, and this recount is supposed to be completed by Sunday, August 13). Delays in making the information public could easily result in the Tribunal making a decision – due August 31 – before the public has a chance to look at what happened.

The first recount was badly mishandled and raises serious questions about the whole electoral process. By our calculations, there were 116 casillas where vote totals were reduced by an average of 63 percent. This is about 4 percent of the recounted sample of casillas – a very large percentage to have such large errors. Furthermore, there were many other casillas that exceeded the limit of 760 votes that were not even recounted.

If these and other anomalies and irregularities, described in detail in both of the papers cited above, had been known to the public before the TRIFE reached its decision, the judges may have ordered a full recount – as was urged by many newspapers including the New York Times and the Financial Times editorial boards.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to look at what happened in the first recount, and most importantly pursue the information about the current recount so that this time it will be available to the public before it is too late.


Mark Weisbrot
Center for Economic and Policy Research

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Castro Remembered Fondly in Africa

Reading the above book by the NSA researcher (cited below) about the Cuban people's bravery and audaciousness to help the people of Africa be free was one of the first things that really cemented my solidarity with Cuba. It debunked the myth that these were Soviet directed missions, and showed how decisive Cuban forces proved to be in ending white domination there.

Here are exceprts from an article on that in today's Washington Post.

As the world wonders about Fidel Castro's health, Africa remembers him as the foreign leader who most invested his personal effort -- and Cuban lives -- to help end colonialism and apartheid.

"The Cubans had a huge influence in southern Africa, they helped to shape history there. ... There are Africans who remember this," Piero Gleijeses, professor of American Foreign Policy at Johns Hopkins University, told Reuters.

When Angola's Soviet-backed independence was threatened in 1975 by South African and Zairean forces and mercenaries, Castro launched "Operation Carlota" -- a rush airlift of Cuban combat troops who defended Angola's new Marxist rulers.

African leaders, and many historians, say Cuba's military muscle -- personally directed by Castro from Havana -- kept Angola free, won independence for Namibia and hastened the end of apartheid rule in South Africa.

The memory of Cuba's help against colonialism and apartheid kept Castro's star burning brightly in Africa. South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela calls him friend...

Castro has extended this goodwill by replacing Cuban soldiers with doctors -- albeit in fewer numbers.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mexico Recount: Already Finding Votes for Obrador

Mexican democracy and the Presidency is at stake over the next few days as officials recount under 4 million votes (9%), per the order of the "independent tribunal." While the MSM focused on the "defeat" of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's (AMLO) bid to garner a much larger recount, the defeat was really of those many Western elites/journos who kept parroting the lot about an EU sanctioned free and fair election. The ruling meant that 11% of the votes were found to meet the tough legal standard to suspect fraud.

Already, the first major on the ground reports on the ground show a pattern in favor of Obrador. If he gains 11% or say 20% more votes through this, the pressure will really be on to recount all votes (or at least 77,000 precincts as PRD officials now say will suffice.)

From NY Times, Houston Chrincle and Granma:
An election official was quickly dealing out ballots like giant cards on a felt-covered table on Wednesday when Humberto Mejía’s hand shot into the stack like a striking snake. “Wait!” the lawyer for the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution cried.

He had spotted a ballot for the leftist candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, that had mistakenly been put with the ballots for his conservative rival, Felipe Calderón. “We’ve only counted two polling places this morning,” Mr. Mejía said, “and I have found two more votes for Andrés Manuel.”

It may not seem like much, but since Mr. Calderón won an official tally last month by just 243,000 of 41 million votes cast — a margin of less than one percentage point — every last vote counts.
At one polling station in Mexico City, officials discovered eight missing votes in the first two ballot boxes counted, results that Lopez Obrador's allies were expected to cite to bolster their claims of fraud.

"If this is the norm, the court should order a full recount," said Armando Barreiro, a federal legislator for Lopez Obrador's party, who was observing the counting. "It's for the good of our democracy."///
Claudia Sheimbaum, a member of Lopez Obrador's campaign team, told
the press that so far the places where the votes have been revised
are showing discrepancies.

At one table in Jalisco, she said, "they took 80 votes from us" at
another, 87 votes for Lopez Obrador were not included in the tally
sheet, "just to mention a couple examples."

The partial recount should conclude by Sunday and the Federal
Electoral Tribunal has until August 31 to rule on the challenges
presented. On September 6, the Federal Electoral Tribunal is expected
to declare the validity of the elections and name a president elect.

Regardless what happens with the recount, anyone with an unhypocritical committment to this almighty US concept 'democracy' (and paying attention) should have no problem seeing that the election merits a recount because the conduct of the first count was not in alignment with the very good electoral laws. Vicente Fox and his Government used state resources and made illegal statements. His opponent's ads had to be supressed. The 7 member tribunal has zero PRD members and has already shown its PAN and PRI-ista tendencies.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Colombia's Uribe: Free Market not the Answer

During his innaugurtion for a 2nd term (after a successful Constitutional 'reform' to allow it), Colombian President Alvaro Uribe closed his remarks with a suprising nod to his leftist collegues in the region - and a stick in the eye of Washingon's conservatives.

Bits compiled from the LA Times, Washington Post and IHT coverage:

"We don't share the idea of promoting growth and abandoning the war on poverty to the fate of the free market. We reject the notion of the equitable distribution of poverty. We believe in the growth of social justice," Uribe said.

"We are against a fiscally tight macro-economic policy that leaves economic growth to the luck of supply and demand. The state must be devoted in equal parts to growth and equality," he said.

Uribe made no bold proposals for improving the lot of the 50 percent of Colombians who live below the poverty line -- on less than three U.S. dollars a day -- even as the rich benefit from the increased foreign investment that improved security has brought.

He also promised to pursue peace with armed rebels despite the failure of such gestures in the past.

"We are not afraid to negotiate peace. I confess that I worry about something different, the risk of not achieving peace and reverting to insecurity," Uribe said.

But senators from the opposition Democratic Pole party, in silent protest over Uribe's preference for guns over peace-building, held up pictures several people being held captive by rebels, including some - such as former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt - who have been held longer than Uribe has been president.

Tanks and 30,000 troops formed a two-block perimeter around the Congress accessible only to journalists and dignitaries

US Increases Interference in Cuba's Affairs

After a meeting with National Security Council members and a written letter to the Defense Department, Cuban-American legislators have succeeded in securing a "private" C-130 plane to increase by six-fold the transmission of US propoganda on the island. Mesages during the last week have encouraged Cubans to rise up and feature President Bush and Sec. Rice's exhortations that the US will stand with anyone who does so.

From the AP:
U.S. Increases TV Transmissions to Cuba

Cuba's allies urged the United States not to interfere with the communist country during Fidel Castro's absence from power, while the U.S. increased its television transmissions to the island and encouraged anti-Castro activists to push for change.

The United States planned to increase the television transmissions of its Miami-based TV Marti station to Cuba from one afternoon a week to six.

Congress approved $10 million in its 2006 budget to develop airborne TV broadcasting to counter the Cuban government's mostly successful efforts to jam the transmission. A new private plane to be used for the transmissions was unveiled on Saturday.

Cuban Parliament Speaker Ricardo Alarcon warned that the United States would face "hell" if it meddled with the Caribbean island.

In addition to this, there are reports that the Bush Administration is devising other immigration policy changes that would increase the pressure on Cuba. According to documents released Monday by Homeland Security, rules would change making it easier for Cuban doctors who defect their posts around the world to come to the US, as well as prioritize those with family members in the the US above others.

The doctor measure is particularly obscene as it essentially dangles a big carrot in front of humanitarian doctors serving the most desperate in the world. We'd be stealing doctors from rural and shantytown Guatamala and Ghana to serve overweight Americans (with insurance). Of course the only poicy aim there is to further encourage defections and make Castro look bad

Monday, August 07, 2006

Cuba Has No Need For Capitalism

Editorial in today's Toronto Star

There are a great many journalists who are looking at Fidel Castro's illness as a hope for the Cuban people. The Star's editorial sums up with the line, "Cubans need to hear more about the benefits of multi-party democracy, human rights and the market economy."

Certainly democracy and a greater degree of human rights are goals which Cubans should strive to achieve. However, I must ask why pundits seem to want to lump capitalism into that assessment, as if inseparable from democracy? And why they seem to selectively forget that Cuba's planned economy has brought the small, island nation immense prosperity, particularly when compared to similar nations in Latin American and the Caribbean.

Caribbean nations of similar size and natural wealth, like Haiti or the Dominican Republic, which have taken a free market approach to development have built a record of poverty, inequality and political strife. Cuba, on the other hand, has a lower infant mortality rate and a higher literacy rate than even the United States or Canada, let alone her peers in the developing world. Cuba also has one of the highest doctor per-capita ratios in the world. There is no illiteracy or homelessness, something that only a precious few nations can boast.

These benefits exist precisely because of the planned economy. Pundits suggest that democracy and socialism are mutually exclusive. If this is so, I would ask for a solid, factual and politically sound explanation as to why the bureaucracy that currently regulates the Cuban economy could not be replaced by an elected body? Wouldn't an economy controlled by a functional, accountable and profoundly democratic government be even more able to enact the popular will than a free market one?

Capitalism has done few favours to the poor of the world; where is the evidence that it will start now?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Panamanian Officials Face Charges for Backing anti-Castro Terrorist

Maybe the pathetic Bush lapdogs of Panama's ousted Mireya Administation will face justice for their unconscionable pardoned release of this notortious criminal terrorist (now in US custody).

From today's Ahora

Panama's first Anti-Corruption Public Prosecutor, Mercedes de Leon, demanded a trial against several former government officials during Mireya Moscoso's mandate for their participation in the illegal departure from the country of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

De Leon requested to initiate proceedings against former Justice Minister Arnulfo Escalona, former chief of the National Police Carlos Bares, and former deputy director of Immigration, Javier Tapia, reported La Prensa daily newspaper.

According to Prensa Latina news agency, the decision was made public after the conclusion of an extended probe into the case requested by the Twelfth Penal Court of Panama.

Posada Carriles and three of his accomplices were arrested in Panama as they were planning an assassination attempt against Cuban President Fidel Castro during the Iberian-American Summit that took place in 2000.

Shortly before her term in office ended, President Mireya Moscos, with close ties with anti Cuban terrorists based in Miami, and pardoned the assassins, who were flown out of the country backed by officials of her administration.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Miami's Celebrations Rebuked in Cuba

Associated Press

HAVANA - The joyous celebrations by Cuban-Americans in Miami following news of Fidel Castro's illness provoked reactions of disgust by many Cubans on the island Wednesday.

"That's what you can expect from the type of trash that lives in the United States and cares nothing about this country," said Oralis Delgado, a homemaker.

"It shows the type of heart" they have, said Maria Antonia Figueroa, 88, who described herself as an old Castro collaborator.

Footage of the street party aired on Cuba's state television and was reported in Juventud Rebelde, the Communist youth newspaper, which had an editorial headlined "The gusanera of Miami gives shame," using a colloquial term meaning "nest of worms."

Many in Havana saw Miami's celebrations as an expression of violent revenge by Cuban exiles who may have lost property or been separated from their families.

"It stirs the blood. It's one more reason to remain strong," Rogelio Polanco, editor of Juventud Rebelde, said on the program. He called on Cubans to unite behind the mission of the revolution and to keep from giving the United States any opening.

Lazaro Barredo, a journalist and National Assembly deputy, criticized those wishing for Castro's death as "bravuconadas," roughly meaning bullies.
Rest of article

Message from Fidel


I very much appreciate all the messages sent by our compatriots and
by many people in the world. I feel sorry for having caused so much
concern and bother to our friends in the world.

I can not make up good news, because that would be unethical; and if
there were bad news, these will only be of benefit to the enemy.
Given the specific situation facing Cuba and the plans designed by
the empire, the information about my health condition becomes a state
secret that can not be continuously disseminated; and my compatriots
should understand that. I can not let myself be trapped by the
vicious circle of the health parameters that are constantly changing
during the day.

I can say that my condition is stable, but only with time could
I speak about the true evolution of my health status.

The best I could say is that my condition will remain stable for many
days to come before I could give a verdict.

I very much appreciate all the messages sent by our compatriots and
by many people in the world.

I feel sorry for having caused so much concern and bother to our
friends in the world.

I feel in a very good spirit.

The important thing is that everything in our country is going on and
will continue to go on very smoothly.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces and the people are ready to defend the

Our compatriots will have a complete information in due time, as was
the case when I fell down in Villa Clara.

We must struggle and work.

August 1st, 2006, 5:30 p.m.

Viva Fidel!

It has been a very busy few days for me, with little time to get my thoughts on paper on these critical events. My thoughts are with the people of Cuba and my eyes and ears are on the Bush Administration and exile groups.

Suffice to say, the Miami exile community has embarrassed themselves once again - both in their nauseating (to Cubans) premature celebrations and insistence that Castro is really dead. Check out what some of their leaders are up to as we speak:

"We are preparing our boats and our planes to possibly send a contingency to Cuba, to unite with the internal movement," said Ramon Sanchez, the leader of the Democracy Movement, which has staged flotillas off the Cuban coast for more than 10 years. Alfredo Mesa of the Cuban American National Foundation said"We're in a position to help," he said, referring to the $80 million in post-Castro aid promised by the U.S. government to the Cuban people. Members of Alpha 66 - a hard-line paramilitary group that claims to have conducted sabotage missions on the island in the past and believes that change can only come from an armed conflict - would conduct their training this weekend, at their campground near the Everglades.

The Bush Administration seems unsure what do, yet Bush's own words seem quite dangerous: "If Fidel Castro were to move on because of natural causes, we've got a plan in place to help the people of Cuba understand there's a better way," Bush said on Miami's Spanish-language Radio Mambi, Bush also told Miami TV station WPLG: "Our objective is to free the Cuban people."

Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans are crafting legislation that "takes advantage of the incapacitation of Fidel Castro to advance civil society-building measures and the transition to a democratic Cuba," according to a summary obtained by The Associated Press. The House's three Cuban-American members, Republican Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, his brother Mario and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, met Wednesday morning with members of the National Security Council.

The Cuban people are behaving like I knew they would - with tranquility, sadness and a bit of trepidation over the fate of their hard-fought revolution: According to the BBC: On the streets of Havana there has been a remarkable sense of calm, almost nonchalance, in the face of the dramatic news. The Chicago Tribune in Havana writes: "Just below the surface, among trusted family and friends, many residents expressed an emotional mix of anxiety and fear, sadness and expectation, as they suddenly faced the prospect of their future after Castro"

The media has predictably wheeled out all their Castro bios they've been sitting on -for both Raul and Fidel. The Miami Herald is hypervenalating with reports calling Castro's stress related condition a lie and citing supposed security force movements in the country. International papers are urging the administration not to do anything stupid, ie. listen to the hard-liners. The NYTimes agreed, urging the Adminstration to ignore those with "backward-looking fantasies." Even the Wall Street Journal is encouraging the repeal of the Helms-Burton Act, which prevents lifting the embargo. While the exiles on the blogosphere are finally realizing they popped the champagne too soon.

By the way, I was a guest caller on KPCC's (NPR) Airtalk yesterday show yesterday. They had a very knowledgeable expert on (Peter Kornbluh from the National Security Archives), who answered my question about what the Cubans want right now very truthfully (the vast majority want to part of a counter-revolution). He admitted Castro is a very popular and loved figure with most Cubans, that the next largest segment sees Fidel as a benevolent, if autocratic, father figure who has held the country together and that just a "very small proportion" wants regime change.

I wish Americans knew this very elementary fact, but sadly most media does not care to mention it and therefore most assume people are wanting a change in Cuba. It is simply not true, as Cuba experts admitted at a conference last year.