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Cuba starts 'huge' military drill
bbc.co.uk ^ | Monday, 13 December, 2004 | bbc

Posted on 12/14/2004 4:00:08 AM PST by crushelits

Cuba's armed forces have begun their biggest military exercise for nearly 20 years, involving hundreds of thousands of troops and civilians.

The exercise, called Bastion 2004, is a response to "the continued aggression and threats" of the US, Cuba says.

The manoeuvres are being led by Defence Minister Raul Castro - brother to President Fidel Castro and second in the Cuban hierarchy.

The US said the drill was an attempt to "distract" Cubans from daily hardships.

The exercise will involve exercises with Cuban air force MiG-29s, anti-aircraft units and elite troops.

Two days of civil defence exercises at the end of the week-long exercise will include a simulated aerial assault.

Officials say about 100,000 soldiers, some 400,000 reservists, and "millions" of civilians will take part.

Many Cuban civilians already belong to the thousands of neighbourhood Committees for the Defence of the Revolution, whose duties include maintaining readiness against attack.

"The determination of the US administration to destroy the [Cuban] revolution however they can, including militarily, determines the necessity of conducting these exercises," said Gen Leonardo Andollo, deputy chief of the armed forces, according to the AFP news agency.

Last week, the defence minister said the exercises would ensure "the enemy does not underestimate" the Cuban people.

'Peaceful transition'

The US sponsored a failed attempt by Cuban exiles to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 but US officials are scornful at the idea that another invasion could be mounted.

"We don't think there is any justification, or any particular foundation for this kind of charge," said Richard Boucher, spokesman for the US state department.

"The United States has repeatedly called for a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba. We think that's what the Cuban people deserve, and we think they deserve it in a peaceful fashion," he was quoted as saying by AFP.

These "exercises are just, I would say, one or more of the many things that the Cuban government does to try to distract people from the problems that they face in their daily lives".

The US and Cuba have exchanged a series of verbal blows over the past year, with the US tightening its tough sanctions on the island and Cuba retaliating by imposing a tax on the use of US dollars.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was expected to arrive in Havana on a two-day visit on Monday, reports said - his second visit in just over one month. There were few details on his itinerary


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bayofpigs; cuba; drill; huge; military; starts

1 posted on 12/14/2004 4:00:08 AM PST by crushelits
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To: crushelits

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was expected to arrive in Havana on a two-day visit on Monday, reports said - his second visit in just over one month. There were few details on his itinerary

...........................................................

If Chavez wants to stay as President he should really keep his distance.


2 posted on 12/14/2004 4:01:54 AM PST by kingsurfer
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To: crushelits

"biggest military exercise for nearly 20 years"

Eight '55 Chevy's and a tractor made from a '37 Ford?


3 posted on 12/14/2004 4:09:37 AM PST by Fireone (Homeland security is 10,000 rounds of ammo and 10 cords of dry firewood.)
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To: crushelits
The exercise, called Bastion 2004, is a response to "the continued aggression and threats" of the US, Cuba says.

Bovine Scatology. The US has virtually ingnored Cuba.

Castro must feel like the ugly girl at the 8th grade school dance----no one is paying attention.

4 posted on 12/14/2004 4:10:31 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: crushelits
A Really, Really Big Drill...


5 posted on 12/14/2004 4:12:12 AM PST by xcamel (W2: Four more years of Tax Cuts and Dead Terrorists)
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To: SkyPilot

Sounds more like an attempt to ensure the military is loyal to the regime, after Castro goes..


6 posted on 12/14/2004 4:16:56 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to propagate her gene pool. Any volunteers?)
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To: crushelits

So that old nut Castro is going to spend their few remaining pesos on this stupidity. Have you seen how skinny Cubans are? They would be wiped out in a week in any kind of conflict. The sooner that decrepid dictator dies, the better.


7 posted on 12/14/2004 4:16:57 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: crushelits
Cuba's armed forces have begun their biggest military exercise for nearly
20 years, involving hundreds of thousands of troops and civilians.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.
8 posted on 12/14/2004 4:19:23 AM PST by oh8eleven
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To: crushelits
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was expected to arrive in Havana on a two-day visit on Monday, reports said - his second visit in just over one month. There were few details on his itinerary

Hmmmm...
Nice potential for "Two birds with one stone..."

9 posted on 12/14/2004 4:25:34 AM PST by Bon mots
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: crushelits

Cuba is that annoying itch that won't go away.


Just ignore it, everyone else has.


11 posted on 12/14/2004 4:31:00 AM PST by MikefromOhio (27 days until I can leave Iraq for good....)
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To: LogicalMs

YES!

I much prefer to win the "war" with ideas.
If you can convince people with ideas then it will be the population who will fight for their rights instead of us doing it for them!


12 posted on 12/14/2004 4:32:56 AM PST by kingsurfer
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To: MikeinIraq

Preparation H will help


13 posted on 12/14/2004 4:39:13 AM PST by nuke rocketeer
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To: nuke rocketeer

not that kinda itch....


14 posted on 12/14/2004 4:40:33 AM PST by MikefromOhio (27 days until I can leave Iraq for good....)
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: ken5050

My immediate thought as well. I saw a short article this weekend quoting the US diplomat who covers Cuba saying Castro is very close to finally getting what he deserves.

On the one hand, the past year has brought us the capture of Saddam, Arafat's death and now Castro -- all good news for the people in those areas, the US and the rest of the world in general.

But, the immediate aftermath of Castro leaving will certainly be interesting - especially how the media treats it.


16 posted on 12/14/2004 4:46:26 AM PST by Gothmog
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To: crushelits
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was expected to arrive in Havana on a two-day visit on Monday

Eight hours of which is dedicated to listening to Castro's speeches.

17 posted on 12/14/2004 4:48:52 AM PST by P.O.E. (Thank you, Vets!)
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To: crushelits

Castro distracting his slaves with a made-up foreign threat. Predictable.


18 posted on 12/14/2004 4:54:51 AM PST by FreedomPoster
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To: Bon mots
Hmmmm... Nice potential for "Two birds with one stone..."

Chavez has been doing a lot of shuttle diplomacy with the dark side... Posted on another thread by me:

"The timeline has to be restated:
Venezuela's Chavez, Iran's Khatami review Tehran-Caracas relations -11/28/2004
Colombia reveals Bush assassination plot - 11/28/2004
(from thread's original post) The Colegio Hebraica, the private Jewish school in Caracas was raided by Venezuelan police on Monday, 11/29/2004. The raid took place at 6:30 AM, just as students were arriving for the start of the school day.
Perhaps these three events are releated."

19 posted on 12/14/2004 4:55:56 AM PST by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: FreedomPoster

Good thing we don't ever have to worry about something like that happening here......

20 posted on 12/14/2004 5:04:10 AM PST by sheltonmac ("Duty is ours; consequences are God's." -Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson)
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To: Gothmog
On the one hand, the past year has brought us the capture of Saddam, Arafat's death and now Castro ...

Not to mention that Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Bill Moyers are either gone or on their way out.

21 posted on 12/14/2004 5:04:11 AM PST by Moonman62 (Federal Creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it.)
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To: crushelits

Down goes castro !
Down goes castro !
Down goes castro !
22 posted on 12/14/2004 5:06:39 AM PST by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,019,003 Bush fans.)
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To: crushelits
A really big drill.

23 posted on 12/14/2004 5:10:16 AM PST by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,019,003 Bush fans.)
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To: Fireone
What about the Cuban Navy?


24 posted on 12/14/2004 5:10:49 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: Hatteras
A really big drill

25 posted on 12/14/2004 5:12:53 AM PST by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,019,003 Bush fans.)
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To: nuke rocketeer

"Preparation H will help"

Ever wonder what went wrong with Preparation A - G?


26 posted on 12/14/2004 5:19:13 AM PST by IamConservative (People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.)
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To: sheltonmac

Puh-leeze. The fact that we're discussing this openly makes us not-slaves.

Obtain Moral Clarity. Read Sharansky's new book.


27 posted on 12/14/2004 5:56:04 AM PST by FreedomPoster
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To: Moonman62

And Kim Jong Il almost out the door, maybe a regime change in Iran, Libya turned Westward. Not as dramatic as the fall of the USSR, but significant progress in the right direction.

If we get Social Security reform and tax reform over the next four years, the world is going to be a lot different over the 8 years of Bush's presidency. Certainly a good start in the new millenium and a better legacy than clinton.


28 posted on 12/14/2004 6:35:00 AM PST by Gothmog
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To: Gothmog

I think, after he dies..you'll have a peaceful revolution in Cuba...they'll have to be some sort of general amnesty..maybe only the top 50 or so thugs will be tried..


29 posted on 12/14/2004 7:43:15 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to propagate her gene pool. Any volunteers?)
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