Skip to comments.Castro warns against `acts of treason' - Heat, misery and popular discontent a dangerous brew
Posted on 07/27/2005 1:26:08 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
In the darkest, bluntest warning to Cuban dissidents yet, Fidel Castro said Tuesday that ''acts of treason'' would not be tolerated and warned that attempts to destabilize would be confronted by the population ``whenever traitors and mercenaries go one millimeter beyond what the revolutionary people . . . are willing to permit.''
Castro's strong words on the 52nd anniversary of the start of his revolution came on the heels of a new roundup of more than 50 dissidents who tried to participate in two separate protests this month.
Most of the would-be protesters were released after clashes with government supporters, but as many as 16 remain behind bars, including six charged with ``public disorder.''
Castro, whose speech was broadcast on Cuban television and radio, specifically named the Assembly to Promote Civil Society. That group's leader, Martha Beatriz Roque, who was released from custody over the weekend, has publicly stated that dissidents across the island were ready to take to the streets to bring international attention to their plight.
Castro again accused government opponents of being paid U.S. mercenaries playing a dangerous ``game.''
''The much-publicized dissidence, or alleged opposition in Cuba, exists only in the fevered minds of the Cuban-American mafia and the bureaucrats in the White House,'' Castro said to resounding applause.
He added that foreign news reports have falsely portrayed ``an image of crisis and chaos.''
''You would think that the revolution only had a few hours left,'' Castro sarcastically told an audience of government officials, military personnel and other loyal followers gathered at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana.
The audience, including hundreds of Americans who arrived this week with an aid shipment, gave Castro a standing ovation.
But even as Castro tried to minimize the relevance of dissidents, the 78-year-old ruler acknowledged that a lengthy drought, a crippling energy crunch and devastation from Hurricane Dennis has made life more difficult on the island, and he asked the Cubans to be patient.
The population has grown increasingly weary from blackouts that last for hours, spoiling already depleted food supplies. Small, sporadic antigovernment acts have been reported across the island.
Tuesday's gathering was to commemorate the July 26, 1953, assault led by Castro in a failed attempt to seize the Cuban army's Moncada Barracks in the eastern city of Santiago. The annual celebration has traditionally been a large public affair but was scaled back this year.
OUR OPINION: WHILE THE REGIME REJOICES, ORDINARY CUBANS ARE FED UP
Today, Fidel Castro will celebrate the 52nd anniversary of his revolutionary movement with typical fanfare.
What he won't say is that the Cuban people have lost hope in the future. Most are fed up with the government and their living conditions. Cuban dissidents and other island observers note that popular discontent is as high as ever in the 46 years of his dictatorship.
Here's the reality lived by ordinary Cubans: food, water, housing and electricity shortages and the constant threat of repressive reprisal to any protest.
Cuba is suffering dark days -- literally and figuratively -- and the prospects for improvement appear dim. No wonder so many are miserable. To counter this discontent, Castro has brought his repressive machinery into action.
Dozens of dissidents have been roughed up and arrested in the last two weeks. In an incident last Friday, 30 dissidents who attempted to protest at the French Embassy in Havana were detained. Their complaint: The French government invited the Cuban foreign minister to its Bastille Day celebration.
Among those detained were prominent leaders Martha Beatriz Roque, Félix Bonne and René Gómez Manzano. As of Monday, about a dozen of them, including Mr. Gómez, and others arrested at a July 13 protest remained detained.
The ''rapid-response brigades'' are back. These government-organized groups harass and assault dissidents under the guise of a counter-protest. They have appeared at the last two dissident protests and moved against the Women in White, a group that marches weekly to demand the release of political prisoners and other civil rights.
Ms. Roque has announced that she will continue to protest, peacefully and openly. She says that groups of dissidents islandwide are ready to take to the streets demanding freedom for Cuba's 300-plus political prisoners.
Ordinary Cubans are tired of daily blackouts, inadequate healthcare and wages that don't cover bare necessities. Meanwhile, they resent the government's sending Cuban doctors and aid to Venezuela and other places.
Earlier this year, the European Union lifted sanctions imposed in 2003 after the Cuban regime sentenced 75 dissidents to lengthy prison terms. Now the EU is expressing concern about the new acts of repression. Europe should understand that pressure, not engagement, is more likely to restrain Castro from committing more abuses.
Heat, misery and popular discontent are a dangerous brew. Cuba's dissidents are growing bolder while the Cuban government has primed its forces to repress them. Castro only wants to hold on to power, and he will go to any lengths to do so. His top echelon may continue to follow him out of fear or greed. Whatever the motive, they will be remembered as accomplices in crimes against humanity.
Our hope is that saner heads will prevail. May democracy and freedom come to Cuba in a peaceful transition.
My prayer: "Lord, the Cubans have suffered enough under this tyrant, bring revival and revolution, and give them a benevolent God fearing leader."
***........The audience, including hundreds of Americans who arrived this week with an aid shipment, gave Castro a standing ovation. ...***
Pastors for Peace Leader Sends Special Greeting to Fidel Castro
Havana, Jul 26 (Prensa Latina) Pastors for Peace religious foundation leader Lucius Walter conveyed a special greeting to Cuban President Fidel Castro on Tuesday, on the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of the attack on Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes barracks.
Speaking from McAllen border crossing in Texas to the National Information Agency, Reverend Lucius Walker said the 16th Friendship Caravan to Cuba members joyfully welcomed the National Rebellion Day on July 26th, as did all Cubans across the Island.
"Our work is dedicated today to Cuba´s National Rebellion Day," stressed Walker.
He also sent a message of friendship to the 144 US, Canadian, Mexican and European caravan members who are participating in the main ceremony at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana, chaired by Fidel Castro.
Lucius Walker noted he remained at the McAllen border crossing to demand the US administration return a portion of the humanitarian aid to Cuba that North American authorities siezed there.
Customs agents and the Department of Commerce are holding a bus transporting 12 computers, printers, wires, scanners and other electronic means, he denounced.
The reverend explained that equipment was inlcuded in the 200 tons of aid they collected in 125 cities in the US and Canada, irrespective of the economic embargo on the Caribbean island.
"We are running a domestic and international campaign to demand the return of the confiscated items," he added.
The Pastors for Peace leader maintained the George W Bush administration´s stance demonstrated the cruel nature of US imperialism and its ferocious hostility to a small country like Cuba.
From 1992 to 2004, the ecumenical project has provided the Cuban people with 2,500 tons of humanitarian aid without requesting a license from the US Treasury Department.
Its members have also challenged travels bans the current US administration has tightened on Cuba.
KCRA had a video on earlier today showing some of the people speaking out against Castro. There was one shot of a propaganda billboard with a picture of the beard and "Vamos Bien" in big red letters. The problem is that many of those publicly speaking out against the Beard are actually informers who work for him.
The population has grown increasingly weary from blackouts that last for hours,And YET Castro continues to jam Radio Marti on shortwave 24/7 with what must be tens of thousands of kilowatts of RF energy ... so what's he afraid of?
Yet another unpopular portrayal?
Why won't this son of a b*tch die already? Cubans are dirt poor, can't we pay Miguel the bodyguard $5 million to leave the back door open one night so we can send in some jacked up cyberninja in there to turn his lights out? This is ridiculous.
[Feb 10, 2005] Pastor's for Piece (Babalú)
First, a big hello out there to all of Baldi's readers from sunny South Florida! This is Val from Babalú and I want to thank Juliette for lending me a set of keys and allowing me to hang here in her cybercrib for a while. Gracias, Baldi, I hope I don't break any china while I'm here.
For those of you not familiar with me or Babalú, I am the right wing, anti-commie,down-with-fidel-castro, Miami Mafia, crazy Cuban exile from, of course, Miami.
I had originally wanted to write a piece on this article by Donald R. Hopkins from the San Francisco Bay view but as I got deeper into the post, I realized that there is much more to this issue than just this one man's point of view.
Former President Jimmy Carters recent trip to Cuba has stirred the political passions of America over an issue that has always been very close to my political heart.
I had vague impressions about Cuba throughout the years during which sporadic reports of Fidel Castros efforts to unseat the brutal regime of his predecessor, Fulgencio Batista, appeared in the media. For graduate students in political science (I was studying International Relations at Yale), it was chic to favor the underdog in this struggle. For African American students, there was something more.
For us, the struggle to oust Batista was the Caribbean wing of the American Civil Rights movement. We followed that struggle as though it were our own.
And the people of Cuba, at the time, embraced the support and solidarity of the other underdogs of the world. Change was needed. Change was imminent.
Yet here we are 46 years later and there are still members of the African-American community that embrace fidel castro. Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte and other prominent African-Americans - and a slew of white celebrities and people - signed a letter last year in support of the castro regime and decrying the evils of the Bush administration policy towards Cuba.
Also last year, the religious group Pastor's for Peace led a caravan to Cuba on a "humanitarian" mission. They brought goods and necessities for the Cuban people and posed for pictures with the big, bearded man himself.
Yet the Pastor's for Peace decided not to visit any Cuban dissidents imprisoned on the island. Apparently, only people with similar ideologies merit solidarity from these Pastors. Even black dissidents were snubbed. Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, founder of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights, an Afro-Cubano, has been in castro's gulags for years, serving a 25 year sentence for simply wanting exactly what African-Americans wanted during the Civil Rights Era. Nothing more, nothing less.
Yet he was not worthy of a visit. Not worthy of any assistance. Not worthy, I guess, of human rights.
Yet the Pastor's for Peace aren't content with making a name for themselves by exploiting the Cuban people. Tomorrow night, in NYC, at the Martin Luther King Auditorium no less, the Pastors, along with their cohorts from the Cuban Government and some new found friends from the Venezuelan government, are hosting a "Solidarity Forum" for Venezuela.
Joining the Pastors will be ANSWER representatives, people from the Socialist Worker's Party, the Young Socialists, the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement, the Workers World Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and many others. Together, they will denounce the evil United States of America and promote the Utopian socialist ideology and continue to spread its cancer through Venezuela and Latin America and the Western Hemisphere.
And I've written all of this, read tons of articles and blogs and editorials and web pages and books and I am still no closer to knowing the reason why. Why is it that a certain large portion of the African-American community and their leaders support the ruthless dictatorship of fidel castro? Why is it that they can ignore the serious violations of human rights prevalent throughout the island? Why is it that Afro-Cubans like Dr. Biscet and others like him survive in jails under deplorable conditions without so much as a peep from organizations such as Pastors for Peace? Why?
Surely, if there is a race that can relate to the oppression the Cuban people suffer, to the absolute lack of any rights - civil or human - it must be the African-American.
Lenin had a phrase perfectly describing the Pastors for Peace, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover: useful idiots.
Forgot Dan Rather?
The people's paradise.
Related thread with photos Castro's Cuba Nearing Collapse (Widespread Protests in the Streets!) .
No justice,no peace.
Any links to who are these "Pastors for Peace"?
Hugo Chavez..............Your Next.
[full text] Hugo and Fidel bring the newsThe concept of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez teaming up to create a regional television news network in Latin America takes some getting used to and maybe a stiff drink.
Cuba hasn't seen any semblance of freedom of the press or freedom of expression since the early 1960s, and Castro last year rounded up a group of 75 independent journalists and sentenced them to prison terms of up to 28 years.
Chavez hasn't gone that far but has enacted ominous laws that penalize media outlets that "offend or show disrespect for the president" or propagate information that might "cause panic or anxiety" among the people. More recently he decreed that half the music aired on radio must be of Venezuelan origin. Ciao, Britney Spears.
Yet, on Sunday, Telesur, a new regional Latin American television network modeled after the wildly successful al-Jazeera makes its debut from studios in Caracas. Venezuela, flush with money from the boom in oil prices, will bankroll 51 percent of the initial $20 million investment. The governments of Cuba, Uruguay and Argentina will provide other funding.
For those wondering about the editorial independence of Telesur, suffice it to say Venezuela's minister of communications will do double duty as the station's president. According to the BBC Monitoring World Media, some of Telesur's trial programming on June 3 included segments of the "International Forum against Terrorism and for Peace and Truth" from the Havana Convention Center. Ratings were not available, but that sounds about as riveting as vintage Soviet TV serials about tractor manufacturing.
Telesur, Spanish for "TeleSouth," may yet prove skeptics wrong and become a reputable and independent regional news outlet. That would be good for Latin America, which relies on foreign networks for its news, including CNN, from Atlanta, and a chain based in Spain.
There is a need for a network with an indigenous Latin focus. Telesur takes that mission literally: One correspondent will be Ati Kiwa, an Arahuaco Indian from Colombia, who will appear dressed in the tribe's regalia. Her visage will be a sharp departure from many of the Caucasian, blond news readers on Latin TV, who look like they were FedExed from Idaho.
"Today we know much more about Chechnya than what's happening on the corner, in Colombia or in Central America, because all the information that the North generates comes into focus about subjects that interest the North," Aram Aharonian, Telesur's director general, told the Los Angeles Times.
Some signs don't bode well. One Chilean contributor defined Telesur as an "anti-neoliberal medium ... critical of the First World's efforts to impose conservatism throughout the continent." Balance and objectivity will have to wait.
Whatever his politics, Aharonian understands one thing: People will vote with their fingers against bad TV. "The only censorship will be by the viewers," he told Newsweek. "If they are not satisfied they'll simply click the remote and change channels." [end]
Ah, Fidel, the bloody tyrant who gave us executions as 7th inning entertainment at Cuban baseball games.
Even the drooling Russian despot Kruschev was apalled at Fidel's barbarism. Krushchev had the Russian executions performed out of sight, and, of course, there were always the gulags where suspected dissidents could be banished. Out of sight, out of mind.
Fidel Castro is not only a bloody tyrant, he is an exhibitionist bloody tyrant, much like the Jordanian moon-god cultist Zarqawi in Iraq.
I'm sure that's why these peaceniks are so attracted to him.
I'm no psychologist, but I suspect that most of these peaceniks did not get along well with their daddies, so they develop a fascination for authoritarian tyrants and bloody killers.
How else would you explain their adoration of the stinking barbarian dungheap Fidel Castro?
That's as good an assessment as I've heard.
Perhaps now is the time for our government to offer a positive message for the future of Cuba while obliquely mentioning the dictator and his undemocratic rule.
"jacked up cyberninja"
LOL! I like the way you think!
I do believe that's been done for a long time.
Our Canadian neighbors, many of whom are so proud of their aid to Canada (for instance, see this web page on companies in Alberta and their economic cooperation with Cuba), are helping Cuba quite a bit.
Another Canadian company doing oil exploration in Cuba is Pebercan.
Here's their latest press release:
June 17, 2005
PEBERCAN: THE SEBORUCO 11 WELL IS A SUCCESS
Montreal, Quebec PEBERCAN Inc. (TSX : PBC) PEBERCAN is pleased to announce that the SEBORUCO 11 development well was a resounding success.
The drilling of SEBORUCO 11, located 340 m east of the SEBORUCO 10 well, was completed at a final depth of 4,855 m after penetrating three successive reservoirs over a total length of 1,440 m.
Completed on June 16, 2005, this well produced 3,500 barrels per day over a period of 48 hours on a choke 16-mm in diameter. Currently in a long-term production test phase, it will be tested with chokes of varying diameters in order to determine its optimal production level.
Based on these results, the corporation and its partners have decided to continue the intensive development of the SEBORUCO oilfield. Two new development wells will begin in the upcoming weeks:
SEBORUCO 12 will be drilled 340 m east of SEBORUCO 11;
SEBORUCO 102 will be drilled about 400 m west of SEBORUCO 103, which had uncovered evidence of a new reservoir in early 2005.
PEBERCAN Inc. is involved in the exploration, development and operation of oil reserves in the Republic of Cuba. Its mining domain includes five concessions covering 6,055 km2, including Block 7, the only concession operated to date. PEBERCAN sells all of its production to the Cuban government, but is not subject to any restrictions with regard to selling its oil. The Corporation's shares are listed on the TSX under the symbol PBC.
Thank you for the info and LINKS.
It seems Canadians and Germans like Castro's resorts and all the young Cubans that will do anything for a few dollars to survive.
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