Skip to comments.Fidel Castro - Cuba
Posted on 04/14/2002 4:36:10 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
This is a LINK to articles since April 21, 2001 about Cuba and the communist threat - CHILDREN'S CODE At this LINK is a LINK to many Elian articles. Below I will post similar articles since the FR format changed and locked posts to this LINK. Please add what you wish to this thread.
Eyes Wide Open--[Excerpts] The Los Angeles kids, chosen for their photographic skills and their ability to work with others, represented the Venice Arts Mecca, a nonprofit organization that brings volunteer artists together with youngsters from low-income families to nurture their creativity in areas ranging from literary arts to photography. They looked. They listened. They photographed. And they took notes for their journals.
.Before embarking on their adventure, the kids--who were joined by two young people from Washington, D.C., and accompanied by adult mentors--studied the sociopolitical history of South Africa, including apartheid. All were Latino or African American or a mix of the two, and were encouraged to think about their own identity, their own experiences with racism.
..Before embarking on their adventure, the kids--who were joined by two young people from Washington, D.C., and accompanied by adult mentors--studied the sociopolitical history of South Africa, including apartheid. All were Latino or African American or a mix of the two, and were encouraged to think about their own identity, their own experiences with racism.
..At the conference exhibit hall, the L.A. kids mounted a photo exhibition showing the underbelly of America. There were bleak images of life on an Indian reservation, of the homeless in Los Angeles. It was an eye-opener to some South Africans, who thought everyone in America was rich. "They were absolutely shocked," said Lynn Warshafsky, executive director of Venice Arts Mecca.
In turn, the L.A. group was surprised at the degree of anti-American sentiment, something they had to process. "They had to ask themselves questions they'd never asked before" about how others see them, Warshafsky said.
..For Eamon, the highlight was hearing Fidel Castro speak. "I had thought of him as seriously evil. I realized he's not evil, he's doing what he thinks is best. He has this sort of demeanor about him. Whether you like him or not, you respect him. It opened my eyes." [End Excerpts]
With a packed itinerary focused on sustainable development, McAuliffe's group, organized by San Francisco-based Global Exchange, learned about Cuba's organic gardens and herbal healing. They visited a rehabilitation center for disabled children and talked with a family physician. In total they logged more than 1,000 miles from Havana to the eastern port city of Santiago and back.***
The families said police gave them only two hours to mourn their dead, brought in coffins to their homes on Tuesday morning for quick burial. Armed hijackings are rare in Cuba but have increased this year as economic crisis makes more Cubans want to leave. Two domestic passenger planes were hijacked to Key West, Florida, in March. In April President Fidel Castro's government executed three men who tried to hijack a Havana Bay ferry. The firing squad executions brought wide international condemnation.***
"Millions of people still live under regimes that violate their citizens' rights daily," Bush said in a statement issued as he made a day-trip to Dallas from his Texas ranch. "In countries such as Burma and Iran, citizens lack the right to choose their government, speak out against oppression, and practice their religion freely," Bush said. "The despot who rules Cuba imprisons political opponents and crushes peaceful opposition," he said, in barbed remarks aimed at Fidel Castro.
There were also harsh words for North Korea, with which Washington has been locked in a nuclear showdown since October. "Hundreds of thousands languish in prison camps and citizens suffer from malnutrition as the regime pursues weapons of mass destruction," Bush said. "Violence, corruption, and mismanagement reign in Zimbabwe and an authoritarian government in Belarus smothers political dissent."
But Bush lauded his ouster of the "brutal regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq," during a US-led war earlier this year. "The Iraqi people are no longer captives in their own country," Bush said. "Their freedom is evidence of the fall of one of the most oppressive dictators in history," he said, claiming that Iraqis were now meeting "openly and freely" to discuss the future of their country. [End]
"I decided that I could not accept a journalism award purported to support freedom of expression because among 78 dissidents imprisoned in Cuba there are a number of authors and some 20 newsmen," Franz told the Chilean daily La Segunda Tuesday in an interview from his London residence.
He said "it was a hard decision" to turn down the Jose Marti Journalism Prize awarded by Cuba's government news agency, Prensa Latina. Franz said he has sent a letter to Cuba rejecting the prize, awarded for an ironic story describing a visit to the U.S. Naval Academy. [End]
The port director said he was impressed by the Cubans' knowledge of Tampa and of the port's business.
They brought up cruises, saying that if the U.S. government lifted the ban on visits to Cuba, Tampa could have three- and four-day trips that cruise lines can't offer now from the port.
"They certainly know who we are," Williamson said.***
."When Castro Became a Communist," by Salvador Diaz-Verson, was originally titled: "Since When Has Castro Been a Communist?" The article was first printed in Spanish in El Mundo (Miami) in 1960 and again in Ideal Magazine (Miami) in 1979. It was translated from Spanish to English by Jose G. Roig and edited for style by Ralph J. Galliano who also wrote the introduction and biography of the author to recreate the Diaz-Verson paper entitled "When Castro Became a Communist: The Impact on U.S.- Cuba Policy."***
Hardline opponents, backed by fiercely anti-Chavez private media, shrilly proclaim that the Cuban doctors are political commissars of Cuban President Fidel Castro doling out Marxism-Leninism along with medicine. "They aren't doctors; they're professional political activists," said Douglas Leon Natera, president of Venezuela's Medical Federation. He argues the Cubans are working in Venezuela illegally and stealing the jobs of local doctors. ***
In the 1960's Castro and his brother, Raul, believed that the political and economic conditions that produced their revolution existed in Latin America and that anti-American revolutions would occur throughout the continent. Cuban agents and diplomats established contact with revolutionary, terrorist and guerrilla groups in the area and began distributing propaganda, weapons and aid. Many Latin Americans were brought to Cuba for training and then returned to their countries.***
"Cuba does not need the aid of the European Union to survive," Castro said in a speech to 10,000 supporters marking the 50th anniversary of the assault he led on the Santiago army garrison that launched his leftist revolution.
.. Persistent social hardship in Cuba since the loss of Soviet support has brought discontent and the emergence last year of a nationwide dissident movement calling for democratic reforms to the island's one-party communist state.
Despite opening up to tourism and foreign investment, Cuba's economy never fully recovered from the collapse of Soviet communism. Most Cubans earn wages that average $10 to $15 a month and live in dilapidated housing.
For Castro's opponents, the anniversary of the Moncada assault was no occasion to celebrate.
"It's another year of frustrations. There is no future and the government offers none," said dissident Vladimiro Roca, the son of a founding father of the ruling Communist Party.***
Roque's family has said she is in critical condition and was transferred last week to a military hospital last week due to high blood pressure, chest pain and nose bleeds. "Her health has worsened since her incarceration," Boucher said. "The Cuban government should provide her with the best possible medical treatment." He said Roque and the other 74 prisoners were being held in inhumane conditions, with little sanitation, contaminated water and nearly inedible food.
"The Cuban government appears to be going out of its way to treat these prisoners inhumanely," Boucher said. "It should immediately cease this practice and, at the minimum, allow the appropriate humanitarian organizations to monitor the treatment of its political prisoners, whose only real crime was to call for peaceful democratic change in Cuba," he said. "Ms Roque and all of the other political prisoners should be released immediately," Boucher added.
Roque, an economist who heads the Assembly to Promote Civil Society, an umbrella organization of dissident groups, is serving a 20-year sentence.
Noriega's confirmation came after a long delay because Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., had been blocking the vote for months in an effort to force a Senate vote on his proposal for easing restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba. ''We had all been waiting for so long that we stopped watching,'' said Ana Navarro, a longtime Miami lobbyist and friend of Noriega, the current U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States.
Until Tuesday, the Senate had refused to confirm a series of nominees for the State Department job, in charge of relations with Washington's hemispheric neighbors, since 1999 because of a string of political disputes. The post had been held since then on an interim or appointed basis by four officials.The unanimous approval on a voice vote, as Congress headed toward its summer recess this week, drew praise from Latin American officials as well as U.S. supporters. ***
Some Cubans were surprised President Fidel Castro's government allowed exhibition of a film that focuses on the daily grind of life under tropical socialism. While criticism of the island's one-party political system is not permitted, Cuba has tolerated films that satirize bureaucracy such as "Guantanamera," "Alice in Wonder Village" and "Death of a Bureaucrat." "Strawberry and Chocolate," which criticizes discrimination against gays, was in 1995 the first Cuban film to receive an Oscar nomination for best foreign film. The public debate over "Suite Habana" was no less surprising given the country's media are controlled by the state. ***
The issue could prove politically damaging to the president, who relied, in part, on hundreds of thousands of typically loyal Republican Cuban Americans in 2000 to narrowly win Florida and, as a result, the White House.
The president's advisors believe Florida could be pivotal for his reelection next year. Democratic challengers are already angling to exploit the flap, with Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman calling a South Florida news conference earlier this week to declare the repatriation an ''abandonment of American values,'' and then showing up at the Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana to mingle.
But the statements by the president's younger brother -- a Miami resident and fluent Spanish speaker with credibility among exile activists -- could serve to help repair the damage by reminding Cuban Americans of the brothers' close ties to them.
The governor acknowledged in the interview that losing Cuban-American support could be devastating to the GOP, noting that President Bill Clinton's success in wooing even a mere third of their vote helped him win Florida in 1996.
A key critic on Thursday welcomed the potential for changes in policy but attributed the governor's assurances to politics.
''I think they're going to have to do something, because they can't win Florida without the Cuban-American community's overwhelming support,'' said Joe Garcia, executive director of the influential Cuban American National Foundation, whose top leadership has been especially critical of the Bushes in recent days. ``Unfortunately, it took the foundation and others demanding action over things that were promised three years ago.''
In the interview, Gov. Bush called Lieberman's move a ''repugnant'' political play, saying that he registered his disagreement with the White House ``with respect, not rancor.''
Acknowledging a failure by the White House to articulate a ''coherent policy'' on Cuba, the governor added that the president would announce major changes in policy sometime before the 2004 election.***
While in the past rafters caught at sea often have been taken to the base pending a decision on their case, the sprawling military complex also gained notoriety as a detention center for people captured by US forces during the 2001 Afghan campaign. The Cubans, aboard a boat carrying 19 people, were intercepted on Monday, and were likely to remain at the base while officials decide whether they should be granted political asylum in the United States.
Cuban-American lawmaker Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and fellow Cuban-American Republican Lincoln Diaz-Balart have pressed US authorities to grant asylum to the "freedom-seekers," who they say include known dissidents. "These rafters fear for their lives if they are returned to Cuba," Ros-Lehtinen said in a letter to US President George W. Bush. She pointed to heavy prison sentences recently meted out to 75 dissidents and to the summary judgment and subsequent execution of three men who hijacked a ferry in a bid to flee the communist-run island. In a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powel, the Cuban-American lawmakers said the group intercepted on Monday apparently included relatives of Enrique Copello Castillo, one of the men executed. ***
By existing Cuban constitutional law, the petition required 10,000 signatures to become a legislative initiative. Mr. Paya was constantly under surveillance and harassed by Mr. Castro's security apparatus and many Cubans were too afraid to sign their names on such an incriminating document. Despite this, he was able to collect 11,020 signatures. Mr. Castro was only able to block Mr. Paya's efforts with a hastily mounted counterpetition, acquiring signatures through pressure.
We need to realize Mr. Castro's death will likely mean for Cuba what the fall of the Berlin Wall meant for the Soviet Union. After 44 years of totalitarianism, it seems doubtful the Cuban people will stand for anything less than a free society - but how free remains to be seen. Furthermore, America needs to make sure Cuba does not become a haven for "dark-side"criminal capitalism, as Russia has. ***