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Keyword: castrowatch

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  • Stubbornly moribund

    11/09/2006 3:16:27 PM PST · by billorites · 9 replies · 417+ views
    Firmas Press ^ | November 6, 2006 | Carlos Alberto Montaner
    On Saturday, Oct. 28, Fidel Castro summoned CNN's correspondents in Havana, to demonstrate before the TV cameras that he was alive. Actually, he almost demonstrated the opposite. The spectacle was painful: we saw a senile old man with a haggard face who read the newspaper with difficulty, uttered nonsense in grave tones (?we live in a very complicated world?) and walked like a mummy that escaped from its tomb in the Boris Karloff movie. In addition, to prove he was still at the helm, he announced that he studied the planet's serious conflicts via his television set, then picked up...
  • Cuba’s dissident democrats stir as the Castros lie low

    08/20/2006 1:51:13 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 8 replies · 574+ views
    The Sunday Times ^ | August 13, 2006 | Matthew Campbell
    A WIRY figure with dark, defiant eyes, Oswaldo Paya is not easily intimidated. His house is under constant surveillance and he has received numerous death threats. Most of his followers are in jail. Cuba’s leading dissident will not be deterred, however, from a campaign to promote democracy in one of the world’s last communist outposts. “It is time for change,” he said last week as the country struggled to adjust to its first new leadership in almost half a century. “The oppression and lies must end.” Behind its sunny, palm-fringed facade as a trendy tourist destination, Cuba was racked by...
  • Raul Castro goes public, says he has mobilized Cuba to repel U.S.

    08/19/2006 11:56:28 AM PDT · by freedom44 · 49 replies · 1,203+ views
    Chicago Tribune ^ | 8/19/06 | Gary Marx
    Please register or log in Subscribers: Get the Advantage Search: chicagotribune chicagotribune Google >> Nation/World Raul Castro goes public, says he has mobilized Cuba to repel U.S. By Gary Marx Tribune foreign correspondent Published August 19, 2006 HAVANA -- In his first public declaration as acting president, Raul Castro said he has mobilized tens of thousands reservists and militia to defend Cuba against a potential U.S. threat. "We could not rule out the risk of somebody going crazy, or even crazier, within the U.S. government," he said in an interview Friday in the Communist Party newspaper Granma. Under the...
  • Why Castroism will die with Castro

    08/19/2006 11:05:53 AM PDT · by billorites · 39 replies · 1,019+ views
    Firmas Press ^ | August 17, 2006 | Carlos Alberto Montaner
    With Fidel Castro at age 80, ill and close to death, the essential factor is not when he will disappear but what will happen afterward. Will the dictatorship remain in place without the Comandante? Probably not; all the conditions are there for a change to begin. Here I list eight very important ones.With his ponderous weight, Fidel Castro has crushed all the institutions in the country. The Communist Party is a hollow shell, inhabited by automatons who decades ago lost their devotion and revolutionary mystique. The National Assembly of the People's Power (Parliament), known as “The Havana Boys Choir,” is...
  • Raul Castro comments on Cuba-U.S. ties

    08/18/2006 4:24:19 PM PDT · by SmithL · 9 replies · 487+ views
    AP ^ | 8/18/6 | ANITA SNOW
    HAVANA - Acting President Raul Castro said Cuba remains open to normalized relations with the United States, but warned the Bush administration in his first comments since assuming power that it will get nowhere with threats or pressure. Raul Castro also said in Friday editions of the island's Communist Party newspaper that he had mobilized tens of thousands of troops in response to what he called aggressive U.S. acts, including stepped-up radio and television broadcasts to the island, and an $80 million plan to hasten the end of the Castros' rule. "Some of the empire's war hawks thought that the...
  • What's It Really Like In Fidel's Cuba (Stalinist Communist 50s Time-Warp Museum Alert)

    08/14/2006 1:14:03 AM PDT · by goldstategop · 12 replies · 1,503+ views ^ | 08/14/06 | Bill Steigerwald
    Your average income is $15 a month. Your meat ration is 3.3 pounds a month. Owning a car is forbidden unless you are among the ruling elite. Computers are illegal. So is Internet access. The prices of the basics you need to live on are low. A decent-size urban apartment rents for $10 a month. But everything is also extremely scarce -- food and gasoline to bicycles and bank loans. To get by, you must supplement your income by moonlighting, working in the black market or getting remittances from relatives abroad. Bath soap, shampoo and chicken are luxuries. Welcome to...
  • Ailing Castro's Cuba signals crackdown on pirate TV

    08/09/2006 2:01:09 PM PDT · by ncountylee · 25 replies · 654+ views
    Reuters/Yahoo ^ | Aug 9, 2006
    HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba's communist government has signaled a crackdown on black-market satellite dishes used by citizens to get news and views from its arch enemy, the United States, nine days after ailing leader Fidel Castro temporarily relinquished power to his brother. The Communist Party newspaper Granma warned that the dishes, which many Cubans use to watch Spanish-language TV programs from the exile bastion of Miami, could be used by the U.S. government to broadcast subversive information. "They are fertile ground for those who want to carry out the Bush administration's plan to destroy the Cuban revolution," said the newspaper,...
  • Media Embraces Military Dictaroship for Castro Succession

    08/08/2006 6:07:07 PM PDT · by slickeroo · 8 replies · 526+ views
    Human Events ^ | 8/8 | Humberto Fontova
    Media Embrace Military Dictatorship for Castro Succession by Humberto Fontova Posted Aug 08, 2006 So what's going on in Cuba? Nobody has seen nor heard from either Fidel or his supposed successor, Raul, in more than a week and all foreign reporters are barred entry to the island. In the meantime, Cuba's military is on combat alert and reservists are called up island-wide. The neighborhood spy and snitch groups (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution) are much more vigilant and obnoxious than usual. The goons of the Rapid Response Brigades (Cuba's version of early Nazi Germany's S.A.) roam the...
  • Elian Gonzalez wishes Castro well

    08/06/2006 4:45:51 PM PDT · by Aussie Dasher · 62 replies · 1,488+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 7 August 2006
    ELIAN Gonzalez, the Cuban boy who became the celebrated object of a 2000 US-Cuba tug-of-war wished Cuban leader Fidel Castro a speedy recovery from surgery. "We send you this letter so that you know that we are concerned about your health," Elian Gonzalez, now 13, said in a letter also signed by five other children in his family and published today in the official newspaper, Juventud Rebelde. A week ago, Mr Castro, 79, handed power "temporarily" to his younger brother, Defence Minister Raul Castro, while undergoing surgery for intestinal bleeding. In November 1999, Elian, who was six at the time,...
  • U.S. diplomat says end is near for Castro government

    12/10/2004 11:08:32 PM PST · by SmithL · 105 replies · 4,169+ views
    AP ^ | 12/10/4 | ANDREA RODRIGUEZ
    HAVANA -- The top American diplomat in Cuba says the end is near for Fidel Castro and his government and that even Castro's supporters are preparing for a transition to democracy. U.S. Interests Section Chief James Cason spoke at his official residence where dissidents gathered Friday for a time capsule ceremony marking International Human Rights Day. Castro's government "is on its last legs," Cason said as dissidents filled the capsule with messages spelling out their dreams for a different kind of Cuba. "Even regime supporters are discreetly preparing for the inevitable democratic transition" on the communist-run island, the American official...
  • Free Republic "Bump List" Register

    09/30/2001 4:46:44 AM PDT · by John Robinson · 191 replies · 12,118+ views
    I have created a public register of "bump lists" here on Free Republic. I define a bump list as a name listed in the "To" field used to index articles. Free Republic Bump List Register
  • Desi Arnaz Secretly Funded Anti-Castro Groups

    05/09/2004 10:28:20 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 75 replies · 912+ views
    Newsmax ^ | Sunday, May. 09, 2004
    Desi Arnaz of "I Love Lucy" fame and fortune helped finance the freedom of hundreds of Bay of Pigs fighters captured in 1961 by Cuban government forces, veterans say. A belated thank you to the late entertainer has now happened, 18 years after he died. This past Friday, according to a Miami Herald report, surviving vets of the Bay of Pigs invasion presented a posthumous award to daughter Lucie Arnaz for his "moral support and generosity." That generosity was legend among Bay of Pigs veterans. "He always supported the Cuban cause," said Felix Rodriguez Mendigutia, president of Bay of Pigs...
  • Brazil's Metamorphosis - A Communist triumph

    11/11/2003 1:10:32 PM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 7 replies · 632+ views ^ | 5 November 2003 | Igor Taam
    From time to time I read the news and articles of the PT (Worker’s Party),, official site. And it's not old news from old notebooks, it is this year’s declarations. It’s possible to see that old aspirations – suffering metamorphosis, or not – still live. Look at this affirmation of José Dirceu, head of Civil House: We are retaking the political agenda of 1964 because problems like cultural democratization, agrarian reform, national autonomy and citizenship are still ongoing since then. ( For the reader who doesn’t know what happened around 1964, I can explain in three words: Brazil's counter-revolution....
  • Iranian Alert -- DAY 33 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST [Breaking News... Jamming Source Identified]

    07/12/2003 12:16:45 AM PDT · by DoctorZIn · 98 replies · 3,585+ views
    Live Thread Ping List ^ | 7.12.2003 | DoctorZin
    The world media has all but ignored this week's dramatic events in Iran. The regime has masterfully handled the world media. The regime appears to have a new ally in their efforts to silent the media, Cuba. BREAKING NEWS…… Several days ago we reported the jamming of LA based Iranian broadcasters, the key link of communication of the Iranian protest movement. The regime had been jamming the signals in the past within Iran using equipment purchased from France. But days before the July 9th protests were to begin the broadcaster began reporting that their uplink signal was being jammed as...
  • Iranian Alert -- DAY 32 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

    07/11/2003 12:20:26 AM PDT · by DoctorZIn · 81 replies · 2,634+ views
    Live Thread Ping List | 7.11.2003 | DoctorZin
    The world media has all but ignored this week's dramatic events in Iran. The regime has worked hard to keep this story from being reported. From jamming satellite broadcasts, to prohibiting news reporters from covering any demonstrations to shutting down all cell phones and even hiring foreign security to control the population, the regime is doing everything in its power to keep the popular movement from expressing its demand for an end of the regime. In spite of this, as Michael Ledeen posted recently, "...we can already say that the regime's intimidation was not successful. And you have to admire...
  • Castro's cocky gamble

    04/28/2003 2:57:45 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 5 replies · 259+ views
    ESR ^ | April 28, 2003 | Steven Fantina
    Even the most vehement opponents of the war in Iraq can't help but (perhaps surreptitiously) smile at the sight of Iraqis -- finally free from the yoke of brutal repression -- celebrating in the streets. The joy of Iraq's populace at their newfound liberty is contagious and seemingly the entire world has joined in their roisterous jubilance. Alas, not everyone's glee is magnanimous. Fidel Castro's saw the world's diverted attention as an opportunity to crack down mercilessly on innocent Cuban citizens who dare not tow his totalitarian line. While the news media obsessed over war in the Middle East, he...
  • Face it - Castro's a Tyrant

    04/24/2003 9:32:38 AM PDT · by rrstar96 · 27 replies · 297+ views
    The Nando Times ^ | April 24, 2003 | Jay Ambrose
    By arranging long prison sentences for 75 dissidents - librarians, journalists, people just hoping for a taste of freedom someday - Fidel Castro has disproved or at least challenged some of the most cherished hopes and ideas about him and the island state he has now tyrannized for more than four decades. Gone is the notion that his eventual death will necessarily spell the death as well of Cuban dictatorship. Not a few analysts have told the press the crackdown has the purpose of squelching all opposition in a country Fidel wants to leave to brother Raul, hardly a liberty-loving,...
  • 'Dissidents' Were Informers: Cuban Trial Reveals Duplicity of Writers, Activists

    04/23/2003 11:25:30 PM PDT · by Pokey78 · 6 replies · 194+ views
    Washington Post ^ | 04/24/03 | Kevin Sullivan
    MEXICO CITY, April 23 -- Vladimiro Roca, fresh from five years in prison for criticizing Fidel Castro's government, was invited to talk about his experience last May at the home of Vicki Huddleston, then the top U.S. diplomat in Havana. Roca recalled that Manuel David Orrio, a gregarious and accomplished dissident journalist, stood up to thank Huddleston for hosting and encouraging peaceful opposition to Castro's authoritarian rule. "He was very well-spoken, talkative and well-educated, and seemed very convinced of what he was saying," said Roca, the son of a Cuban revolutionary hero who split with Castro years ago, in a...
  • When We Awoke, The Dinosaur Was Still There. The World's Shortest Tale.

    04/22/2003 10:57:04 PM PDT · by Luis Gonzalez · 78 replies · 1,214+ views
    The Cuba Free Press ^ | September 30, 2001 | Rafael Contreras
    It is said that Monterroso’s short story is the shortest one ever written. Textually it reads: “When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.” It is true that it is very short, what I fail to understand is why people insist on calling it a story. But let’s leave it at that, it isn’t my intention to discuss this very famous, and very short, story. I intend to write about the most frustrated, and short, individual in this world; at least that’s how those of us who have suffered through his bouts of frustration and quirkiness have come to see...
  • Castro's Opponents in Cuba Down but Not Out - "I've never felt so much solidarity in the streets."

    04/23/2003 12:59:44 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 23 replies · 292+ views news ^ | April 23, 2003 | Anthony Boadle , Reuters
    HAVANA (Reuters) - Opponents of President Fidel Castro said on Wednesday that mass arrests and infiltration by government spies knocked them to their knees, but they expect to rise again on growing discontent with Cuba's crumbling communist state. Dissidents who survived the worst wave of repression in Cuba in decades said their fragile organizations were decapitated by the round-up of 75 leading dissidents, activists and independent journalists a month ago. "The dissident movement is practically paralyzed," said Vladimiro Roca, who was freed last year after four years in jail for criticizing Castro's economic policies. "It was a really big blow,...
  • Castro crackdown has dismayed countries that thought the regime was easing its hard line.

    04/23/2003 1:51:05 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 8 replies · 260+ views
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | April 23, 2003 | Patrick Michael Rucker
    HAVANA - As a swift crackdown against Cuban dissidents brings global condemnation and the promise of further isolation, proponents of normal relations with the island regime are bewildered at Fidel Castro's rebuff of their efforts. Seventy-five dissidents were convicted this month of being US-backed mercenaries conspiring to undermine the Cuban government. A roster of activists - whose offenses ranged from promoting uncensored libraries and private news services to advocating political reform - was handed prison sentences of as much as 28 years. The harsh convictions hit particularly hard in the wake of perceptions the regime was softening its stance against...
  • Castro: Bush is "stupid" - Cuban Crackdown Deepens Strains With U.S.

    04/23/2003 12:58:03 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 25 replies · 307+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | April 23, 2003 | GEORGE GEDDA
    WASHINGTON -Secretary of State Colin Powell called Cuba's human rights record "horrible." Cuba described America's backers around the world as "vile lackeys." Hardly the stuff of classic diplomacy but no cause for particular surprise: it's been going on for a long time. Indeed, these corrosive exchanges occurred, by coincidence, last week on the 42nd anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion. The rhetoric took place during a politically charged, U.S.-backed examination of Cuba's rights record at the 53-member U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. The commission voted on two Cuba measures, approving a mildly critical one but rejecting by a...
  • Castro Spy Declares Opposition Is Disabled

    04/22/2003 11:57:11 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 23 replies · 280+ views
    Houston Chonicle and news ^ | April 23, 2003 | Anita Snow, AP
    HAVANA - An undercover Cuban agent credited with giving some of the most damaging courtroom evidence against dissidents said the island's opposition movement has been shattered. "The opposition is finished, it has ended, it will never lift its head again," Aleida de las Mercedes Godinez told The Associated Press. "The opposition will never flourish again - never!" Monday's interview with Godinez was the first in a series of government-organized interviews the agents are giving to the international media. The families of some of the 75 dissidents who were quickly convicted and sentenced to jail earlier this month acknowledged the severe...
  • Cuba's Cruel Joke

    04/22/2003 12:31:30 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 15 replies · 280+ views ^ | April 21, 2003 | Larry Solomon
    "Can I have your bones?" the old woman asked my eight-year-old daughter, pointing to the gnawed remains of the chicken leg that had been her lunch. Seeing that my daughter was perplexed, the old woman displayed a box of chicken bones that she had collected from other customers at the lunch counter of the department store, a respectable establishment frequented by locals in Old Havana's main shopping street. My daughter provided the bones after the lunch counter staff gave its consent - the old woman was evidently a regular at the lunch counter, and this was how she earned her...
  • The Facts on Castro's Oppression

    04/22/2003 12:19:38 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 5 replies · 193+ views
    U.S. State Department ^ | April 22, 2003 | Lorne W. Craner
    Testimony before the House International Relations Committee in Washington, D.C., given on April 16, 2003. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, you are to be commended for holding this hearing to spotlight the recent crackdown in Cuba. The committee's continuing interest in the situation in Cuba is particularly well timed and welcome, given the growing international concern over the efforts of the repressive regime to stifle independent voices and a growing demand for democracy. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. I want to address two issues, first the worsening human rights situation in Cuba, and second...
  • Operation Cuban Freedom – NOT! (Part 1)

    04/17/2003 1:34:41 PM PDT · by slickeroo · 2 replies · 299+ views
    Newsmax ^ | 4/17/03 | Humberto Fotova
    Operation Cuban Freedom – NOT! (Part 1) Humberto Fontova Thursday, April 17, 2003 (April 17 is the 42nd anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion.) "Freedom is our GOAL!" Roared Pepe San Roman to the men he commanded. "Cuba is our CAUSE! God is on our SIDE! ON TO VICTORY!!" Fifteen hundred men crowded before San Roman at their Guatemalan training camps that day. The next day they’d embark for a port in Nicaragua, the following day for a landing site in Cuba named Bahia De Cochinos (Bay of Pigs). Their outfit was known as Brigada 2506, and at their...
  • Cuba's brutality an eye-opener for a new generation

    04/14/2003 1:17:24 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 16 replies · 367+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | April 13, 2003 | OSCAR CORRAL
    For many young Cuban Americans who grew up in South Florida, the oppression, the mock justice, the summary executions that their parents and grandparents recall from Fidel Castro's dictatorship had become the lore of a hellish place that they had never known. But now, for the first time in years, the Castro government is exhibiting the same type of behavior that drove their families into exile -- giving the younger generation a glimpse of modern-day oppression on the island. It remains to be seen whether the crackdown on human-rights activists and executions of accused hijackers are enough to inspire them...
  • Cuba Dissident Case Revives U.S. Debate

    04/13/2003 2:12:00 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 4 replies · 237+ views ^ | April 13, 2003 | Anita Snow
    HAVANA - Cuba's accusations about dissidents in the pay of Washington have revived a long-standing debate over whether using U.S. government funds to support the Cuban opposition does more harm than good. Some $20 million has been paid by the U.S. Agency for International Development to U.S.-based groups working to end communist rule in the island. They run Web sites, distribute pro-democracy books and pamphlets, and even provide food and medicine to the families of political prisoners. But some veteran activists say the money only gives Fidel Castro's government ammunition to persecute dissidents, like the 75 sentenced in recent days...
  • 'True faces' in Cuba's dissident crackdown

    04/13/2003 8:52:25 AM PDT · by Luis Gonzalez · 11 replies · 283+ views
    The Miami Herald ^ | April 13, 2003 | ANITA SNOW
    HAVANA - For years they were familiar faces in Cuba's opposition movement: the elderly man with a black beret, the reporter who used a cane, the efficient secretary.But last week their real identities became known: They were government spies and helped the regime to lock up 75 of its most vocal critics.''The True Faces of the Nation'' is what the Communist Party daily Granma called them -- as many as a dozen men and women who faked opposition to Fidel Castro's government to gather facts and figures about the dissidents.Several of the undercover agents were so trusted by U.S. diplomats...
  • Cuban repression linked to hard times

    04/13/2003 8:14:43 AM PDT · by Luis Gonzalez · 26 replies · 364+ views
    The Miami Herald ^ | Sun, Apr. 13, 2003 | ANDRES OPPENHEIMER
    U.S. officials believe that Cuba's execution of three ferry hijackers Friday, coupled with the biggest wave of repression against peaceful dissidents in more than a decade, may be an effort to strengthen political control by the regime of President Fidel Castro in the face of growing difficulties. ''I think the guy is scared,'' a well-placed U.S. official in Washington said. It is not unusual for Castro to step up repression in times of economic or political crisis as a way of sending a strong signal to potential opponents that his regime will not tolerate any insubordination, other officials said. Indeed,...
  • Castro (not CNN) sends unequivocal message with execution of hijackers, crackdown

    04/12/2003 12:55:42 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 8 replies · 300+ views ^ | April 12, 2003 | AFP
    HAVANA (AFP) - Amid an international outcry over its crackdown on dissidents, Cuba sent a clear message to anyone who would destabilize the regime from within, summarily executing three men who tried to hijack a ferry to get to the United States. An official statement said the men were tried "with full respect for their ... basic rights," convicted Tuesday and shot dead at dawn Friday. Another four of the men involved in the hijacking of the ferry with some 40 people aboard were sentenced to life in jail, and one man to 30 years in prison. The three women...
  • Cuba Sentences Last of 75 Dissidents in Crackdown

    04/10/2003 7:01:42 PM PDT · by Free ThinkerNY · 10 replies · 216+ views
    Cuba Sentences Last of 75 Dissidents in Crackdown ANITA SNOW, Associated Press Writer Thursday, April 10, 2003 (04-10) 15:32 PDT HAVANA (AP) -- Cuba on Wednesday sentenced the last of 75 dissidents convicted after one-day trials of collaborating with U.S. diplomats to undermine the communist government. Governments and human rights groups around the world have condemned the speedy crackdown, which began with a massive roundup of opponents on March 18. The subsequent trials resulted in sentences ranging from 6 to 28 years. The United States has denied the government allegations, calling the moves "symptomatic of the dictatorship of the Cuban...
  • Jeff Jacoby: A wave of repression in Cuba

    04/10/2003 2:39:59 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 29 replies · 334+ views
    Boston Globe ^ | April 10, 2003 | jeff jacoby
    <p>ONE OF THE FIRST people I met during a week's stay in Havana last year was the economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe, a once-ardent communist who had turned against Fidel Castro's dictatorial system. For daring to criticize Cuba's disastrous policies, Chepe and his wife Miriam had been severely punished. He lost his prestigious position in the foreign service; she was told to choose between her job in the Foreign Ministry and her marriage. ''You want me to divorce my husband?'' she had asked in disbelief. ''Well, it's up to you,'' came the reply. As we sat in their tiny apartment in Havana's Playa district last March, the two dissidents told me how they had been forced to sell many of their possessions -- the car, the stamp collection, even some of their clothes -- in order to keep body and soul together. Barred from normal employment, Chepe managed to cobble together an income from odd jobs teaching and writing about Cuba's dysfunctional economy.</p>
  • Opponents of US embargo on Cuba lament new crack-down on dissidents - It's Bush's Fault

    04/09/2003 1:42:40 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 9 replies · 320+ views ^ | April 9, 2003 | AFP
    WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Cuban government's crackdown on dissidents, sentencing dozens of people to long terms in jail on subversion charges, is a fresh obstacle to those who are seeking an end to the US embargo on Cuba. President Fidel Castro's heavy handed repression saw some 79 dissidents, including journalists, economists and political reform activists, sentenced in trials running from Thursday to Monday, in the biggest crackdown on Cuba's opposition in years. But the move is a direct result of growing provocation from the head of the US Interests Section in Havana James Cason, analysts say, pointing the finger at...
  • The Last Straw? White House lashes Cuba over dissident crackdown

    04/09/2003 1:35:01 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 14 replies · 289+ views ^ | April 9, 2003 | AFP
    WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House pointed an accusing finger at Cuba's latest crackdown on dissidents, calling it proof President Fidel Castro's government remains a "totalitarian blight" on the region. "We are not going to reverse our policy of helping the dissidents," pledged national security spokesman Michael Anton, who said US President George W. Bush was "deeply concerned" about Castro's heavy-handed tactics. In the widest crackdown on opposition to the Castro government in years, dozens of dissidents, including journalists, economists and political reformers, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms this week. "The Castro regime's arrest, prosecution and sentencing of these...
  • Heavy sentences handed down in Cuban show trial

    04/07/2003 2:15:18 PM PDT · by knighthawk · 10 replies · 377+ views
    Radio Netherlands ^ | April 08 2003
    A Cuban court has sentenced dozens of prominent dissidents to heavy jail sentences of up to 25 years. Among those convicted is opposition leader Hector Palacios, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The poet/journalist Raul Rivero and the economist Marta Beatriz Roque both received 20-year sentences. They were all found guilty of subversion against the government. The prosecution demanded life sentences for some of the accused. The convicts were among the 78 people arrested during the past few weeks in a major crackdown by police. The international community has strongly condemned the arrests. The relatives of the suspects...
  • Thought Crimes: Cuban Dissidents Reel Under 'Wave of Repression'

    04/07/2003 1:16:59 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 11 replies · 298+ views
    Washington Post ^ | April 6, 2003 | Kevin Sullivan
    "The U.S. is riding high. It thinks it can dictate to or run over anyone and ignore international law," said Wayne Smith, a former top U.S. diplomat in Cuba who is now at the Center for International Policy in Washington. "I'm sure the United States has no intention of having a go at Cuba. But I'm not sure the Cubans are convinced of that." Smith also said that Castro may be trying to tighten his control ahead of worsening economic times, which have historically led to unrest and attempts to flee the island. Cuba's sugar industry is barely surviving, and...
  • Kissing Castro: Joel Miller watches Cuba persecute citizens, while leftists fawn

    04/05/2003 12:30:59 AM PST · by JohnHuang2 · 8 replies · 343+ views ^ | Saturday, April 5, 2003 | Joel Miller
    The seamy affair some Americans have with Fidel Castro and his island paradise might suffer a little love-loss this weekend. But don't hold your breath. Despite vociferous foreign criticism, Castro's cronies began trying dozens of political dissidents late this week for subversion. According to the April 4 New York Times, as many as 80 people may be tried throughout the weekend for varying degrees of Fidel infidelity – i.e., disagreeing with how Ole Busywhiskers controls his little water-hemmed gulag. Excluding the Far East dung dynasties, American universities and the careers of some U.S. congressmen, Cuba is just about the only...
  • Human rights for physicians in Cuba

    04/05/2003 2:27:19 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 3 replies · 276+ views
    Boston Globe ^ | April 5, 2003 | Susannah Sirkin
    <p>WHILE HUMAN RIGHTS groups in the United States rightly insist that the warring parties in Iraq take care to avoid harming hospitals and other medical facilities, closer to home in Cuba independent clinics and physicians have recently been deliberate targets of attack. The clampdown on dissidents across the island -- which coincided with the ground invasion of Iraq -- started with the dismantling of an independent medical clinic in the town of Pedro Betancourt, 150 kilometers east of Havana. More than 150 officers and paramilitaries searched and ransacked the private home of Miguel Sigler Amaya and his wife, Josefa Lopez Pena, where the clinic was housed, confiscating 90 pounds of medicines: antibiotics, pain killers, and vitamins. Police also seized a metered dose inhaler, an oxygen delivery system, a glucometer, some physiotherapy equipment, parental infusion appliances, and topical applications. The family's own medications were confiscated too.</p>
  • Castro's Imbeds Testify Against Dissidents at Circus Trial

    04/04/2003 11:53:18 PM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 3 replies · 224+ views ^ | April 5, 2003 | ANITA SNOW, AP
    HAVANA - Two reporters who spent years working alongside Cuba's best-known independent journalist revealed at his trial Friday that they were undercover agents as they testified against him, the dissident's wife said. In another trial, of a dissident economist, a longtime secretary told a court that she also worked undercover and had been informing on her employer. With such stunning courtroom revelations, Fidel Castro's government pressed ahead Friday the prosecution of 80 dissidents accused of working with U.S. diplomats to undermine Cuba's leadership. The well-known independent journalist Raul Rivero was among those being tried Friday in a second day of...
  • Cuba Wants Life in Prison for Dissidents

    04/03/2003 4:32:43 PM PST · by FreeManWhoCan · 8 replies · 231+ views
    AP ^ | Thu, Apr 03, 2003 | By ANITA SNOW
    HAVANA - The first wave of dissidents rounded up in a nationwide crackdown went on trial Thursday as Fidel Castro (news - web sites)'s government moved to wipe out growing opposition. Prosecutors sought life sentences for 12 of the 80 defendants. International media and foreign diplomats were excluded from the trials, the final phase of Cuba's harshest campaign against internal dissent in years. "This is a judicial Tiananmen," said opposition member Manuel Cuesta Morua, referring to the 1989 Chinese military assault on pro-democracy student protesters in Tiananmen Square. The recommended sentences of 15 years to life were aimed at "putting...
  • Castro Seeks Life Sentences for Dissidents - Trial Today - Where's Jimmy Carter?

    04/03/2003 2:23:15 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 12 replies · 285+ views
    HAVANA - Cuba pressed forward with its harshest crackdown on dissent in years, scheduling trials for dissidents rounded up across the island and reportedly seeking life sentences for at least 10 of them. At least 78 dissidents have been arrested since March 18, accused of working with U.S. diplomats to subvert Fidel Castro's government and of being mercenaries in the pay of Washington. Rising tensions with the United States have coincided with a string of hijackings by Cubans trying to leave the communist island. On Wednesday, gunmen forced a Cuban ferry to head toward Florida; the boat remained adrift Thursday...
  • A Cuban wakes up facing only two problems every day: lunch and dinner

    04/01/2003 11:17:54 PM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 9 replies · 430+ views
    Houston Chronicle ^ | April 2, 2003 | JENALIA MORENO
    Cash from exiles in U.S. lets Cubans live, a little Remittances help undermine U.S. sanctions intended to topple Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. They also help create inequality in Cuba, a communist country Castro tried to design as free of socioeconomic classes. .....But inequality seems to reign on the island, with whites more likely to receive remittance checks than blacks and those of mixed race, even though today blacks and mixed-race persons make up 62 percent of the island's 11 million people, according to the U.S. Department of State. Afro-Cubans tend to be more impoverished, said de Salas-del Valle, an issue...
  • Crackdown in Cuba / A reminder that Castro is still a tyrant

    03/29/2003 11:37:37 AM PST · by Willie Green · 8 replies · 241+ views
    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | Saturday, March 29, 2003 | editorial
    <p>As some Americans sound off on the lack of wisdom in current U.S. policy toward Cuba, there is a tendency to forget exactly why the Fidel Castro government is so despicable.</p> <p>The Castro regime's harsh crackdown since March 18 on dissidents on the island, including librarians, journalists and intellectuals, has pointed up just why most observers, whatever their view about sanctions, believe that Cuba would be better off if Castro's government became history sooner rather than later.</p>
  • After 40 years Castro Regime knows how far to go and when, experts say of crackdown

    03/29/2003 12:11:32 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 3 replies · 272+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | March 28, 2003 | NANCY SAN MARTIN with Larissa Ruiz Campo
    Despite worldwide condemnation of Cuba's recent crackdown on dissidents, Fidel Castro's government once again appears likely to escape any damaging consequences, according to a variety of policy analysts. The manner in which the Cuban government has orchestrated the moves designed to silence human rights activists, the analysts say, displays the various techniques and tactics Castro has used over the years to remain in power and to avoid complete isolation within the international community. These include well-calculated timing -- in this case, amid a major world crisis that distracted international attention; knowing where to draw the line, such as avoiding the...
  • Cuban and Russian foreign ministers highlight similarities in foreign policy

    03/26/2003 12:43:01 PM PST · by Heartlander2 · 2 replies · 272+ views
    A joint statement signed by the Cuban and Russian Foreign Affairs Ministers on March 24, at the end of a three-day visit to Moscow by Felipe Pérez Roque, highlights the many similarities in the foreign policy of both countries. On signing the document, the Cuban minister and his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, reaffirmed the intention of both countries to work towards a strengthening of joint action in the international arena for a more just and democratic world order. Likewise they stated that both sides had reviewed the political and socioeconomic processes taking place in Latin America and the Caribbean and...
  • Goebbels Lives in Havana: The virulent anti-Semitism of Castro's Cuba.

    03/25/2003 5:24:05 AM PST · by JohnHuang2 · 3 replies · 144+ views ^ | Tuesday, March 25, 2003 | By Myles Kantor
    Goebbels Lives in HavanaBy Myles | March 25, 2003 National Socialist Germany’s chief propagandist died in 1945, but the virulent spirit of Joseph Goebbels lives in Communist Cuba. The British Broadcasting Corporation monitors Cuban media including the Havana-based Radio Rebelde News (state-controlled like all media in Cuba).  The BBC notes in its report on the March 3 edition of Radio Rebelde News:   Eduardo Dimas’ [a prominent media functionary] “Our Opinion commentary” discusses the United States' spying on non-permanent members of the UN Security Council and efforts to control oil resources in the Middle East and Africa in conjunction with...
  • Peace demonstrators ignore plight of those in Iraq, Cuba, Panama

    03/20/2003 10:36:44 AM PST · by j_accuse · 6 replies · 302+ views
    Firmas Press ^ | March 5, 2003 | Carlos Montaner
    Pacifists ignore the Iraqis' plightCarlos Alberto Montaner The incident occurred in one of those strange Cuban buses called ''camels.'' The day was blazing hot, and you couldn't have fit another passenger in that socialist jumble of people and tropical sweat. Suddenly, an old man looking like a madman or a wino, hollered at the top of his lungs: ``I wanna see all gringo soldiers hanging . . . !''The passengers stared at him in silence. The old man smiled mischievously and shouted again: '' . . . Hanging from parachutes all over Havana!'' The passengers burst into merry applause.I...
  • Castro Jails Cubans as Eyes Turned Toward War in Iraq

    03/23/2003 2:25:46 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 14 replies · 298+ views ^ | March 22, 2003 | Anita Snow, AP
    HAVANA - Ending several years of relative tolerance for Cuba's critical voices, Fidel Castro is showing American diplomats and the dissidents they courted that he can only stand so much. Increasingly irritated by the top American diplomat's contact with government opponents, Castro chose the eve of the Iraq war to launch an offensive of his own. By Friday night, Cuban state agents had rounded up and jailed at least 72 dissidents. The crackdown marked an end to the comparative lenience Cuban officials showed in recent years as independent journalists filed dispatches to Miami without government intervention, dissidents held news conferences...
  • Cuban dissidents under watch as arrests continue - U.S. Senate group pushes to lift sanctions

    03/22/2003 1:45:31 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 8 replies · 283+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | March 22, 2003 | NANCY SAN MARTIN
    The homes of Cuba's most high-profile government opponents were under heavy surveillance as police continued to make arrests across the island in an apparent effort to stamp out a growing dissent movement, according to reports from Cuba. Plainclothes security agents were posted outside the homes of Oswaldo Payá, leader of a citizens initiative on democratic change, veteran human rights activist Elizardo Sánchez and former political prisoner Vladimiro Roca, son of the late Cuban Communist Party leader Blas Roca. 'They are outside my house, on the corner,'' Sánchez told the Associated Press. Authorities also searched the homes of Sánchez and Roca,...