Tag Archives: Cuban Revolution

About Some of the Changes in Cuba

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February 15, 2013
Andrés Gómez, Director of Areítodigital

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Miami.- I returned from Havana recently after a few weeks in that beloved city. A lot is changing in Havana, just as in the rest of the Island, as a result of the new economic measures in place in the country.

Clearly the changes are positive. New enterprising forces are visible. These were made possible by the latest laws, guidelines and regulations. The most obvious changes are those related to transportation, gastronomy and building. Also and most importantly is the money available to the population in general.

The availability of money in the population in general makes possible the rest of the changes that are taking place. Today I will talk about the three I mentioned before. Perhaps because I am not an economist I fail to understand how with the level of salaries received by the large majority of Cuban workers so many of them can spend so much money to acquire so many things. I know that there are sectors related to the new businesses that have a higher purchasing power; but it is difficult for me to believe that there are as many persons related to these new businesses as those we see spending money in the streets and buying at the commercial shops in the city. This situation is still an enigma for me. And although it is a mystery, I see it with pleasure, because people enjoy it and benefit from it. There will be time for me to understand it.

Transportation in the city has improved considerably, and not because the government has acquired many more buses, but because the private sector has made available to many customers the old American cars -at least their bodies, because these cars operate with motors and parts of cars that are not American. And I say to many –and not to all- because a trip in Havana (in the metropolitan area) in one of these cars costs between 10 and 20 non-convertible Cuban pesos.

Most of the persons who have to use public transportation because of their economic situation, must use the available buses whose numbers have increased, but are still not enough. However, the availability of “almendrones” [literally big almonds], as these private cars used for public transportation are called, contributes greatly to solve the transportation problem.

It is amazing to see the lines of almendrones, one after the other, along the main avenues in the city such as Avenidas 51, 41, 31 and 3ra in Marianao and Playa, Línea or 23 in Plaza, or Calle Neptuno in Centro Habana picking up passengers and performing dangerous maneuvers against traffic regulations. It looks as if all the old American cars in the Island are running as public transport along the streets of Havana. It is a good business that of almendrones!

Gastronomy seems good business as well. There are small places that require little investment with a counter or table to serve their products; some with a little electric oven or toaster. These are in home porches, building entrances, garages of houses or buildings, or inside houses that serve food from an enlarged window. They sell ham or ham and cheese sandwiches, omelets in bread –the omelet could be of plain eggs or with added onion, ham, cheese or combinations of these. Among these places there are many that sell Cuban pizzas or Cuban food. The Cuban menu and pizzas have been available for a longer while, but are more numerous now.

And ranking above these basic places there are others -better and larger- that are considered cafeterias, some with a few tables and chairs and others that also have a bar counter and tall chairs. These places vary in decoration, some are quite rustic, but others are rather elegant. The cafeterias offer different sandwiches and hamburgers, pizzas and even more sophisticated dishes.

And higher up in this gastronomic chain are the paladares and private restaurants that specialize in different cuisines or menus; from the budget places to the expensive and the very expensive.

Another visible change in Havana these days is in construction, or rather the repair, remodeling and enlarging of homes. The new laws related to the buying and selling of houses and the new regulations to facilitate the legal procedures to repair or enlarge houses have fueled these processes.

It is very encouraging to see how –not only in the areas where the best houses in the city are located, supposedly the places where the owners with more money reside, but practically in every neighborhood in the capital city- so many people are involved in the improvement of their houses.

And these activities have stimulated the creation of places where building materials are sold, including more materials and parts related to these works in the hardware stores of the State commercial network, and specially a proliferation of small kiosks that sell plumbing appliances of great demand.

In future articles I will be dealing with these issues, because they are important to see how our country is at the moment in the midst of a positive process of change that, even with its problems, makes life more productive and pleasant to our people in the Island.//

Sobre algunos de los cambios en Cuba

15 de febrero de 2013 Andrés Gómez, director de Areítodigital

Miami.- Recientemente regresé de La Habana después de estar varias semanas en esa querida ciudad. Mucho cambia en La Habana, como mucho también cambia en el resto de la Isla, como consecuencia de las nuevas medidas económicas que han entrado en efecto en el país.

Claramente los cambios son positivos. Se hacen evidentes nuevas fuerzas emprendedoras posibilitadas por las nuevas leyes, directrices y reglamentos. Entre los cambios que más se hacen obvios están los relacionados al transporte, la gastronomía y a la construcción. Como también, y más importantemente, es indudable el dinero disponible en la población en general.

Lo del dinero disponible en la población en general posibilita el resto de los cambios que tienen lugar y de los cuales hoy trataré sobre los tres anteriormente señalados. Quizás sea porque no soy economista, pero realmente no entiendo, cómo con el nivel de los sueldos que percibe la inmensa mayoría de las trabajadoras y trabajadores cubanos puedan gastar muchos de ellos tanto dinero en adquirir tantas cosas. Entiendo que hay sectores relacionados a los nuevos negocios que tienen más poder adquisitivo. Pero me es muy difícil creer que haya tantas personas relacionadas a estos nuevos negocios como las que se ven gastando dinero en las calles y comprando en los establecimientos comerciales de la ciudad. Para mí esta situación sigue siendo un enigma. Aunque es un misterio que percibo con regocijo porque la gente lo disfruta y se beneficia. Ya tendré tiempo para entenderlo.

El transporte en la capital ha mejorado notablemente y no porque el gobierno haya adquirido muchos más autobuses sino porque el sector privado ha puesto a disposición de muchos los viejos automóviles americanos, al menos sus carrocerías, ya que estos carros funcionan con motores y piezas de carros que no son americanos. Digo a disposición de muchos –y no de todos– ya que un viajecito en La Habana en estos carros, y cuando digo en La Habana, incluyo toda el área metropolitana, oscila entre los $10 y $20 pesos moneda nacional no convertible.

La mayoría de la gente que tiene que utilizar transporte público, por necesidad económica, tiene que recurrir a los autobuses disponibles, que han aumentado en número, pero siguen siendo insuficientes. Aunque la disponibilidad de los almendrones, como son conocidos los carros privados que se utilizan en el transporte público, alivia notablemente el problema de ese transporte.

Es increíble ver las hileras de almendrones, uno detrás de otro, por las vías principales de la ciudad como pudieran ser las Avenidas 51, 41, 31 y 3ra en Marianao y Playa, Línea o 23 en Plaza, o la Calle Neptuno en Centro Habana, recogiendo pasajeros, en peligrosos despliegues de paragüería. Tal perece que todos los viejos carros americanos de la Isla corren en estos tiempos como carros públicos por las calles de La Habana. Es un buen negocio el de los almendrones.

Como tal parece ser que un buen negocio también es el de los establecimientos relacionados con la gastronomía. Estos pudieran ser pequeños lugares, que requieren poca inversión, con una tabla o mesa para despachar, algunos con hornitos o planchas eléctricas, que se encuentran en portales de viviendas, entradas de edificios o entradas de garajes de casas y edificios, o dentro de viviendas en las que se despacha por las ventanas ampliadas de las viviendas. Estos pudieran vender panes con jamón, con jamón y queso, panes con tortilla — la tortilla pudiera ser de huevos solamente o de huevos con cebolla, con jamón, queso y sus combinaciones. También hay entre este tipo de establecimientos los que se dedican a la venta de pizzas, pizzas cubanas, o de comida criolla. Este último menú así como el de la venta de pizzas tienen más tiempo de existencia, aunque ahora proliferan.

Y partiendo de este tipo básico de establecimiento hay otros mejores o más amplios que son considerados cafeterías que pudieran ser de los más básicos con algunas mesitas con sillas, hasta otros que, además de las mesitas, tienen mostrador con banquetas. Estos están montados desde de una manera rústica a otros que están muy bien puestos. Estas cafeterías pueden ofertar diferentes tipos de bocaditos y hamburguesas, pizzas, hasta platos más sofisticados.

Y entonces están los paladares y restaurantes privados especializándose en diferentes tipos de cocinas o menús. Desde los que son más económicos hasta los que son caros, bien caros.

Otro cambio que se hace evidente en estos tiempos en La Habana es el de la construcción, o más bien, el de remozar, reparar y ampliar viviendas. Las nuevas leyes relacionadas a la venta y compra de viviendas y las nuevas regulaciones dirigidas a la agilización de los trámites relacionados a la reparación o ampliación de viviendas han dado impulso a estas necesidades.

Es muy estimulante ver cómo, no solamente en los barrios donde se encuentran las mejores viviendas de la ciudad –que es donde uno supone se encuentren los propietarios con más dinero disponible — sino en prácticamente todos los barrios de la capital muchos se han volcado a mejorar sus viviendas.

Y con estas actividades se ha impulsado la creación de lugares donde se venden materiales de la construcción, incluyendo más materiales y piezas relacionadas con estos trabajos en las propias ferreterías de las redes comerciales estatales, y muy especialmente la proliferación de los timbiriches donde se venden productos relacionados a la plomería, que tanta falta hacen.

Sobre estos asuntos trataré en próximos artículos ya que éstos son de importancia para representar a nuestro país como éste se encuentra actualmente en medio de un acertado proceso de cambios que, aunque con sus problemas, hace la vida más productiva y placentera a los nuestros en la Isla.//

FREE THE CUBAN 5 AND THE PUERTO RICAN POLITICAL PRISONERS

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Saturday January 5, 2013

@ 6pm (Reception) 7pm (Cultural program) Casa de las Americas
182 E. 111th St.
(Btwn. Lexington Ave. and 3rd Ave.)

Dos Alas 2013 A cultural/political evening of celebration and solidarity presented by
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign and Casa de las Americas! Dedicated to the
FREEDOM OF THE CUBAN 5 AND THE PUERTO RICAN POLITICAL PRISONERS!

Join us as we celebrate the 54th anniversary of the Cuban revolution anniversary and the 70th Birthday of Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera!

• Keynote address by the new Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations
• Boleros: Abram Alberto
• Poetry: Bobby Gonzalez and Rafael Landron

Case of Alan Gross

(Originally posted by Cuba Central)

Dear Friends,

We report on a flurry of activity concerning the case of Alan Gross, just days before the third anniversary of his arrest in Cuba, an event marked at a press conference in Washington this morning by his wife Judy Gross, understandably disconsolate, with his lawyer, Jared Genser, by her side.

Together, they said the Obama administration had failed to pursue vigorous diplomacy sufficient to secure his release.  He feels “dumped and forgotten” by the U.S. government, Mrs. Gross said, like a soldier left to die.  The lawyer’s message to the U.S. government was also direct:  “You sent him there; you have an obligation to get him out.”

In fact, they laid blame at the feet of both governments for being obstacles to the settlement of his case.  They said the Cuban government, which publicly calls for direct negotiations to address his case and the captivity of the Cuban Five, was either unable or unwilling to talk.

But they also made a special point of noting that the Obama administration had actively sought and won the release of Americans imprisoned abroad, and said the administration should pick an envoy close to President Obama, with full White House support, to go to Cuba and negotiate Alan Gross’s release.

Significantly, they called his captivity an obstacle to improvements in U.S.-Cuba relations, and urged both parties to work for his release.  In saying so, they parted company with the most ardent embargo supporters, who warn the Obama administration not to negotiate for his release.

As Senator Bob Menendez said this week in an interview with the New York Times “I’m not into negotiating for someone who is clearly a hostage of the Cuban regime.” Judy Gross correctly diagnosed the hardliner’s position as a surefire recipe for continuing his captivity for years.  “He is a pawn of these very radical right-wing Cuba haters, for lack of a better word, who don’t want to see any changes happen, even to get Alan home.”

Mrs. Gross pled for her husband’s release on humanitarian grounds, and demanded access by doctors for an independent examination of a mass on his shoulder that the family believes could be cancerous.  For its part, the Cuban government released this week the results of a biopsy conducted October 24th, and an examination by a physician who is also ordained as a Rabbi, who concluded that the growth is not cancerous.

Two weeks ago, attorneys for the Gross family filed a law suit against the U.S. government and his employer, the USAID contractor DAI, seeking $60 million in damages.  In the complaint available here, they concede that his activities were “to promote (a) successful democratic transition” in Cuba and that when he was at risk of detection by Cuban authorities, USAID failed to comply with provisions of the “Counterintelligence Manual” to save him before his arrest.

Mr. Gross knew of the dangers associated with his activities in Cuba, writing in one of the trip reports filed with his employer under the USAID contract, “In no uncertain terms, this is very risky business.”

In light of these facts, it is hard to understand why his legal representatives still argue that all he was doing in Cuba was trying to improve Internet access for the Jewish community.  This benign explanation was long ago overtaken by the facts.

Even so, it is a position that remains front and center in the U.S. State Department’s talking points.  Victoria Nuland, the department’s Spokesperson, responded to a reporter who asked about the Gross case, by saying:

But again, just to remind that this is a guy who’s been incarcerated for no reason for three years and ought to come home. Alan Gross was given a 15-year prison term simply for the supposed crime of helping the Jewish community of Cuba communicate with the outside world.

Old tropes die hard, especially when the U.S. government decides we can’t handle the truth.  This failure to concede why Mr. Gross was arrested and convicted not only contributes to the lack of movement in his case, but is especially alarming now that we know the Obama administration is doubling down on the program that led to his arrest.

As Tracey Eaton reports in Along the Malecón, the U.S. government “The U.S. government has hired a former CIA agent,” named Daniel Gabriel, “to create and manage a team of at least 10 journalists in Cuba.”  Gabriel’s Linked In profile concludes with this heartfelt endorsement:

“Dan is one of those dream clients you get once in a blue moon: totally risk tolerant, possessed of a voracious appetite for learning, and the drive to turn pontification into action.”

We could not think of a clearer case for why these programs need to end.

Foro importante para los Cinco

Comité Nacional para la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

Read in English

Foro importante para los Cinco Facultad de Derecho de Howard University Washington, DC, martes, 13 de nov.


“Injustamente encarcelados en Estados Unidos por defender a Cuba: El Caso de los Cinco Cubanos” es el título de un importante foro, auspiciado por la Facultad de Derecho de Howard University, en Washington, DC, el martes, 13 de noviembre.

El panel de oradores del foro incluye a:

* Danny Glover (foto en la derecha, con Gerardo), actor y activista social, quien ha visitado a Gerardo Hernández en la prisión federal de Victorville muchas veces.
* Martin Garbus (foto abajo), miembro del equipo legal de los Cinco, está dirigiendo el tema de los periodistas pagados por el gobierno, en la apelación actual de Gerardo. El gobierno de EEUU pagó a decenas de periodistas, quienes influenciaron negativamente al jurado y la comunidad de Miami con su cobertura perjudicial contra los Cinco, durante el juicio.
* Okianer Christian Dark, Decana de la Facultad de Derecho de Howard University. La Facultad de Derecho entregó un documento legal a favor de la apelación de los Cinco, ante la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos.
* Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, la abogado y co-fundador de la Asociación para la Justicia Civil, instrumental en forzar al gobierno revelar información sobre los pagos ilegales a los periodistas.
* Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Asistente principal para Colin Powell, cuando era Secretario de Estado en 2002-2005, quien apoya enérgicamente a los Cinco.
* Gloria La Riva, coordinadora del Comité Nacional para la Libertad de los Cinco, dirigiendo los esfuerzos para exponer a los periodistas del gobierno.

El foro es gratis y abierto al públicó. Será una oportunidad importante para los estudiantes de Howard University y al público, para aprender sobre la injusticia tan grave cometida contra los Cinco, y saber de la campaña por su libertad. Si usted está en la región de Washington DC, no deje de asistir este importante foro. ¡Invite a sus amigos también!


Detalles del evento:

Fecha, hora: Martes, 13 de noviembre, 6:00 pm
Sede: Howard University, Facultad de Derecho
La Sala “Moot Court Room”
2900 Van Ness St. NW
Washington, DC
Entrada: Gratis

Josefina Vidal on ALAN GROSS

Contrary to many reports, including one in The Washington Post, this is not the “first time” that Cuba has expressed its “willingness to dialogue” with the U.S. Government about the case of Alan Gross. Nor is it the first time Cuba has indicated that the ball is in Washington’s court. Here is the September 12 statement by Josefina Vidal, who heads the department of U.S. affairs at the Foreign Ministry and here is the transcript of her May 10 interview by Wolf Blitzer on CNN. She clearly says, “Cuba reiterates the willingness to dialogue” and awaits a response.
Jane Franklin
http://www.janefranklin.info

Statement by Josefina Vidal, Head for United States affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Transcript of May 10, 2012, Interview by Wolf Blitzer on CNN

BLITZER: The letter I received from the top Cuban diplomat here in Washington, Jorge Bolanos (ph) clearly suggested to me that the Castro government is interested in a prisoner swap exchanging Alan Gross for members of the so-called “Cuban five”. They’re serving lengthy prison sentences in the United States after being convicted on spy charges. I’ve been reaching out to both Cuban and U.S. officials to try to clarify their positions and to also try to keep the lines of communication open.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

And Josefina Vidal is joining us now from Havana. She’s the head of North American Affairs for the Cuban Foreign Ministry. Are you prepared to tell us what you want in exchange for the release of Alan Gross?

JOSEFINA VIDAL, CUBAN FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL: Wolf, thank you for having me in your program. We have conveyed to the U.S. government our willingness to have a dialogue to try to solve all our problems and to normalize relations between our two countries. In this specific case we have made clear to the U.S. government as you said that we are ready to have a negotiation in order to try to find a solution, a humanitarian solution to Mr. Gross’ case on a reciprocal basis.

I am not — we are not advancing any specific formula. It has to be discussed with the U.S. government because the U.S. government has a direct responsibility on the situation for the situation of Mr. Alan Gross, but again, we have been waiting for a response on the side of the U.S. government on this specific matter.

BLITZER: So there are no active discussions or negotiations underway right now between the Cuban government and the U.S. government to try to free Alan Gross?

VIDAL: We have conveyed to the U.S. side that we are ready to sit down to talk and to have a negotiation on this matter, and as I mentioned already to you, we have been waiting for a response. We are ready to do that.

BLITZER: Is there, from your perspective, is there a linkage between the release of Alan Gross and the release of what’s called the “Cuban five”?

VIDAL: Again, we are not advancing a specific solution, a specific formula. It has to be discussed among us, but definitely Cuba has legitimate concerns, humanitarian concerns related to the situation of the “Cuban five”.

BLITZER: What do you say in response to what the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN?

VIDAL: You know Mr. Gross was not working in Cuba as a volunteer, aid worker. He was detained in Cuba because of conducting a well-financed program by the U.S. government aimed at provoking changes in Cuba, attempting against Cuba’s constitutional order. So Mr. Gross when he was retained was a professional under a contract by the U.S. government fulfilling this, trying to implement this program financed by the — by some U.S. agencies.

BLITZER: What —

VIDAL: But he was — he was, of course, in violation —

BLITZER: What evidence do you have that he was doing that?

VIDAL: He was convicted for violating Cuban laws, attempting against Cuba’s constitutional order is not just a crime in Cuba. It is also a crime in the United States and in many other countries and this is the reason why he was convicted because of attempting against our independence, our constitutional order.

BLITZER: Mr. Gross told me that when he brought all of the equipment in the people at the airport, the authorities saw the equipment and they said you have to pay duty on it, 100 percent. He didn’t want to pay 100 percent so they just said pay $100 and you can bring the equipment in, but they inspected all of those cell phones and all of the satellite phones, whatever he was bringing in and allowed him to bring it into the country. As a result, he says he doesn’t understand why he was arrested.

VIDAL: It has been written in some media reports Mr. Gross misled U.S.-Cuban authorities about the kind of equipment he was introducing into the country without the proper authorities and he also misled members of the Cuban- Jewish community about the purposes of his trip to Cuba and what he was doing in Cuba.

BLITZER: Alan Gross says his 90-year-old mother is dying from cancer in Texas right now. She can’t travel. She can’t get on an airplane. He would like to spend two weeks and he promises he would come back to Cuba if you let him say good-bye, in effect to his mother. What’s wrong with that?

VIDAL: In the case of Mr. Alan Gross he has started to serve his prison terms three years ago, and the conditions under which he is now do not allow him to go outside of Cuba.

BLITZER: Even for humanitarian reasons to visit his 90-year-old mother who has cancer and is dying? Are you open at all to letting him say good-bye to her?

VIDAL: In the case of Mr. Gross, we have guaranteed for him a good treatment as he himself told you. He’s in good shape. He receives specialized medical treatment, balanced meals. He receives visits, regular consular access and visits by friends, by religious and political leaders from the U.S. and other countries and we have facilitated for their families and friends all the visits they have requested so far.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: I also asked Josefina Vidal about other issues involving U.S.-Cuba relations. I told her what I’m hearing from my U.S. sources about what Cuba could do to improve the relationship. Stand by for part two of this exclusive interview and look, look who is reading the weather forecast.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rain, of course, will be heaviest over the borders and around Edinboro (ph) where it could lead to difficult conditions on the roads.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: The case of the jailed American, Alan Gross, is a new thorn between the United States and Cuba after a half a century of tensions. I spoke about the prospects of improved U.S.-Cuban relations with Josefina Vidal, the head of North American Affairs for the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: What do you think of President Obama and his efforts over these past three and a half years to reach out to try to improve relations between the United States and Cuba?

VIDAL: This is our position, I mean, for many years the Cuban government has been conveying to the U.S. side our willingness to have a comprehensive, political dialogue with the United States to solve all our historical problems and to move on in order to have a productive, beneficial relationship for the benefit of our both people, and this is our position. We have related (ph) that to the U.S. government and we are continuing — are willing to have the possibility to see that future for our two countries.

BLITZER: Is there any dialogue under way right now between your government and the Obama administration?

VIDAL: We have had talks in the last two or three years. As soon as the new president, President Obama took office, some level of official dialogue that suffered a lot during the previous administration that was established and we have had our biannual migration talks and we have talked — we have conveyed in those meetings the position I just described to you about Cuba’s willingness to — for the best of our two countries, to find a civilized — civilized (INAUDIBLE) with the United States.

BLITZER: Are you hopeful? Are you optimistic that the relationship will improve over these next few months?

VIDAL: We are always hopeful. We have been waiting for that moment for more than 50 years, but we are still strong believers that the future is possible for the good and the benefit of the U.S., of Cuba, of our both mutual national interests and for our people.

BLITZER: Based on my conversations with very high U.S. officials, Ms. Vidal, I can tell you that if you were to make a gesture and release Alan Gross, he served already two and a half years that would go a long way in setting the stage for an improved U.S.- Cuban relationship.

VIDAL:
In that regard I have to be honest with you, Wolf, and tell you that we see this statement as a new pretext by the U.S. side in order to — not to move on, on our bilateral relationships. We have seen all over our history that any time one pretext disappears, there is another one ready at hand in order to try to justify not to normalize the relations with Cuba.

BLITZER: It sounds like a relatively easy situation for you, test the United States, send Alan Gross home and see what happens. If there’s no improvement, what have you lost?

VIDAL: As I mentioned to you in the beginning of our interview, this is something that Cuba cannot do unilaterally, because there is a responsibility by the United States government for the situation of Mr. Alan Gross, so this is a topic, this is a matter, an issue that has to be discussed directly between Cuba and the United States in order to look for a solution.

BLITZER: And you’re saying the U.S. is not ready to discuss Alan Gross’ situation with Cuba? Is that what you’re saying?

VIDAL: We have been waiting for a response and a reaction by the United States government to what we have conveyed about our willingness to sit down, to have a conversation and to initiate a negotiation on that matter.

BLITZER: We will continue this conversation, Josefina Vidal. Thank you so much for joining us and we will continue to talk. We’ll stay in close touch.

VIDAL: It is my pleasure, Wolf. Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: And we’ve received State Department reaction to my interview with Josefina Vidal. Let me read the statement that they gave us. “We reject the suggestion that this is a matter for negotiation. Alan Gross is unjustifiably imprisoned and his case is not related to the ‘Cuban five’. Josefina Vidal’s statements only seem to reinforce Alan Gross’ view that he is a hostage of the Cuban regime.”

The statement goes on. “The continuing imprisonment of Alan Gross is deplorable, it is wrong, and it is a violation of human decency as well as human rights. We raise this issue with the Cuban government at every possible opportunity. We call on people around the world to raise this issue with the Cuban government because Mr. Gross deserves to come home.”

The U.S. statement adds “we will continue to use every appropriate channel to press the Cuban government for Mr. Gross’ release so he can return to his family where he belongs. To date, the government of Cuba has presented no realistic proposal for Alan Gross’ release”, that statement coming in from the State Department. By the way, the full interview with Josefina Vidal we posted on our website, CNN.com/TheSituationRoom.

FREE THE CUBAN 5 MONTH!

“Ours may be one of the most ridiculous accusations of espionage in the history of this country”- Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo, The Cuban 5

This September 12th, 2012 will mark the 14th year anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban 5; five US held Cuban political prisoners incarcerated for protecting Cuba from U.S. sponsored terrorist actions.

In 2006, President Ricardo Alarcon, of the Cuban Parliament, declared Sept. 12th through October 6th to be a period of time to raise awareness on the case of the Cuban 5. The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5 is committed to building an international movement for the Cuban 5’s freedom by extending this period of time to be a full month (Sept. 12th-October 12th) and calling it “Free the Cuban 5 Month.” During this month we organize a calendar of events to raise awareness about the Cuban 5 and how people can support their release!

Please support the Free the Cuban 5 picket on Sept 12th, the Vicente Feliu concert on Saturday Sept. 15th at 1199, the special Film screening of “South of the Border” on Sept. 22nd and support the Cuban 5 call in day on Oct. 12th!

Tribute to Barrón


On July 24, 2012, a tribute to our compañero Arnaldo Goenaga Barrón was held in Havana for his valiant service to the Revolution and to his homeland, Cuba. Our compañero was awarded the Friendship Medal. This acknowledgement was presented to him by the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and was certified by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba and its President, the Honorable Raúl Castro Ruz.

The hot, tropical summer afternoon was no impediment for his friends and comrades in struggle, which included representatives of the revolutionary government, to gather in honor of Barrón. The celebration was led by Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada. Also present were the Ambassador of Cuba to the United Nations, Pedro Núñez Mosquera, comrade Rafael Dauza, who represented the Minister of Foreign Relations, Kenia Serrano, President of the ICAP, the Executive Board of Casa de las Américas, and Andrés Morejón and Esperanza Luzbert, officials of the ICAP who had the task of organizing this auspicious event. The proclamation was read by Esperanza Luzberty. In a moment of great honor, Alarcón decorated Barrón with his deserved medal, which he placed on Barrón’s guayabera, over his heart. As soon as the medal was pinned, the audience erupted in thunderous applause.

What follows is a brief explanation of the reasons for which this distinction was given to our beloved Barrón. Compañero Barrón tells us that the motivation to involve himself fully in the struggle to eradicate from Cuba Fulgencio Batista’s bloody dictatorship was the failed attempt during the attack on the Moncada Barracks by that valiant group of Cuban patriots, led by Fidel Castro on July 26, 1953. With close attention and with great pain, Barrón followed the infamous trial and the conditions of imprisonment to which Fidel and the other survivors of that heroic endeavor were subjected by the bloodthirsty Batista regime.

International pressure and the criticisms of the atrocities committed by the henchmen of Batista against the prisoners of that heroic deed resulted in the freedom of Fidel and the other imprisoned comrades. Fidel went abroad and in Mexico, he began to organize Cubans in the Diaspora. It was at that time that a group of young Cubans from the committee of the Orthodox Party of Cuba in New York, led by Arnaldo Goenaga Barrón, made contact with Fidel and asked that he visit them in that city. Fidel accepts the invitation and travels from Mexico to Texas and continuing by train to New York City, arriving on October 15, 1955. He was received by the members of the Committee of the Orthodox Party.

Gloria Goenaga and Arnaldo Barrón welcomed Fidel into their home for the 15 days he was in New York City. During his stay, Fidel commits all his efforts toward organizing the different sectors of the Cuban Diaspora in order to unite them into one organization. On October 28, 1955, the July 26 Movement is established in the United States, and was led by comrade Arnaldo Goenaga Barrón.

Members of the July 26Movement in the United States, including those who are no longer with us, knew how to valiantly respond to the call of the homeland and dedicate their lives to the ultimate expression of the apostle Jose Martí who tells us that, “The genuine person does not look toward what side lives better but rather on which side his duty lies.”

Who better than the President of Cuban Parliament, Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, to elaborate upon these magnificent individuals? Alarcón, in an emotional and eloquent dissertation about Barrón at the ceremony, spoke precisely and clearly about the revolutionary history of these anonymous heroes of the Revolution. Alarcón declared that if anyone deserved the recognition being given, it was Arnaldo Barrón, saying: “At the very least we can give him that distinction today and with how many more could we express the gratitude that we Cubans should have toward this comrade who represents so many others who, in the ‘belly of the beast’ knew how to defend and maintain a living image of the homeland and live the revolutionary ideals?” What the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba has done through the action of the ICAP has been simply to carry out an act of justice.

Further on, Alarcón forges a framework for the accomplishments and virtues of Arnaldo and his fellow Movement comrades. He goes on to explain step by step the most daring moments of the revolutionary struggles in which those tireless Cuban fighters participated, under the leadership of our beloved Barrón. Alarcón next addresses those present in order to point out that “I have allowed myself to speak these words on this occasion to tell those who did not know him, that what we have here is a living and inseparable part of what is best in the Cuban revolutionary struggle. And in all those years that Arnaldo was not here in his homeland, he was there struggling for his homeland every second and for his people. He had to wage a little known and very hidden struggle in order to gather arms and organize actions, and he had to do this confronted with groups that were in opposition to the revolutionary process.”

“Martí said that to honor, honors, but to honor is also a duty of gratitude for those whom should never be forgotten. If we have come this far in this prolonged struggle it is because many people sacrificed their lives along the way and among these is comrade Barrón.”

In conclusion, the history of the Cuban Revolution is incomplete without the inclusion of the activities that occurred in the Cuban Diaspora in the United States and its struggles and sacrifices against the Batista dictatorship and in defense of the Revolution. We have presented here some of the actions that took place in the struggle during those times. The history of the July 26 Movement in the United States encompasses many more activities and actions unknown by many. Casa de las Américas has taken up the task of compiling and documenting everything that is relevant to that incredible history so that it may be known in the future as a gift for those who today struggle for social justice and the rights of the peoples to genuine independence. To honor the memory of all those who with so much valor and sacrifice knew how to raise the banner of the Cuban homeland on high, without caring about the risks that this entails, is our patriotic duty.

¡Viva Arnaldo Barrón, Viva Gloria Goenaga!

Eternal glory to the Fallen of our glorious revolution!
Casa de las Américas

LA VERDAD VERDADERA

ESPECIAL PARA MONCADA

ADRIANA VEGA

MONCADA

Desde el pasado 22 de julio, se han publicado más de mil informaciones de prensa y mensajes en las redes sobre el accidente de tránsito donde fallecieron dos ciudadanos cubanos más las lesiones de un español y un sueco. Nada raro, la mafia anexionista de Miami atribuyó a Cuba la perpetración de un atentado político, a través de un auto sospechoso que probablemente manejarían Raúl, Ventura y Pombo, (cascarrillo que va por mi cuenta)

Entre los calumniadores advertimos al candidato republicano de Estados Unidos, al Departamento de Estado y al vocero de la Presidencia de Chile reclamando una indagación transparente, en tanto pruebas indiscutibles de expertos marcan que no es Cuba sino USA quien hace gala de una maligna superioridad de crímenes políticos manejando prácticas extrajudiciales con aviones no tripulados, raptos, chantajes y torturas en campos de concentración (Guantánamo) y en sus presidios diligencias injustas y discriminatorias de la pena de muerte, más crímenes de civiles inocentes como en Iraq, Afganistán, Pakistán y otros estados.

Se conoce con pruebas fehacientes la participación de algunos de sus aliados europeos de la OTAN en dichos actos, en particular los secuestros de ciudadanos de otros Estados, vuelos secretos de la CIA, cárceles clandestinas en Europa con intervención de su personal y torturas que entonan con voz de tenor “el terrorismo soy yo”

La Revolución Cubana triunfó y ha sido preservada desde 1959 sin una sola ejecución extrajudicial, sin desaparecidos, torturados, secuestrados ni actos extremistas que puedan dar vergüenza, ya que se fundan en una Constitución aprobada por todo el pueblo revolucionario que sostiene ,a pesar de ellos, su inaugural y veraz independencia desde el primero de enero de 1959, en tanto el monopolio financiero-mediático que difama a Cuba, se agrupa y paga a los apócrifos “luchadores por la libertad” sin honrar metas éticas ni la muerte de seres humanos.
Pese a la censura y el manejo, es ya re contra conocido que en CUBA la contrarrevolución ha sido y es asalariada, que son agentes del gobierno de USA y que sus gusanitos fomentan arrodillados provistos e instruidos traicionando a su Patria por monedas, tal como Judas. Ellos mismos con sus aliados perversos armaron una fiesta para la prensa enemiga extranjera que detuvo, en plena calle, el cortejo fúnebre de uno de los fallecidos en el accidente, en tanto la rápida y enérgica respuesta del pueblo obligó a la Policía Nacional Revolucionaria a excluirlos del lugar. Generosamente, no se les instruyeron cargos y regresaron a sus casas pocas horas después.

La cobertura de prensa internacional adversa nunca se preguntó qué hacían en la isla los dos políticos europeos lesionados.

El conductor Ángel Carromero Barrios no era solo un turista español sino el ahora Vicesecretario General de Nuevas Generaciones, sector juvenil del Partido Popular de España, íntimo de los anticubanos José María Aznar, ex presidente del gobierno, y Esperanza Aguirre, cabeza de la Comunidad de Madrid. El otro pasajero es Jens Aron Modig, líder del Partido Demócrata Cristiano Sueco, émulo del ultraconservador “Tea Party” norteamericano, y presidente de su Liga Juvenil, con nexos en el Instituto Republicano Internacional (IRI) y afín a la derecha nórdica más recalcitrante.

Todos ingresaron el 19 de julio como Turistas para involucrarse en actividades contra el orden constitucional, operación organizada por Anikka Rigo, jefa de la Sección de Relaciones Exteriores del Partido Demócrata Cristiano Sueco y con el motivo de financiar al microscópico Movimiento Cristiano de Liberación, cuyo Presidente era Oswaldo Payá, fallecido con mojitos, traiciones y farándula después de recibir dinerillos para la creación del grupúsculo juvenil en tanto marchaban a Santiago de Cuba cuando ocurrió el accidente.
Los ciudadanos extranjeros fueron asistidos por su cónsul y Ángel Carromero Barrios asume un cargo por homicidio al conducir el vehículo. El sueco Jens Aron Modig retornó a su país, pese a la violación de su estatus migratorio y las actividades ilegales que realizó,todas operaciones organizadas desde Miami, Madrid y Estocolmo.

Asimismo, antes de la “inspección” de Benedicto XVI, ocho mexicanos cruzaron como turistas para incitar al pueblo a silbar, tomar iglesias, distribuir volantes y crear desórdenes en las actividades del Pontífice, que muy diplomáticamente no los recibió.

Cuatro de los mejicanos fueron detenidos y reconocieron haber sido financiados, entrenados e instruidos por Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat, del Directorio Democrático Cubano de Miami e informaron además que el jefe del operativo en México fue René Bolio Hollarán, ex Senador suplente del Partido de Acción Nacional (PAN), vinculado estrictamente a la mafia de la Florida.
Otras agencias e instituciones norteamericanas y europeas canalizan fondos con idénticos objetivos: el Instituto Nacional Demócrata (NDI); el Instituto Republicano Internacional (IRI); la Fundación Nacional para la Democracia (NED); la Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana (FNCA); Solidaridad Española con Cuba; el Grupo “Prisa”; la Federación Española de Asociaciones Cubanas; el Instituto Democrático Europeo (EDI); “People in Need”; el Centro para la Apertura y Desarrollo de América Latina (CADAL, que funciona repartiendo sueldos y ediciones de libros en Argentina) y la Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (FUPAD) sin referir los millones en fondos secretos que los servicios de inteligencia, como CIA, consagran a la sedición contra Cuba.

Otros programas, dirigidos a fabricar eventuales líderes de “oposición”, les proporcionan y les pagan el acceso a Internet, a las redes sociales, les regalan computadoras y medios técnicos, con propósito político, en contraste con la aplicación del bloqueo que hace USA en el área de las telecomunicaciones.

La Sección de Intereses de Estados Unidos en La Habana maneja directos propósitos subversivos porque facilita millares de horas de conexión ilegal a Internet e imparte cientos de horas de cursos conspirativos en abierta violación de leyes nacionales y de la Convención de Viena sobre Relaciones Diplomáticas.
Hay copiosa evidencia de que el gobierno norteamericano sigue la política de “cambio de régimen” en la nación caribeña, mediante un bloqueo económico, político, mediático y su apoyo monetario a la sedición.

Solo entre el 2009 y el 2012, el Departamento de Estado y la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID) han recibido un presupuesto público de 75 millones de dólares para programas conspiradores contra Cuba.
Con toda razón, el Presidente y General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, expresó que “Estados Unidos no cesa en su afán de formar una quinta columna en suelo patrio y en el empleo de novedosas tecnologías con fines subversivos”.

Los grupos más reaccionarios y violentos de Miami no cejan en sus propósitos de incitar al pueblo a la “rebelión” contra el gobierno que, libre y soberanamente el pueblo ha elegido desde una democracia participativa.

Ellos sueñan con desestabilizar el país, crear condiciones para repetir lo ocurrido en Libia o Siria y provocar una intervención militar norteamericana.
En el informe al VI Congreso del Partido, Raúl advirtió que lo que nunca se le negará al pueblo es el derecho a defender su Revolución porque protege su independencia, las magníficas conquistas del socialismo que se mueven solidariamente en el mundo y que junto a sus viviendas, plazas y calles seguirán aumentando ya que es el más importante deber de todos los patriotas cubanos.

Cuba es Martiana Y Marxista Leninista, le pese a quien le pese. Como diría el Gran Allende, sus alamedas están muy, muy bien custodiadas.

Buenos Aires, 2 de agosto del 2012

LA VERDAD VERDADERA

Cindy Sheehan Sends a Message to Obama

Originally posted by International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

This August Cindy Sheehan joins the international campaign of the 5th of each month for the Cuban 5 and is sending the following letter to President Obama

Cindy Sheehan is an American anti-war activist whose son, U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed during the Iraq War in 2004. From that time on Cindy became a leading voice against the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She attracted national and international media attention in August 2005 for setting up Camp Casey right outside President George W. Bush’s Texas ranch.

After meeting family members of the Cuban 5 in 2006 Cindy started a special relationship with the mothers of the Five based on her sense of justice and her understanding of the suffering that only a mother separated from a son knows.

LETTER OF CINDY SHEEHAN TO OBAMA

August 5, 2012

Dear President Obama,

Though I have little faith you will actually read this letter, my passion for this cause gives me optimism that you might take a moment to hear me.

I am writing to you about the case of the “Cuban 5.” The Cuban Five are five Cuban anti-terrorist agents from Cuba, who came to the United States to monitor the activities of real terrorists-Cuban expatriates living here who planned violent counter-revolutionary acts in Cuba and have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Cubans over the years.

As you probably know, my son, Casey Austin Sheehan, was killed in Iraq on April 04, 2004. He was lied to by his government and military leadership that told him he was occupying another’s land to “fight terrorism.” So many injustices have been committed in this so-called Global War on Terror, but these Five Cuban heroes have been in US jails and prisons for fourteen years and their only real crime was not registering as foreign agents-a mild crime that usually carries a mild sentence of expulsion or short prison terms.

However, to obfuscate the USA’s training of and harboring of real terrorists, such as Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, the injustice system of this country has convicted these five Cubans in a travesty of justice and the penalties were inhumane.

I have read numerous other letters to you from colleagues who have also pled with you to Free the Five based on the fact that they are sons, husbands, and fathers who need to return to their homeland and be with their families. Since you are already well aware of the deaths of sons, fathers, husbands, wives, mothers, and daughters due to the expansion of the Bush wars, and starting a few of your own, I am rather certain that approach will not work.

I know and care about the families of the Five-Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González-they are optimistic and wonderful human beings. I have had the fortune of getting to know them over the years during my travels to Cuba and around the world. I am not appealing to you based on compassion as that would be a useless waste of my time and yours-the US imprisons more people per capita than any other nation in the world. Nor am I appealing to you based on the fact that you were a Constitutional Scholar and lawyer, primarily because what happened to the Five was an obscenity of the law, as was the signing of the NDAA into law, drone bombing in countries without a declaration of war, and assassinating US citizens without the due process guaranteed by the Constitution-all clearly in violation of the Constitution and also obscene.

However, I am appealing to you to “Free the Five” based on the fact that you have said, and shown the world, that the USA can “act pre-emptively” to protect our “safety,” and I would like to believe that you would extend the Cuban people and government the same right to protect its citizens from acts of terrorism.

Your regime has vigorously violated the sovereignty of several countries in the purported quest to “keep America safe.” The Cuban government and the Five Heroes did far less.

As a United States citizen, I do not make appeals of the people who work for me, however, I demand that my government allow the Four still imprisoned people listed above, as well as René González, who is out but on probation in Miami (which is the worst place for him to be because of the counter-revolutionary Cuban terrorists who live there) to return home. They have been punished enough for a relatively small crime.

President Obama, you have also made a statement that “Cuba needs to change its society” before you will consider normalizing relations. The blockade is an anachronism from the Cold War that can be lifted to the benefit of both nations- then you can go visit and see how wrong you’ve been.

Cindy Sheehan


REMEMBER: THE 5TH OF AUGUST FOR THE CUBAN 5
NEXT SUNDAY AUGUST 5TH, CALL THE WHITE HOUSE AND JOIN THE WORLDWIDE DEMAND FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE FIVE.

DIFFERENT WAYS TO REACH THE WHITE HOUSE

By phone: 202-456-1111 (If nobody answers the phone leave a message)

If calling from outside the United States, dial first the International Area Code
+ 1 (US country code) followed by 202-456-1111

By Fax: 202-456-2461

If fax is sent from outside the United States, dial first the International Area
Code + 1 (US country code) followed by 202-456-2461

To send an e-mail: president@whitehouse.gov

To send a letter
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
EE.UU.

To send an electronic message write to:
SEND AN ONLINE MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

Cindy Sheehan Sends a Message to Obama