Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Major Developments in Cuba for 2014

    Major Developments in Cuba for 2014 January 2, 2015 By Café Fuerte President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, during a historical phone conversation with Raul Castro on December 16. HAVANA TIMES — Below, readers will find 12 highly important events that made headlines and had a significant impact on Cuba and Cubans during 2014. […] Continue reading

    Obama’s Cuba Opportunity

    Obama’s Cuba Opportunity After 50 years of perfect policy failure, the U.S. has a political opening to help a reforming Cuba prosper. By PHILIP PETERS • December 16, 2014 George Washington’s farewell address did more than warn against permanent alliances that could “entangle” our young Republic in the “ambition” and “rivalship” of others in ways […] Continue reading

    Lifting Cuba’s embargo – ‘More food, no freedom’

    Lifting Cuba’s embargo: ‘More food, no freedom’ Should America’s 50-year embargo of Cuba be lifted? The New York Times has called on the president to do so, but there is much resistance. Gero Schliess reports from Miami. “I don’t trust those guys,” says Rafael Hernandez, referring to Fidel Castro and his brother Raul. Like many […] Continue reading

    Biden to Cuban media – Alan Gross detention a key obstacle in diplomatic relations

    Biden to Cuban media: Alan Gross detention a key obstacle in diplomatic relations CNN’s Dana Davidsen (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden sat down with a Cuban media outlet – a significant move given the decades-long tension between the United States and Cuba since the countries ended diplomatic relations more than 50 years ago. In […] Continue reading

    Cuba – U.S. using new weapon against us — spam

    Cuba: U.S. using new weapon against us — spam By Patrick Oppmann, CNN April 10, 2014 — Updated 0128 GMT (0928 HKT) Havana (CNN) — Cuban officials have accused the U.S. government of bizarre plots over the years, such as trying to kill Fidel Castro with exploding cigars. On Wednesday, they said Washington is using […] Continue reading

    Sustainable Farming In Cuba Ideal Job In An Isolated Country

    Sustainable Farming In Cuba Ideal Job In An Isolated Country By Kassondra Cloos for The Pulitzer Center The farmers pour in after sunrise and leave before sunset. The workday is one to two hours shorter than a typical day for a government employee, depending on the season, and the pay is higher—much higher. Organiponico Vivero […] Continue reading

    Beyoncé and Jay-Z in Havana another calibrated Cuba plot

    Posted on Saturday, 04.06.13

    Beyoncé and Jay-Z in Havana another calibrated Cuba plot
    By Myriam Marquez
    mmarquez@MiamiHerald.com

    Beyoncé and Jay-Z trotted around their mothers in Havana for the
    couple's fifth anniversary, posing with cute Cuban schoolchildren,
    dining at a famous paladar — the royal couple of hip-hop-pop creating
    the predictable paparazzi buzz and Cuban exile lament.

    The calibrated juxtaposition of BeJay's arrival in La Habana late last
    week with Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez's departure from Little Havana has
    served the regime's propaganda purposes quite well: See, we let Yoani go
    to you. If only the U.S. lifted that silly embargo, you americanos could
    be here, too, spending time with BeJay and company in our island
    paradise of quaint little poor people staring down from their crumbling
    balconies. How Third World chic!

    BeJay's tourist excursion in a forbidden land also picks at that always
    oozing exile scab that Yoani's visit here had started to heal: the
    passions surrounding 52-year U.S. trade embargo of Cuba and the travel ban.

    Under current rules, Americans are banned from traveling to the island
    unless they go as part of a cultural, educational, religious or other
    civil-society-building excursion. The policy in effect has allowed the
    Castro regime to control the itinerary for those groups, hide the
    people's despair and slap an exotic veneer of harmlessness on a 54-year
    dictatorship.

    Internationally renowned Yoani has argued for removing the regime's
    excuse for all its failures on the embargo by lifting it — but also for
    a responsible, "humanitarian" tourism, one that understands the
    information "blockade" that Cubans face without a free press, one where
    a conscientious visitor will drop off a memory stick, a cell phone, a
    laptop before departing. That's what happened to her when she served as
    a tour guide for Germans visiting Cuba.

    The blogger's support for lifting the travel ban implies that there is
    safety in numbers. If Cuba is flooded with clueless American tourists
    the likes of BeJay, then the "humanitarian" tourist will have less
    chance of getting caught and imprisoned (as USAID subcontractor Alan
    Gross has been since 2009) for providing technology that the regime
    deems to be spyware.

    Nothing happens coincidentally when it comes to Cuba. The regime knows
    when to turn over the tortilla, as they say in Spain, for its benefit.

    So Yoani calls for Cubans on both shores to unite and tweets photos from
    Miami with crooners Willy Chirino and Lissette Alvarez, with actor Andy
    Garcia, and Emilio and Gloria Estefan, all those local Cuban kids done
    good, gone international stars.

    And — poof! — when photos of BeJay's Havana adventure hit the
    twitterverse, the Cuban diplomat in Washington, Jose Cabanas, tsks-tsks
    to a group of foreign and U.S. journalists: "Too much attention has been
    devoted to this lady, taking a lot of attention from the most important
    . . . news that has been happening these days in regards to Cuba.
    Including the presence of Beyoncé, the singer, who is today in Havana,
    enjoying a lot of attention from the public, but it's not covered by the
    media — incredible."

    Yes, well, let's ignore "this lady" Yoani, one of the world's most
    talented award-winning writers who's breaking barriers with new
    technology to bust open a totalitarian regime's abuses day after day.
    Let's instead focus on two American celebrities whose knowledge of Cuba
    amounts to mojitos and Cohibas.

    At least Beyoncé and Jay-Z seem more like tontos utiles (useful idiots,
    their star power used by the regime) than star apologists for a
    murderous violator of human rights, a la Danny Glover or Sean Penn.

    Soon to arrive in Miami will be Berta Soler, who now heads the Ladies in
    White, a group of women who have peacefully marched in defense of Cuba's
    political prisoners for a decade now. Perhaps Cuban American rapper
    Pitbull could set Beyoncé and Jay-Z straight about how Cuba's regime
    mistreats Afro Cubans, starting with Berta Soler and her family. Or how
    it beats women who criticize the regime's treatment of blacks like Yris
    Aguilera, who runs the Rosa Parks Movement in Cuba.

    From Havana, the regime will try to incite exile boycotts and protests
    against Beyoncé, who'll be singing in Miami soon — anything to make
    Cuban Americans look as inflexible and dogmatic as the island's masters,
    anything that makes us look like kooks.

    Except the reactionary forces failed to stir exiles against Yoani. She
    was embraced because her insights from Cuba are raw truth. Whatever
    difference of opinion on the embargo or travel ban seems inconsequential
    when weighed against her work (and that of other dissidents like Soler
    and Rosa María Payá) to expose Cuba's reality to the world.

    Still, expect the usual hypocritical skirmishes to continue about an
    embargo so porous that the U.S. now serves as Cuba's biggest supplier of
    food. The local Cuban-American pols will proclaim once again their
    pro-embargo hardline against tyranny even as Cuban-American industry
    barons quietly visit the country of their birth to explore the
    possibilities of a fast-approaching future without the Castros.

    Who's turning the tortilla now?

    Read more here:
    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/06/v-fullstory/3328017/myriam-marquez-beyonce-and-jay.html#storylink=cpy Continue reading

    Cuba’s repression takes on more racial tint under Raul Castro

    Posted on Saturday, 10.15.11RACIAL INEQUALITY

    Cuba's repression takes on more racial tint under Raul CastroBY JON B. PERDUETwitter@jonperdue

    Unlike the pervasive myth of universal literacy and quality healthcare that has gone unchecked and unchallenged for decades, Cuba's fabled championing of… Continue reading

    Cuba’s escape valve

    Posted on Saturday, 10.15.11

    Cuba's escape valve

    OUR OPINION: Havana shows it has no intention of respecting human rights, improving relations with the U.S.By The Miami Herald EditorialHeraldEd@MiamiHerald.com

    As Cuba continues its crack down on dissidents and young Cubans complain… Continue reading

    Cuba’s repression takes on more racial tint under Raul Castro

    Posted on Saturday, 10.15.11RACIAL INEQUALITY Cuba's repression takes on more racial tint under Raul CastroBY JON B. PERDUETwitter@jonperdue Unlike the pervasive myth of universal literacy and quality healthcare that has gone unchecked and unchallenged for decades, Cuba's fabled championing of the Afro-Cuban community is one Cuban myth that has been shattered since Fidel Castro handed [...] Continue reading

    Alan Gross Remains Castro’s Captive

    Alan Gross Remains Castro's CaptivePosted By Humberto Fontova On September 21, 2011 @ 12:21 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage

    "I am leaving Cuba most disappointed and perplexed," said former New Mexico Governor and recent Democratic diplomatic troubleshooter Bill Richardson from Havana's… Continue reading