Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    El castrismo es Cuba

    El castrismo es Cuba ORLANDO LUIS PARDO LAZO | Providence | 29 Dic 2014 – 12:38 pm. Ahora es obvio. No se manda un país como un campamento militar, pero sí un campamento militar como si fuera un país. Ahora es obvio. Hemos vivido todo al revés. La Historia como Horror en las manos criminales […] Continue reading

    CONFUSION!

    ¡CONFUSION! Juan Carlos Reyes Ocaña 19 de diciembre de 2014 Nueva Jersey – www.PayoLibre.com – La noticia ya está en todos los medios, “Alan Gross se encuentra libre canjeado por tres espías de la Red Avispa, y el presidente Obama anuncia el restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas con el régimen de Raúl Castro”. ¡Así mismo! […] Continue reading

    El año que viene, Cuba será libre

    El año que viene, Cuba será libre Una visión personal sobre la represión y la disidencia durante este año que concluye Arnaldo M. Fernández, Broward | 18/12/2014 12:54 pm Alan Gross acaba de ser liberado y la profecía de Castro sobre “Los Cinco” terminó por cumplirse. La jugada del castrismo tardío —prender a Gross para […] Continue reading

    Financiar la represión?

    Publicado el jueves, 05.29.14 ¿Financiar la represión? ANÓLAN PONCE “Los que niegan la libertad a los demás, no se la merecen ellos mismos” Abraham Lincoln La frase del Gran Emancipador es un claro mensaje al crisol de personalidades, entre ellos 15 cubanoamericanos, que este pasado 20 de mayo enviaron una carta al Presidente Obama pidiéndole […] Continue reading

    Cartas de cabeza

    Embargo, Disidencia, Oposición Cartas de cabeza Da la impresión que la actual administración lleva a cabo una campaña en que quiere dejar bien a las claras su apoyo a la disidencia cubana. Pero, ¿y qué más? Alejandro Armengol, Miami | 12/11/2013 10:07 am Al rumbo lento, errático y por momentos confuso de los cambios en […] Continue reading

    En 2013 Washington recibe a opositores y les escucha

    En 2013 Washington recibe a opositores y les escucha Desde la implementación de la reforma migratoria en Cuba legisladores y miembros del ejecutivo estadounidense han acogido y escuchado en la capital de EE.UU. a líderes de la oposición y la sociedad civil cubana. Una cronología. martinoticias.com octubre 31, 2013 A lo largo de por lo […] Continue reading

    Key West should not fete Castro regime

    Posted on Saturday, 10.19.13 Key West should not fete Castro regime BY RAFAEL PEÑALVER AND SAN CARLOS INSTITUTE BOARD MEMBERS Key West officials dropped plans last week to invite Cuban officials to the Conch Republic and hold events at the historic San Carlos Institute after a controversy erupted about the political implications of such an […] Continue reading

    Change by Attrition – The Revolution Dies Hard

    Change by Attrition: The Revolution Dies Hard / Antonio Rodiles Posted on July 24, 2013 From World Affairs By Antonio Rodiles Five years ago, hopes were high among Cuba watchers when Raúl Castro officially succeeded Fidel. There was particularly intense speculation about who would be named the next first vice president of the Council of […] Continue reading

    Jay-Z Blasted by ’21 Jump Street’ Director Over Cuba Trip

    Jay-Z Blasted by '21 Jump Street' Director Over Cuba Trip
    By Greg Gilman | Reuters – Fri, Apr 12, 2013

    LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Jay-Z responded to critics of his Cuba trip
    with a song called "Open Letter" and now "21 Jump Street" director Phil
    Lord has responded to the song with an open letter of his own, blasting
    the rapper for "being a bad artist."

    Although Jay-Z's Cuban excursion with his wife, Beyoncé, and both their
    mothers was approved by the U.S. Treasury Department, Lord - the son of
    a Cuban refugee - told the Huffington Post that the rapper's newest
    single upset him to the point where he had to speak his mind.

    Read the entire letter below:

    An Open Letter to Jay-Z

    Dear Mr. Z,

    I just heard your new track, "Open Letter," released today. It's got
    everything I love about your music: looping internal rhymes, an
    infectious beat, and imagery that draws me into a kind of swaggering,
    defiant fantasy.

    Speaking of defiant fantasies, I've been following news of your recent
    trip to the island nation of Cuba. As the son of a Cuban refugee, and
    cousin and nephew to many Cubans on the island, I cringe when Americans
    visit Cuba for a fun island vacation. For one thing it's illegal (which
    nobody seems to care about), but more importantly, it's either ignorant
    of or calloused to the struggles of Cubans on the island. I actually
    encourage my friends to travel to Cuba, to bear witness to one of the
    great tragedies of our time, to learn about the real Cuba, to put a
    human face on the caricature of Americans that the Castros propagate.
    Exchange and travel between our two nations should be a catalyst for
    change, as it has been even in my own family. But for me, Cuba is not
    the place to have a fun, sexy, vacation. Because for Cubans on the
    island and living elsewhere, it's not.

    So when I heard of your visit, I thought to myself, Jay Z seems like a
    smart, thoughtful guy. He doesn't realize what he's walking into. He
    probably just thinks Cuba is a chic place to relax with the family. He
    probably just doesn't know the things I know.

    He likely doesn't know that the Cuban tourism industry is run by the
    Cuban military, so when he spends money at an officially sanctioned
    hotel, or restaurant, he is directly funding the oppressors of the Cuban
    people.

    He doesn't know that most Cubans have poor access to independent news
    sources, the internet, books, and food.

    He doesn't know that Cuba has two health systems, one for the
    well-connected, and one for everyone else.

    He doesn't know that before Castro, the Cuban peso traded one-to-one
    with the dollar, and that since then, the Castros have raided the
    nation's coffers and introduced widespread poverty to a once prosperous
    nation.

    He doesn't know that my ancestors fought to free Cuba from Spain, and to
    set up a democracy to ensure that they would always be free.

    He doesn't know that in spite of those dreams, my mother and her family
    fled for their lives from this regime way back in 1960, as did *two
    million* other Cubans.

    He doesn't know about the thousands of people executed by firing squads
    led by sexy t-shirt icon Che Guevara.

    He doesn't know about the dissidents, artists, and librarians that
    currently rot in Cuba's prisons, and the thousands more who live in fear.

    He doesn't know about Orlando Zapata Tamayo, an Afro-Cuban dissident who
    died in a Cuban prison in 2010 after an 80-day hunger strike.

    He doesn't know that a U.S. Citizen, Alan Gross, is currently serving a
    15-year sentence in a Cuban prison for providing phones and computers to
    the members of the Cuban Jewish community.

    He doesn't know that all attempts by our government and private citizens
    to secure his release have been scoffed at.

    He has likely forgotten about all those who have died in the Florida
    Straits, trying to float on makeshift boats to freedom.

    He doesn't know that contrary to popular understanding, Amnesty
    International reports that repression of dissidents in Cuba is actually
    on the rise.

    He doesn't know that when an international music luminary shows up in
    Cuba, his presence is unwittingly used as propaganda to support the regime.

    He doesn't know that artists in Cuba, with whom he was supposedly having
    a cultural exchange, serve under the close supervision of the
    government, and don't enjoy the freedom to defiantly name check the
    President, call out a few senators, threaten to buy a kilo of cocaine
    just to spite the government, or suggest that they will follow up their
    purchase with a shooting spree, as rapped about in "Open Letter."

    He doesn't know that just because our country applies a different, some
    say hypocritical policy to China, it doesn't make either regime any less
    oppressive, or any more acceptable.

    He doesn't know that when people say "I've got to visit Cuba before it
    gets ruined," I think to myself, "It's already ruined. And by the way,
    ruined by what? freedom of speech? walls that don't crumble? shoes? Do
    you mean ruin Cuba? Or ruin your fashionable vacation in Cuba?"

    He doesn't know that when I really start to think about all this, I get
    so mad I can't sleep.

    He doesn't know that when he's wearing that hat, smoking that coveted
    contraband cigar, he looks like a dupe.

    He doesn't know how much good he could be doing in Cuba, for Cubans,
    instead. Bearing witness, supporting artistic freedom, listening.

    He doesn't realize that as someone privileged to be born in a free
    society, one in which someone could come from nothing and become a
    celebrated music, sports, fashion, business and political mogul, it's
    not only his good luck to be able to bring to light the needs of the
    less fortunate, it's his obligation.

    But then, Jay-Z, I heard your new song, and paid attention to the lyrics.

    I heard you bragging about your "White House clearance."

    I heard you talk about how much you enjoy Cuban cigars.

    And I heard you tell the President I voted for, "You don't need this
    shit anyway, chill with me on the beach."

    You reject the responsibility to speak up for an oppressed people, even
    while you take up your own cause with gusto.

    Then I figured it out.

    You actually know all of this stuff, you just don't care.

    That's not just being a bad citizen, or a bad neighbor.

    It's being a bad artist.

    It's Nihilism with a beat.

    -Phil Lord

    http://news.yahoo.com/jay-z-blasted-21-jump-street-director-over-202918787.html;_ylt=A2KJ2PZacWpRjHwAcrjQtDMD Continue reading

    In solidarity with Cuba’s voices of opposition to Castro’s tyranny

    Posted on Saturday, 03.30.13

    YOANI SANCHEZ

    In solidarity with Cuba's voices of opposition to Castro's tyranny
    BY MARIO DIAZ-BALART AND ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN

    As we celebrate Passover and Easter, we cherish the freedom to practice
    our beliefs and express our views, but are also reminded of those 90
    miles away who suffer under an evil communist dictatorship. As the
    beacon of democracy, we stand with pro-freedom activists in Cuba who are
    struggling to achieve those same essential liberties.

    On Monday, South Florida will have the opportunity to hear, once again,
    the tragic story of an oppressed people under the thumb of a despotic
    regime. Yoani Sánchez uses social media to shine a light on the dark
    rule of the Castro brothers. Through her blog and writings, Yoani
    reveals the plight of the Cuban people to the international community,
    raises awareness on the extent of the regime's brutality, and gives
    voice to those silenced by oppression.

    During her recent visit to Washington, we, along with our congressional
    colleagues, discussed with Yoani the ongoing dire situation in Cuba.
    This event illustrated the bipartisan and bicameral support for the
    cause of democracy in Cuba. We discussed the gross human-rights
    violations on the island as Yoani conveyed the atrocities committed
    against the Cuban people and the denial of their rights of free speech,
    press, and assembly. We expressed to Yoani that, even if we do not agree
    on every point, we stand in solidarity with the opposition voices in
    Cuba and reaffirmed that they are not alone in their struggle.

    This month, we remember the 2003 Black Spring crackdown in Cuba where 75
    dissidents were unjustly imprisoned. Unfortunately, little has changed
    since that time. The Ladies in White continue to be harassed, kicked and
    beaten by Castro's state security agents just for marching in peace to
    church. The Castro regime has the blood of pro-democracy advocates on
    its hands, and we remain deeply concerned for the health and lives of
    those brave activists who continue to speak out.

    During the years of the Obama administration alone, pro-democracy
    leaders Orlando Zapata Tamayo (d. Feb. 23, 2010), Juan Wilfredo Soto
    García (d. May 8, 2011), Laura Pollán (d. Oct. 14, 2011), Wilman Villar
    Mendoza (d. Jan. 19, 2012), Harold Cepero (d. July 22, 2012) and Oswaldo
    Payá Sardiñas (d. July 22, 2012) have lost their lives at the hands of
    the Castro dictatorship. These deaths underscore the grave risks assumed
    by pro-democracy activists such as Antonio Rodiles, Sara Marta Fonseca,
    Yoani Sánchez, Jorge Luis García Pérez ("Antunez"), José Daniel Ferrer
    García, Marta Beatriz Roque, Berta Soler, Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet and
    many others when they simply express their views.

    We also cannot forget the appalling case of Alan Gross, a U.S.
    humanitarian aid worker who was arrested in December 2009 and remains in
    prison for the "crime" of helping Cuba's small Jewish community access
    the Internet. He is reportedly in poor health after having lost 100
    pounds in prison while his daughter and mother are both battling cancer
    in the U.S.

    According to the Human Rights Watch 2013 World Report, "Cuba remains the
    only country in Latin America that represses virtually all forms of
    political dissent. In 2012, the regime . . . continued to enforce
    political conformity using short-term detentions, beatings, public acts
    of repudiation, travel restrictions, and forced exile." Numerous NGOs
    have documented the sharp rise in detentions, arrests and other acts of
    repudiation in Cuba, but the numbers could actually be higher due to
    many who are imprisoned on trumped-up charges that are difficult to
    document. For example, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and
    National Reconciliation reported that there were 6,602 documented
    political arrests in 2012, which was markedly up from 4,123 in 2011 and
    2,074 in 2010.

    Unfortunately, many in the international community fail to acknowledge
    the Castro regime's egregious human rights record and brutal suppression
    of fundamental liberties. However, with the help of Yoani and other
    pro-democracy advocates, the Castro brothers have failed to silence the
    Cuban people who are increasingly demanding real change.

    Cuba's growing opposition movement is more united than ever. Due to its
    heroic efforts, democracy will prevail on the island. May it be soon.

    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart are Republican members of
    Congress representing South Florida.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/30/3313987/in-solidarity-with-cubas-voices.html#storylink=misearch Continue reading

    Cuba: The Time to Fill the Jails Came Again

    Cuba: The Time to Fill the Jails Came Again / Ivan Garcia #Cuba Ivan Garcia, Translator: mlk Trying to analyze the strategy of the Castro brothers is an exercise in pure abstraction. Their way of moving tokens on the political board tends to go aga... Continue reading