Fidel Castro, Present and Past

Fidel Castro’s return to public life after a four-year absence provokes conflicting emotions here. His reappearance surprised a people awaiting, with growing despair, the reforms announced by his brother Raúl. While some weave fantasies around his return, others are anxious about what will happen next.

The return of a famous figure is a familiar theme in life as in fiction — think Don Quixote, Casanova or Juan Domingo Perón. But another familiar theme is disappointment — of those who find that the person who returns is no longer the person who left, or at least not as we remember him. There is often a sense of despair surrounding those who insist on coming back. Fidel Castro is no exception to this flaw inherent in remakes.

The man who appeared on the anniversary of “Revolution Day” last week bore no resemblance to the sturdy soldier who handed over his office to his brother in July 2006. The stuttering old man with quivering hands was a shadow of the Greek-profiled military leader who, while a million voices chanted his name in the plaza, pardoned lives, announced executions, proclaimed laws that no one had been consulted on and declared the right of revolutionaries to make revolution. Although he has once again donned his olive-green military shirt, little is left of the man who used to dominate television programming for endless hours, keeping people in suspense from the other side of the screen.

The great orator of times long past now meets with an audience of young people in a tiny theater and reads them a summary of his latest reflections, already published in the press. Instead of arousing the fear that makes even the bravest tremble, he calls forth, at best, a tender compassion. After a young reporter calmly asked a question, she followed up with her greatest wish: “May I give you a kiss?” Where is the abyss that for so many years not even the most courageous dared to jump?
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A significant sign that Fidel Castro’s return to the microphones has not being going over well is that even his brother refused to echo, in his most recent speech to parliament, the former leader’s gloomy prognostication of a nuclear armageddon that will start when the United States launches a military attack against North Korea or Iran. Many analysts have pointed out that the man who was known as the Maximum Leader is hardly qualified to assess the innumerable problems in his own country, yet he turns his gaze to the mote in another’s eye. This pattern is familiar, with his discussions of the world’s environmental problems, the exhaustion of capitalism as a system and, most recently, predictions of nuclear war. Others see a veiled discontent in his apparent indifference toward events in Cuba. Yet this thinking forgets the maxim: Even if he doesn’t censure, if Caesar does not applaud, things go badly. It is unthinkable that Fidel Castro is unaware of the appetite for change that is devouring the Cuban political class; it would be naive to believe that he approves.

For years, so many lives and livelihoods have hung on the gestures of his hands, the way he raises his eyebrows or the twitch of his ears. Fidel watchers now see him as unpredictable, and many fear that the worst may happen if it occurs to him to rail against the reformers in front of the television cameras.

Perhaps this is why the impatient breed of new wolves do not want to stoke the anger of the old commander, who is about to turn 84. Some who intended to introduce more radical changes are now crouching in their spheres of power, waiting for his next relapse.

Meanwhile, those who are worried about the survival of “the process” are alarmed by the danger his obvious decline poses to the myth of the Cuban revolution personified, for 50 years, in this one man. Why doesn’t he stay quietly at home and let us work, some think, though they dare not even whisper it.

We had already started to remember him as something from the past, which was a noble way to forget him. Many were disposed to forgive his mistakes and failures. They had put him on some gray pedestal of the history of the 20th century, capturing his face at its best moment, along with the illustrious dead. But his sudden reappearance upended those efforts. He has come forward again to shamelessly display his infirmities and announce the end of the world, as if to convince us that life after him would be lacking in purpose.

In recent weeks, he who was once called The One, the Horse or simply He, has been presented to us stripped of his captivating charisma. Although he is once again in the news, it has been confirmed: Fidel Castro, fortunately, will never return.

Originally published in the Washington Post, August 5, 2010

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41 thoughts on “Fidel Castro, Present and Past

  1. Hello Yoani from Sweden
    I just read your interview with Salim Lamrani ,, Very interesting indeed .. I am glad that there is freedom of speach in Cuba …….. But on the other hand i always knew it :)
    Cheers

  2. The Cuban revolution has been a sham. It has proven to be nothing more than the few benefiting at the expense of the many.

    The Cuban people must once again take matters into their own hands. Why fear Fidel? He is nothing more than aging old man. Where are the Cuban patriots on that island? An Island that gave patriots like Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, Máximo Gómez,Antonio Maceo, Jose Marti? People who were willing to risk their lives or even die so that Cuban could be free from oppression. Where are these kinds of folks today? Do they not exist? Is there no one willing to stand up for what is right and fight?

    Yoani Sanchez and other bloggers are showing tremendous courage in speaking out.

    Cuban people instead of risking their lives crossing the Florida straits should stay and fight for their country. They must once again start a revolution. It is now bubbling among the youth and is ready to pill over.

    What is now needed are Patriots who can show courage and conviction like their forefathers.

    Those that risk their lives and make it to Miami save themselves from oppression. Those that risk their lives and stand up to Fidel, Raul and Cuba’s corrupt leaders save an entire island from oppression.

    When the first shot is fired you will finally see how many are behind you.

    Viva Cuba libre….

  3. Hey fidel …!

    Most of your life was spent telling others about the “gusanos” but in a little while you will be their food.
    Here goes my prayer to God in the gusanos behalf:
    Pleas God protect the “gusanos” that eats fidel, raul & all the esbirros when their time cames.0

  4. Here’s a short link and excerpt to another excellent commentary from blogger Ernesto Morales Licea:

    “If there’s something that this fertile land produces, aside from fruits, cigars and baseball players, it is working men. Men who, behind any adversity or impossible task, find the way to accomplish their endeavor, always with effort, always with work. We have a legion of laborers who get up from their beds every morning without knowing what they’ll be able to eat for breakfast, what they’ll leave for their children to have for lunch, on what transportation they’ll get to work on time, with what tools they’ll perform their functions during the eight or ten hours they must stay at their post.

    And just like these, we also have another legion that got tired of that bitter litany and decided to test their luck in other shores at their own risk.

    How many immigrants do we have scattered around the world? It is a figure we’ll never know with precision. But the undeniable truth is what no one, neither the journalist from Granma nor any executive dreamer can deny: the vast majority of Cubans who migrate live from the sweat of their hard work.

    We receive them by the thousands, mainly newcomers from Miami. There, they leave an unstable job, a job they don’t know if they’ll still have when they get back. Most of them leave debts. But they live. They don’t subsist.”
    http://pequenohermanoenglish.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/my-own-vindication-of-cuba/#comment-14

  5. One of the best commentaries I’ve read about Fidel Castro’s reappearance. An excellent combination of good writing and insightful analysis.

  6. cubano….miami

    Agosto 14th, 2010 at 14:45
    viva fidel viva cuba abayo el yankee el terroriste americano…..
    ************************************************************************************
    Very obviuos that this “character” is not Cuban, speacially from the island or Miami!

  7. THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR:Cuba travel ban: White House poised to ease restrictions-The expected order from President Obama would not fully lift the Cuba travel ban, but it would ease the stricter rules put in place during the Bush years. Many expect an announcement by Labor Day.

    Washington -Expectations are rising that the Obama administration will move in the coming days to ease travel restrictions to Cuba.

    The hubbub about an anticipated White House statement is leading to stepped-up speculation about areas of potential exchange and trade with the long-embargoed Caribbean island, such as energy development.

    “Right now they [in the White House and the State Department] are just fine-tuning what they are going to be putting out,” says Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas in Washington.

    Insisting an executive order about Cuba travel “is a done deal,” Ms. Stephens says, “It’s going to look very much like what the conditions for travel were under President Clinton, with the emphasis on ‘people to people exchange’ ” and specific mention of religious and academic groups.

    After that, she adds, “It will be interesting to see what happens around the edges, with business and other groups.”

    The White House has been sending out trial balloons suggesting presidential action on Cuba travel – enough to get a reaction from Cuba hardliner Sen. Robert Menendez (D) of New Jersey, who issued a statement earlier this month saying, “This is not the time to ease the pressure on the Castro regime.”

    President Obama’s action would not fully lift the ban on US travel to Cuba, but would instead ease restrictions in ways the administration considers to be consistent with US policy of encouraging democratic reforms and greater freedom on the communist island. Action by Mr. Obama would continue a pattern of reversing the tighter restrictions on travel implemented under the Bush administration.

    A few administration watchers believe the decision will be unveiled only after what are expected to be difficult midterm elections for the Democrats, but most say an announcement will come by the Labor Day weekend.

    An announcement now would reflect a sentiment in the White House that a decision to ease travel to Cuba would not cause much of a political storm, some US-Cuba experts say. The White House, they add, also wants to act in the context of movement on Capitol Hill in favor of a full lifting of the travel ban and toward a further easing of conditions for agricultural trade with Cuba.

    Action now would be aimed in part at “creating momentum for ending the travel ban,” says Jake Colvin, vice president of the National Foreign Trade Council, a Washington business organization that favors ending the Cuba embargo. More broadly, he says, administration and congressional action reflect a growing “consensus” that it’s time “to do something different on Cuba.”

    Energy development is one area where pressure is expected to grow for “something different” in Cuba policy. Cuba has begun exploratory drilling in search of oil in its territorial waters, with some reports estimating the island could become a major oil producer – and refiner – over the next five to 10 years.

    “Cuba is thinking about energy economically [in the region] in not a small way at all,” says Lisa Margonelli, director of energy policy at the New America Foundation in Washington. “That’s something the US should consider as we look down the road.”

    Experts who favor developing energy ties with Cuba say the US needs to consider that other hemispheric sources of oil, including Mexico and Venezuela, face increasingly difficult production conditions. With Cuba just off US shores, they say, locking the US out of a new market makes no sense. Proponents also point to the recent Gulf oil leak and say the US has a keen environmental interest in working with Cuba in its offshore development.

    Such reasoning runs up against the arguments of anti-Castro stalwarts like Senator Menendez and US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) of Florida –the latter having proposed legislation targeting foreign oil companies involved in oil exploration and development in Cuba. (Those oil company executives might, for instance, be denied visas to the US.)

    “The big corporate interests behind the push to relax the embargo couldn’t care less about whether the Cuban people are free or not,” Menendez said in his statement. “They only care about padding their profits by opening up a new market.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2010/0817/Cuba-travel-ban-White-House-poised-to-ease-restrictions

  8. Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado to host public screening of Oscar’s Cuba

    http://www.oscarscuba.com

    What: Public screening of Oscar’s Cuba documentary hosted by Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado
    Where: Manuel Artime Theatre
    900 SW 1st St, Miami, FL 33130-1156
    When: Sunday, August 22nd at 3pm

    *No RSVP is needed and the event is free and open to the public. Please bring as many people as you would like and spread the word!

  9. NEW YORK TIMES: U.S. Said to Plan Easing Rules for Travel to Cuba-
    By GINGER THOMPSON- August 16, 2010

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is planning to expand opportunities for Americans to travel to Cuba, the latest step aimed at encouraging more contact between people in both countries, while leaving intact the decades-old embargo against the island’s Communist government, according to Congressional and administration officials.
    The officials, who asked not to be identified because they had not been authorized to discuss the policy before it was announced, said it was meant to loosen restrictions on academic, religious and cultural groups that were adopted under President George W. Bush, and return to the “people to people” policies followed under President Bill Clinton.

    Those policies, officials said, fostered robust exchanges between the United States and Cuba, allowing groups — including universities, sports teams, museums and chambers of commerce — to share expertise as well as life experiences.

    Policy analysts said the intended changes would mark a significant shift in Cuba policy. In early 2009, President Obama lifted restrictions on travel and remittances only for Americans with relatives on the island.

    Congressional aides cautioned that some administration officials still saw the proposals as too politically volatile to announce until after the coming midterm elections, and they said revisions could still be made.

    But others said the policy, which does not need legislative approval, would be announced before Congress returned from its break in mid-September, partly to avoid a political backlash from outspoken groups within the Cuban American lobby — backed by Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey — that oppose any softening in Washington’s position toward Havana.

    Those favoring the change said that with a growing number of polls showing that Cuban-Americans’ attitudes toward Cuba had softened as well, the administration did not expect much of a backlash.

    “They have made the calculation that if you put a smarter Cuba policy on the table, it will not harm us in the election cycle,” said one Democratic Congressional aide who has been working with the administration on the policy. “That, I think, is what animates this.”

    Mr. Menendez, in a statement, objected to the anticipated changes. “This is not the time to ease pressure on the Castro regime,” he said, referring to President Raúl Castro of Cuba, who took office in 2006 after his brother, Fidel, fell ill. Mr. Menendez added that promoting travel would give Havana a “much needed infusion of dollars that will only allow the Castro brothers to extend their reign of oppression.”

    In effect, the new policy would expand current channels for travel to Cuba, rather than create new ones. Academic, religious and cultural groups are now allowed to travel under very tight rules. For example, students wanting to study in Cuba are required to stay at least 10 weeks. And only accredited universities can apply for academic visas.

    Under the new policy, such restrictions would be eased, officials said. And academic institutions, including research and advocacy groups and museums, would be able to seek licenses for as long as two years.

    In addition, the administration is also planning to allow flights to Cuba from more cities than the three — Miami, New York and Los Angeles — currently permitted. And there are proposals, the officials said, to allow all Americans to send remittances or charitable donations to churches, schools and human rights groups in Cuba.

    Some analysts said the measures were partly a response to pressure from an unlikely alliance of liberal political groups and conservative business associations — led by Senator John Kerry, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — who have been pushing Congress to lift all restrictions on travel to Cuba.

    Others described it as a nod to President Castro’s stunning decision last month to begin releasing dozens of political prisoners.

    “It’s a way of fostering greater opening and exchange without a bruising battle with a much-needed political ally in an election year,” said Christopher Sabatini, senior policy director at the Council of the Americas. “But it can still be legitimately couched as a way of supporting democracy and human rights by allowing independent exchange and thought.”

    As with everything concerning Cuba, the new policy seems fraught with complications. President Obama, who came to office promising to open new channels of engagement with Cuba, has so far had limited those new openings to Cuban-Americans, partly because of political concerns, and also because his administration’s attention had been focused on more pressing foreign policy matters, including two wars.

    “I don’t think the administration believes this will produce palpable change in the short term,” said Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations. “But it’s a way over the long term to allow Americans and Cubans to have contact, even as their governments continue to hash out a lot of seriously thorny issues.”

    High on the United States’ list of issues is winning the release of an American contractor who was detained in Cuba nine months ago when the authorities said they caught him distributing satellite telephones to Jewish dissidents. The contractor, Alan P. Gross, had gone to Cuba without the proper visa as part of longstanding program by the organization Usaid, in which development workers conduct activities aimed at strengthening groups that oppose the Castro government.

    “We’re dealing with a relationship that’s so contorted, it would take another 50 years of incremental steps to pull it apart and reassemble it in a constructive way,” said Robert Pastor, a professor of international relations at American University. “Even then, we’re having trouble taking baby steps, when what we need is a giant leap.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/world/americas/17cuba.html

  10. SO “THE MUMMY” AND “LA CHINA” HAVE NO MONEY TO PAY THE CUBAN WORKERS? LOOKS LIKE THE MONEY IS GOING SOMEWHERE SPECIAL, LIKE SWISS BANKS OR OTHER CASTROFACIST MAFIA LAIRS!

    TELEGRAPH U.K. : Barclays fined $300m by US for breaking sanctions against brutal regimes-American authorities have fined Barclays nearly $300m (£192m) for breaking sanctions put in place against some of the world’s most brutal regimes.-By Harry Wilson-16 Aug 2010

    Barclays on Monday reached a $298m settlement with US prosecutors that allows the bank to close the lid on an investigation into its business dealings with individuals linked to Cuba, Iran, Libya, Myanmar and Sudan.

    The investigation relates to transactions worth $500m undertaken by Barclays between March 1995 and September 2006, which are alleged to have involved the bank removing details from payments to hide the identity of the countries of origin, according to documents filed with a Washington federal court on Monday.

    Barclays is understood to have voluntarily disclosed information on the dealings to the authorities after it became aware it might have broken sanctions.

    As well as co-operating with the US investigation, the bank ran an internal inquiry into transactions conducted between January 2000 and July 2007.

    This saw more than 175 current and former Barclays employees interviewed and in excess of 100m records examined.

    Disclosures from Barclays’ own investigation led to the bank being charged by the US Department of Justice with one count of violating the International Emergency Powers Act and another of trading with the enemy.

    A spokesman for Barclays declined to comment.

    The US authorities have not yet commented.

    No Barclays staff are understood to have been disciplined as a result of the investigation and yesterday’s settlement closes down the possibility of any follow-on action by the US authorities against individual employees.

    In its interim financial results for the first half of 2010 published earlier this month, Barclays admitted that it was under investigation by the US authorities and had set aside £194m in the period to cover any fines.

    Barclays is not the first UK bank to have been fined for breaking US sanctions.

    Lloyds TSB was forced to pay $350m in January 2009 after being accused of helping clients in Iran, Libya and Sudan avoid US sanctions.

    Like Lloyds, the Barclays settlement involves US prosecutors agreeing to a “deferred prosecution” whereby the charges against the bank will be postponed for two years with the expectation of being dropped thereafter.

    American sanctions against Cuba go back to the Kennedy administration in the early 1960s, while sanctions against Libya were introduced in 1986 in reaction to Tripoli’s support of terrorist organisations.

    Sanctions against Iran have been in place since 1995, while Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and Sudan were added to the list two years later.

    However, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 led the US authorities to aggressively step up their investigations into terrorist financing, subsequently leading to several US and international banks being investigated and fined for violating sanctions.

    Last December, Credit Suisse was hit with a $538m penalty for hiding several thousand transactions made by clients in Iran, Libya and Sudan, while in March American bank Wachovia paid $160m to settle charges that it had failed to prevent more than $100m being laundered by Colombian and Mexican drug gangs.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/7949063/Barclays-fined-300m-by-US-for-breaking-sanctions-against-brutal-regimes.html

  11. Fidel Castro suffers from Parkinson’s disease and clear symptoms of senile dementia. He has been struck by a few cerebral ischemia, which has affected his speech, making him to mumbles and repeats sentences. He has become confuse and incoherent, and becomes aggressive when contradicted.

    In his latest speeches he keeps talking nonsense that not even Raul Castro believes. There is a video of Fidel Castro interview on the state control TV 3 years ago where his insanity is made obvious. Fidel Castro dementia senile, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbzciUAiOxQ

  12. #20 Freedom

    Thanks for your post reminding us of some of the thousands that gave their all attempting to free our country from the oppressive yoke of Fidel’s dictatorship.

    In particular I remember Bill Patten, as a boy I knew him well, he shared his knowledge and wit with me and I have many fond memories of him at the Camaguey airport on the “Doble Via”. I still vividly remember talking with him in Miami just before his departure on that his final mission to Cuba in his attempt to liberate our homeland. We will not forget their sacrifices and hope that we may soon honor all of them in Cuba for their valiant efforts. Viva Cuba Libre y Democratica.

  13. The horse has only his memories, the echoes of yesteryears where he was in control.
    Today even the memories are fading, they turn to ghosts, some of them hunt the old man .. the pleas for mercy … the betrayal to his country & his people … the battles he thinks he fought … the memorable sayings he thinks he said …
    Among those things, memories of the past & even echoes there is one … fear of dying, fear of God whom he denied for many years but today is reminding the hores of His ever presence.
    As they say -” God did not walk away from you … you did …-”
    The time to pay is close at hand fidel, your brother’s is not far behind; hide in your memories, what ever you have left … all your words are as they were nothing, all your predictions lies … all your power futile, you are close to dying & you know deep inside your soul … you are no Marti, you are no Cuban you are just a frail old man, afraid of God, afraid of death afraid …

  14. NOTHING IN CUBA IS FREE! YOU HAVE TO PAY “THE MUMMY” & “LA CHINA” EVENTUALLY!

    THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Cuba’s Cash-for-Doctors Program -Thousands of its health-care missionaries flee mistreatment.-By MARIA C. WERLAU

    For decades, Cuba has “exported” doctors, nurses and health technicians to earn diplomatic influence in poor countries and hard cash for its floundering economy. According to Cuba’s official media, an estimated 38,544 Cuban health professionals were serving abroad in 2008, 17,697 of them doctors. (Cuba reports having 70,000 doctors in all.)

    These “missionaries of the revolution” are well-received in host countries from Algeria to South Africa to Venezuela. Yet those who hail Cuba’s generosity overlook the uglier aspects of Cuba’s health diplomacy.

    The regime stands accused of violating various international agreements such as the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and ILO Convention on the Protection of Wages because of the way these health-care providers are treated. In February, for example, seven Cuban doctors who formerly served in Venezuela and later defected filed a lawsuit in Florida federal court against Cuba, Venezuela and the Venezuelan state oil company for holding them in conditions akin to “modern slavery.”

    They claim the Cuban regime held the funds Venezuela remitted for their services and then paid them—an arrangement they say is a form of “debt bondage.” They also say they were forced to work extremely long hours in dangerous areas, including urban zones with high crime rates and the jungle. (The Venezuelan government and its oil company are challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case; Cuba hasn’t responded.)

    Starting in 2002, Hugo Chávez agreed to pay—mostly with subsidized, cheap Venezuelan oil—for Cuba to provide health care to marginalized populations in Venezuela at no cost to patients. But in the past several years he has expanded the effort to other countries, helping to build support for his regional Marxist agenda while keeping the Cuban economy afloat.

    Cuba won’t release its agreements with host countries, but details have emerged in open sources, including in Cuba’s official media. These show that typically the host country pays Cuba hard currency for each health worker and provides accommodations, food and a monthly stipend generally between $150 and $350. Cuba covers airfare and logistical support, and it pays salaries to the health-care workers out of the funds it holds.

    Cuba’s global health projects also receive support from the developed world. In 2005, at least $27 million was donated to Cuba’s Haiti mission, including from France and Japan. International goodwill also translates into direct aid. In 2008, Cuba received $127 million from OECD countries. These transfers explain the recent rise in Cuba’s export of services, to $8.6 billion in 2008 from $2.8 billion in 2003. Representing 75% of GDP, they generate far more income than any other industry.

    Cuban doctors go abroad because at home they earn a scant $22-$25 a month. When they work in other countries, they typically get a small stipend in local currency while their families back home receive their usual salary plus a payment in hard currency—from $50 to $325 per month.

    But with the state as sole employer and the citizens forbidden from leaving the country without permission, the system is tailor-made for exploitation. Several Cuban doctors who have served abroad tell me that in addition to very long hours they may not drive a car, leave their dwellings after a certain hour, or speak to the media. In some countries they are only allowed to associate with “revolutionaries.” Thousands of Cuban health professionals have deserted world-wide. Almost 1,500 have made it to the U.S. alone since 2006, according to a Department of Homeland Security report in March.

    Cuba’s profitable global business has ramifications for its own health-care system. It’s been extensively reported, by Cuba’s independent journalists as well as by the occasional Westerner who ends up in a hospital for the common people, that Cubans face a chronic shortage of doctors and dilapidated health facilities. Patients or their families must even bring their own food and linens to the hospital.

    Meanwhile, the mass production of Cuban doctors for export has led medical associations in host countries such as Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and Portugal to question their experience and credentials. Some Venezuelan doctors have complained of being fired and replaced by Cuban missionary physicians. And a few years ago the Bolivian press reported that the country’s medical association was complaining about thousands of unemployed health professionals who were earning considerably less than what Mr. Chávez was paying for Cubans.

    Humanitarianism cannot be selective. Cuba’s health workers deserve full protection of local and international laws, its citizens deserve access to adequate health care, and patients everywhere deserve accountability from their health-care providers.

    Ms. Werlau is executive director of nonprofit Cuba Archive, a human rights organization.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703977004575393202684254756.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

  15. On August 15, 2006 Marielena Torres Rojas wrote:

    Col. Cornelio Rojas was my great grandfather and he was a great and honorable man in his last words before being shot he expressed to those around to not let the all of the blood shed during the revolution be in vain. He wasnt a coward he stood before the firing squad without a blindfold and commanded his own death he was the one that said “ready, aim, fire.” Not many would have the courage to do such a thing. I just wish that people would actually investigate history and research things before trying to drag a good mans name threw the mud he never tortured any young people as has been stated. He was a family man and was fighting for the freedom of cuba.
    He did not work for Batista he was a National Policeman long before Batista was in power and earned his military status of Colonel working his way up the ranks and not paying anyone off as sometimes happened in his time. He was a true revolutionist who didnt fight for the government but for the freedom of cuba. Even before this revolution he was involved in other revolutionary activities such as a group that was fighting agansit the president Machado in the 1930s unfortunately I am uncertain fo the actual year(s).

    As far as his death it is so famous because he was not given a trial at all! It is also known as a mistake of the revolution because they were afraid of his rank and clout and worried he would be able to fight agaisnt Castro. My great aunt went to Camilo Cienfuegos pleading Cornelio case when he was in prison. In this meeting Camilo told my great aunt Josefina Rojas that there was no reason for him to be killed because they didnt have anything against him but when he picked up the phone to call to find out why they had taken him prisoner Cornelio had already been killed. Since there was no reason to kill him in several documents after his death were complied of lies in order to justify such a horrible act.

    In addition in the United Nations charter of war policy or prisoner of wars policies I am unsure what it the full name of this document but in it is stated that when a man is put to death by firing squad no explosive ammunitions is to be used. In Cornelio case the last shot was at close range to his head and an explosive bullt was used that it why in many photos taken when he is on the ground a huge peiece of his head and face are missing. This act is considered illegal to the united nations and was also condisered a dishonorable act.

    If you would like to know any further information feel free to ask me. I have also fowarded your site to several family members.

    Thank you for the chance to clear this up.

    Sincerely
    Marielena Torres Rojas

    Hello again, I just wanted to clarify on the point where I mention the document of the united nations even though one does exsist in which the guidelines of an execution by firing squad are detailed information can also be found in the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention also states that no prisoner of war should be convicted much less put to death with out the oppurtunity to present his defense. It also states that upon conviction with the penalty of death the execution will not take place for sometime after I can not currently remember the time frame. In any case my great grandfather was never given a trial and was executed within a day or two of his caputre he was killed on 7 and believe to have been caputred on the 5th or 6th. It is also stated in another article of the Geneva Convention that any prisoner of wars killed must be given an honorable burial. In Cornelio case his body was thrown into a mass grave which was a huge hole in the ground with dozens of other bodies. In no way shape or form was this an honorable burial.

    In short his human righst and rights as a prisoner of war were terribly violated.
    http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/colonel_cornelio_rojas_batista_chief_of_police_in_santa_clara_being_killed_/

  16. La última puerta. Por Tania Diaz Castro CUBANET
    Si el suicidio es, sobre todo, el desenlace de un repentino sentimiento de frustración y de un fuerte estado depresivo ante el fracaso, ¿por qué entonces personas vinculadas a la nomenclatura castrista han preferido la muerte a seguir siendo fieles cumplidores de sus postulados?

    Las organizaciones políticas del país analizaron hace cuatro años el “Código de ética de los cuadros del estado cubano”, que trata sobre los mismos argumentos que ha esgrimido el régimen a lo largo de sus 46 años de mandato: “predicar con el ejemplo personal con una actitud exigente hacia sí mismo; ser estricto cumplidor de los compromisos y de la palabra empleada; combatir la apatía, la indolencia, el pesimismo; entregarse por entero y con amor al desempeño cabal de la responsabilidad encomendada; ser fiel a los principios que entraña la Patria, la Revolución y el Socialismo”, etc.

    Algo que contradice lo planteado en este código comunista es el historial de suicidios de la Cuba revolucionaria en las últimas cuatro décadas. Según datos recientes de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), la isla del doctor Castro es el país latinoamericano con mayor índice de suicidios.

    Todo comenzó en los primeros días de marzo de 1959. El comandante del ejército rebelde Félix Lugerio Pena, como presidente del tribunal militar, absolvió a numerosos oficiales de la aviación batistiana. Fidel Castro, en desacuerdo, ordenó un segundo juicio para que fueran condenados a treinta años de cárcel, y el comandante Pena se privó de la vida.

    Le sigue Raúl Chirino, un revolucionario que tras sostener una entrevista con Fidel Castro se suicidó en un dispensario médico.

    Otro héroe de la Sierra Maestra, y luego un alto jefe del Ministerio del Interior (MININT), el comandante Eddy Suñol, se suicidó con su pistola calibre 45 sin que se conocieran las razones.

    El 8 de diciembre de 1964, después de sostener en su despacho una conversación telefónica con Fidel Castro, el comandante Augusto Martínez Sánchez se disparó en el pecho con su pistola. Quedó vivo, pero separado de su cargo como ministro de Trabajo, y para siempre de la vida pública.

    En otro despacho, esta vez el de Raúl Castro, segundo jefe de gobierno, se disparó en la sien con su pistola 45 su cuñada, Nilsa Espín. Comentarios callejeros decían que se trataba de un doble suicidio, pues ese mismo día, pero en la provincia Pinar del río, se había privado de la vida el esposo de Nilsa. Ambos habían combatido en la Sierra junto a Fidel Castro.

    En 1971 se mató de un balazo en el corazón el joven funcionario Javier de Varona. Regresaba de la cárcel, donde había estado bajo investigación por haber participado en la redacción de un análisis sobre la situación nacional, sobre el fracaso de la zafra de los diez millones y los errores del máximo líder en relación con la misma.

    En esa década del setenta otro alto funcionario del régimen a principios de la revolución, hijo del mártir Menelao Mora, muy querido y admirado por sus amigos, Alberto Mora, no pudo soportar la humillación de ser enviado a una granja de castigo, donde lo encontraron muerto y vestido de militar. Unos meses antes había salido en defensa de su amigo, el poeta Heberto Padilla, cuando éste fue obligado a una autocrítica pública en la Unión de Escritores. Durante varios años ocupó el cargo de ministro de Comercio Exterior.

    Unos años después, el 26 de julio de 1980, la ex guerrillera de la Sierra Maestra, Haydeé Santamaría, utilizó también su 45 para morir. En esos momentos era la presidenta de “Casa de las Américas” y gozaba de la confianza de Fidel Castro. Tres años después, el 23 de junio de 1983, y según se comenta, luego de una fuerte discusión con el comandante Ramiro Valdés, el doctor Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado se privó de la vida, siendo ministro de Justicia. De 1959 a 1976 desempeñó el cargo de presidente de la república.

    Jesús Manuel Suárez Estrada era hombre de confianza en el Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba, donde laboró largos años. Una tarde tomó su auto para dirigirse al parque Lenin, en las afueras de la ciudad. Allí se ahorcó de un árbol. En su juventud publicó un interesante libro de versos. En su pueblo natal, Santa Clara, fuimos amigos. Ni siquiera su familia supo la razón del suicidio.

    Tras el fusilamiento del General Arnaldo Ochoa y otros oficiales, en julio de 1989, dos coroneles del Ministerio del Interior decidieron suicidarse: Rafael Álvarez Cueto, jefe de Finanzas, y Enrique Sicard, jefe de Inteligencia.

    En 1994, por razones aún desconocidas, Jorge Enrique Mendoza, director del periódico Granma durante años, intentó suicidarse de un disparo. Poco después falleció de un infarto cardíaco.

    Dos chilenas muy conocidas, Beatriz, hija del ex presidente Salvador Allende, y Laura, hermana de Allende, que gozaban de la protección del régimen castrista, decidieron despedirse para siempre de los amaneceres del trópico. Beatriz, con su arma, en la elegante residencia de Miramar que le fue cedida por el gobierno cubano, y Laura lanzándose del piso 16 del apartamento donde vivía en la barriada del Vedado.

    Por esas peculiaridades de la historia terminamos esta crónica recordando a otro comunista cubano que se suicidó en 1911 junto a su esposa Laura, hija de Carlos Marx. Me refiero a Pablo Lafargue, mulato nacido en Santiago de Cuba y convertido desde su juventud en un incondicional del comunismo. Un poco antes de su pacto suicida se había publicado su libro “El determinismo económico en Carlos Marx”.

    Muchas de estas personas seguramente dejaron una nota antes de morir. Conociendo al régimen castrista como lo conozco, pienso que fueron echadas al fuego porque su pecado fue no poder abrir su última puerta.

    De todas formas termino con el pensamiento del filósofo alemán Schopenhauer, porque le viene como anillo al dedo a tan triste historia: “Cuando los terrores de la vida sobrepasan el terror de la muerte el hombre pone fin a sus días”.
    http://www.futurodecuba.org/la_ultima_puerta.htm

  17. La última puerta. Por Tania Diaz Castro CUBANET
    Si el suicidio es, sobre todo, el desenlace de un repentino sentimiento de frustración y de un fuerte estado depresivo ante el fracaso, ¿por qué entonces personas vinculadas a la nomenclatura castrista han preferido la muerte a seguir siendo fieles cumplidores de sus postulados?

    Las organizaciones políticas del país analizaron hace cuatro años el “Código de ética de los cuadros del estado cubano”, que trata sobre los mismos argumentos que ha esgrimido el régimen a lo largo de sus 46 años de mandato: “predicar con el ejemplo personal con una actitud exigente hacia sí mismo; ser estricto cumplidor de los compromisos y de la palabra empleada; combatir la apatía, la indolencia, el pesimismo; entregarse por entero y con amor al desempeño cabal de la responsabilidad encomendada; ser fiel a los principios que entraña la Patria, la Revolución y el Socialismo”, etc.

    Algo que contradice lo planteado en este código comunista es el historial de suicidios de la Cuba revolucionaria en las últimas cuatro décadas. Según datos recientes de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), la isla del doctor Castro es el país latinoamericano con mayor índice de suicidios.

    Todo comenzó en los primeros días de marzo de 1959. El comandante del ejército rebelde Félix Lugerio Pena, como presidente del tribunal militar, absolvió a numerosos oficiales de la aviación batistiana. Fidel Castro, en desacuerdo, ordenó un segundo juicio para que fueran condenados a treinta años de cárcel, y el comandante Pena se privó de la vida.

    Le sigue Raúl Chirino, un revolucionario que tras sostener una entrevista con Fidel Castro se suicidó en un dispensario médico.

    Otro héroe de la Sierra Maestra, y luego un alto jefe del Ministerio del Interior (MININT), el comandante Eddy Suñol, se suicidó con su pistola calibre 45 sin que se conocieran las razones.

    El 8 de diciembre de 1964, después de sostener en su despacho una conversación telefónica con Fidel Castro, el comandante Augusto Martínez Sánchez se disparó en el pecho con su pistola. Quedó vivo, pero separado de su cargo como ministro de Trabajo, y para siempre de la vida pública.

    En otro despacho, esta vez el de Raúl Castro, segundo jefe de gobierno, se disparó en la sien con su pistola 45 su cuñada, Nilsa Espín. Comentarios callejeros decían que se trataba de un doble suicidio, pues ese mismo día, pero en la provincia Pinar del río, se había privado de la vida el esposo de Nilsa. Ambos habían combatido en la Sierra junto a Fidel Castro.

    En 1971 se mató de un balazo en el corazón el joven funcionario Javier de Varona. Regresaba de la cárcel, donde había estado bajo investigación por haber participado en la redacción de un análisis sobre la situación nacional, sobre el fracaso de la zafra de los diez millones y los errores del máximo líder en relación con la misma.

    En esa década del setenta otro alto funcionario del régimen a principios de la revolución, hijo del mártir Menelao Mora, muy querido y admirado por sus amigos, Alberto Mora, no pudo soportar la humillación de ser enviado a una granja de castigo, donde lo encontraron muerto y vestido de militar. Unos meses antes había salido en defensa de su amigo, el poeta Heberto Padilla, cuando éste fue obligado a una autocrítica pública en la Unión de Escritores. Durante varios años ocupó el cargo de ministro de Comercio Exterior.

    Unos años después, el 26 de julio de 1980, la ex guerrillera de la Sierra Maestra, Haydeé Santamaría, utilizó también su 45 para morir. En esos momentos era la presidenta de “Casa de las Américas” y gozaba de la confianza de Fidel Castro. Tres años después, el 23 de junio de 1983, y según se comenta, luego de una fuerte discusión con el comandante Ramiro Valdés, el doctor Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado se privó de la vida, siendo ministro de Justicia. De 1959 a 1976 desempeñó el cargo de presidente de la república.

    Jesús Manuel Suárez Estrada era hombre de confianza en el Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba, donde laboró largos años. Una tarde tomó su auto para dirigirse al parque Lenin, en las afueras de la ciudad. Allí se ahorcó de un árbol. En su juventud publicó un interesante libro de versos. En su pueblo natal, Santa Clara, fuimos amigos. Ni siquiera su familia supo la razón del suicidio.

    Tras el fusilamiento del General Arnaldo Ochoa y otros oficiales, en julio de 1989, dos coroneles del Ministerio del Interior decidieron suicidarse: Rafael Álvarez Cueto, jefe de Finanzas, y Enrique Sicard, jefe de Inteligencia.

    En 1994, por razones aún desconocidas, Jorge Enrique Mendoza, director del periódico Granma durante años, intentó suicidarse de un disparo. Poco después falleció de un infarto cardíaco.

    Dos chilenas muy conocidas, Beatriz, hija del ex presidente Salvador Allende, y Laura, hermana de Allende, que gozaban de la protección del régimen castrista, decidieron despedirse para siempre de los amaneceres del trópico. Beatriz, con su arma, en la elegante residencia de Miramar que le fue cedida por el gobierno cubano, y Laura lanzándose del piso 16 del apartamento donde vivía en la barriada del Vedado.

    Por esas peculiaridades de la historia terminamos esta crónica recordando a otro comunista cubano que se suicidó en 1911 junto a su esposa Laura, hija de Carlos Marx. Me refiero a Pablo Lafargue, mulato nacido en Santiago de Cuba y convertido desde su juventud en un incondicional del comunismo. Un poco antes de su pacto suicida se había publicado su libro “El determinismo económico en Carlos Marx”.

    Muchas de estas personas seguramente dejaron una nota antes de morir. Conociendo al régimen castrista como lo conozco, pienso que fueron echadas al fuego porque su pecado fue no poder abrir su última puerta.

    De todas formas termino con el pensamiento del filósofo alemán Schopenhauer, porque le viene como anillo al dedo a tan triste historia: “Cuando los terrores de la vida sobrepasan el terror de la muerte el hombre pone fin a sus días”.

  18. “El antijurídico juicio a 43 aviadores de la Fuerza Aérea. El 13 de febrero habían sido presentado a juicio en Santiago de Cuba, estos 43 miembros de la aviación militar, bajo los cargos de haber bombardeado a los rebeldes. El tribunal estaba presidido por el Comandante de la Revolución Félix Pena, y otros revolucionarios, los cuales absolvieron a todos los encartados, y firmaban la absolución: Feliz Pena, Antonio Michel Yabor, Adalberto Paruas Toll, y Nicolás Bello.
    Al enterarse Fidel Castro fue a la televisión, y expresó que había que hacerle otro juicio. En este otro juicio del 5 de marzo, Fidel designó de presidente del tribunal al conocido comandante de la revolución Manuel “Barbaroja” Piñeiro, y de fiscal a su Ministro de Defensa comandante Augusto Martínez Sánchez, los cuales condenaron a los aviadores. Tiempo después aparecía “suicidado”, el Comandante Félix Pena, el presidente del tribunal que absolvió a los aviadores en el primer juicio.”
    Tomado de: http://www.aguadadepasajeros.bravepages.com/cubahistoria/historia_de_cuba_2.htm
    Olaf Dominguez

  19. U.S. CITIZENS KILLED OR DISAPPEARED BY CUBA’S COMMUNIST REGIME

    Work in progress

    The following information is derived from Armando Lago, Ph.D.’s manuscript “Cuba: The Human Cost of

    Social Revolution.” A full bibliography is available on request. This summary has been prepared by T.R.A.C

    -the Truth Recovery Project on Cuba- an initiative of the Free Society Project, Inc.

    I. U.S. citizens executed, assassinated, or disappeared

    Documented

    Assassinated: 13

    Executed: by firing squad: 15

    Disappeared: 1

    1. Armando Alejandre Jr. – Assassinated . Age: 45. Born in U.S.A.

    Date: 24-02-96. Location: International airspace over the Straits of Florida. Occupation: Transit Planner with Miami

    Dade County’s Dept. of Transportation. Vietnam War veteran. Place of residence: Miami, Florida. Description: Shot

    down by Cuban MIG jet fighters while a passenger aboard an unarmed civilian plane in a humanitarian search and

    rescue mission for “Brothers to the Rescue.”

    2. Howard Frederick Anderson – Executed by Firing Squad. Age: 41.

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 19-04-61. Location: 5 ½ prison, Luis Lazo, Pinar del Río province. Anderson had moved to Cuba

    in 1947, where he had met his wife, Dorothy, and they had four children. Occupation: Business executive, President

    of the American Legion, Havana, and avid sports’ fisherman. Place of residence: Havana, Cuba. Description: Arrested

    on 03-61 and charged as a C.I.A. agent involved in an anti-Castro conspiracy. His trial, attended by Swiss diplomats,

    was a sham. Prior to his execution, he was savagely tortured and his blood was forcibly extracted, a common practice

    used by the Castro regime. He was buried in a ditch / mass grave. Notes: His widow and children sued the Cuban

    government for damages in U.S federal court and, in April 2003, obtained an award of $67 million.

    3. Louis Berlanti – Assassinated

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 16-08-63. Location: Lake Okeechobee, Florida. Occupation: New York City contractor and Florida

    real estate developer, President of Terra Verde Community Association Inc. Place of residence: Harrison, New York.

    Description: The private airplane he was flying with his son was sabotaged and exploded over Lake Okeechobee,

    Florida, killing them both. Notes: Berlanti had suffered sizable real estate losses from Castro government property

    confiscations and had pledged half a million dollars to unseat the Castro regime. He and his son were members of

    the “United Organizations for the Liberation of Cuba.”

    4. Fred Berlanti – Assassinated

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 16-08-63. Location: Over Lake Okeechobee, Florida. Occupation: New York City contractor

    and Florida real estate developer. Place of residence: St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. Description: The private airplane

    in which he was flying with his father was sabotaged and exploded, killing them both.

    5. Frederic Richard Carter – Assassinated

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 11-08-1982. Location: G-2 State Security headquarters in Havana. Place of residence: Havana,

    Cuba. Description: Assassinated while under arrest, victim of police brutality.

    6. Enrique Cicard – Presumedly Assassinated

    Age: 36. U.S. citizen. Date: 09-07-89. Location: Havana. Occupation: Colonel for the Ministry of the Interior in charge

    of intelligence service. Place of residence: Havana, Cuba. Description: Reported suicide. Notes: His death was

    surrounded by suspicious circumstances and was not reported in the Cuban press.

    7. Earl Glenn Cobeil – Assassinated

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 05-11-70. Location: Hoa Lo prison, North Vietnam. Occupation: U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel,

    Vietnam P.O.W. Place of residence: Pontiac, Michigan. Description: Taken prisoner in 1967 when his Air Force jet was

    shot down over North Vietnam, in January of 1968 he had been transferred to Hoa Lo Prison ( “The Zoo” ). There, he

    was subjected to “The Cuban Program,” particularly vicious physical and psychological torture in an experimental

    domination technique led by Cuban state security agents tested on 18 U.S. POWs held at Hoa Lo during 1967 and 1968.

    After weeks of vicious beatings, unrelenting psychological torture, electroshocks, and solitary confinement, Cobeil’s

    physical and mental condition deteriorated progressively until he went into a coma and died in his cell.

    Notes: Survived by a wife and two children, Cobeil’s remains were returned to the U.S. in March 1974. The head of

    the Cuban torture team has been identified by other POWs as Fernando Vecino Alegret, Cuba’s Minister of Higher

    Education.

    8. Benito E. Cortés Maldonado –Executed By Firing Squad

    U.S. citizen by birth. Born In Puerto Rico. Date: 13-01-1959. Location: Santiago de Cuba. Occupation: Policeman.

    Place of residence: Santiago de Cuba. Description: Executed by firing squad merely for having been a police officer

    under Batista. His remains were not returned to the family.

    9. Carlos Alberto Costa – Assassinated

    Age: 29. Born in U.S.A. Date: 24-02-96. Location: International airspace over the Straits of Florida. Occupation:

    Human Resources Administrator at the Miami International Airport, private pilot. Place of residence: Miami, Florida.

    Description: Shot down by Cuban MIG jet fighters while piloting an unarmed civilian plane on a humanitarian search

    and rescue mission for “Brothers to the Rescue.”

    10. Junior Cruz – Executed by Firing Squad (*Case pending confirmation.)

    U.S. citizen. Date: 1971. Description: Executed without trial.

    11. Andrew DeGraux Villafaña – Disappeared

    Age: 19. U.S. citizen born in Cuba. (Son of a U.S. F.B.I. agent residing in Cuba.) Date: 13-09-62. Location: Last seen

    at a hospital in Cienfuegos, Las Villas province. Occupation: Student of auto mechanics. Place of residence: City of

    Trinidad, Las Villas province. Descrip-tion: Escambray rebel wounded in combat. Had been taken for medical care

    to a Trinidad hospital, where he was denied drinking water and subjected to psychological torture. Transferred to a

    hospital in Cienfuegos, he came out of an operation, but that same night the family was told he died and had been

    buried at a cemetery in Cienfuegos. It was, however, rumored that he had been executed. Notes: DeGraux had

    been organizer of a student strike in Las Villas.

    12. Mario M. de la Peña – Assassinated

    Age: 24. Born in U.S.A.

    Date: 24-02-96. Location: International airspace over the Straits of Florida. Occupation: Pilot intern with American

    Airlines. Place of residence: Miami, Florida. Description: Shot down by Cuban MIG jet fighters while flying a

    humanitarian search and rescue mission for “Brothers to the Rescue.

    13. Rafael Díaz Becon – Executed by Firing Squad

    U.S. citizen by birth. Born in Puerto Rico. Date: 1960.

    14. Matthew Edward Duke – Assassinated

    Age: 43. Born in U.S.A. Date: 14-05-60. Location: Area near Mariel, in Pinar del Río province. Occupation: Pilot.

    Place of residence: Palm Beach, Florida. Description: His airplane was shot down by the Cuban Air Force when

    he flew to Cuba to pick up fugitive Batista army and police officers. Upon landing, he was ambushed and shot

    to death by Cuban army soldiers. His body was turned over to the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

    15. Robert Otis Fuller – Executed by Firing Squad

    Age: 25. Born in Lewiston, Cuba and registered as an American citizen in the American Consulate in Cuba at the

    time. Date: October 16, 1960. Location: San Juan Hill shooting practice field, Santiago de Cuba.

    Occupation: Former U.S. Marine Officer, veteran of the Korean War. Place of residence: Miami, Florida.

    Description: Landed on October 1960 in Navas Bay, Oriente province, to start a guerrilla movement with a group

    led by Armentino Feria. Was captured and sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Tribunal. The summary trial lasted

    only 20 minutes and ten men were sentenced to death. The appeal took 20 minutes and the execution was carried

    out that same day. Executed with fellow Americans Anthony Salvard, Allen Thompson, and Anthony Zarba. The U.S.

    government filed a diplomatic note of protest that was rejected by the Castro government.

    Notes: Writer Norberto Fuentes recounts witnessing a 1987 meeting during which Fidel and Raúl Castro gloated

    about having had the four Americans executed. On February 2003, Fuller’s daughter won a default judgment against

    the Cuban government in the Florida Courts.

    16. Andy Graney – Executed by Firing Squad

    U.S. citizen. Date: 01-62. Location: San Juan Hill, Santiago de Cuba

    17. August K. McNair – Executed by Firing Squad

    Age: 25. Born in U.S.A. Date: 19-04-61. Location: 5 ½ Prison, Luis Lazo, Pinar del Río province.

    Occupation: Radiotelegraph operator for an anti-Castro guerilla group. Place of Residence: Coral Gables, Florida.

    Description: Landed with Marcial Bello in Bahía Honda, Pinar del Rio province, on 21-03-61, to start an anti-Castro

    guerrilla group. Was captured and executed.

    18. Dan Mitrione – Assassinated

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 08-08-70. Location: Montevideo, Uruguay. Occupation: C.I.A. agent stationed at the U.S.

    Embassy in Uruguay. Place of residence: Montevideo, Uruguay. Description: Kidnapped by Tupamaro commandos

    under the direction of Cuban security agents Miguel Hevia Cosculluela and Cuban Interior Minister (M.I.N.I.N.T.)

    Colonel Antonio de la Guardia Font; assassinated by them after his interrogation and torture. His body was found

    in the trunk of a stolen car on 10-08-70. Notes: The Nixon administration refused to negotiate his release.

    19. William Alexander Morgan – Executed by Firing Squad

    Age: 34. Born in U.S.A. Date: 12-03-61. Location: La Cabaña Fortress, Havana. Occupation: Commander in

    Castro’s Rebel Army / leader of anti-Batista’s guerrillas in the Escambray mountains. U.S. Army veteran, former

    paratrooper. Place of residence: Havana, Cuba. Description: Executed for participating in an anti-Castro conspiracy

    supplying arms to the Escambray guerrillas. Was betrayed by a police informer and sentenced to death in a sham

    trial with notorious prosecutor Fernando Flores-Ibarra ( “Charco de Sangre “). The firing squad platoon leader,

    American Rebel Army Capt. Herman Marks ( from Milwaukee, Wisconsin ), forced him to kneel before the firing squad

    platoon by shooting him in the knees. Marks also delivered multiple “coup de grace “ shots to his head.

    Notes: Just days after his death, on 15-03-61, Morgan’s 23-year old Cuban wife was arrested and remained imprisoned

    until at least 1973. She fled Cuba in 1980 with her two daughters during the Mariel boatlift and resides In Toledo,

    Ohio.

    20. William Horace Patten Tabares – Executed by Firing Squad

    Age: 34. Born in U.S.A. (Son of Canadian citizen.) Date: 23-09-61. Location: Guana-baquilla shooting practice field in

    city of Camaguey. Occupation: Ticketing agent at Camaguey Airport / General aviation pilot for agricultural aerial-

    spraying applications. Place of residence: Camaguey, Cuba. Description: Landed in Cuba to start a guerrilla movement,

    was captured, and executed on charges of conspiracy against the powers of the state. Notes: His young wife, unaware

    he was to be executed, unexpectedly learned of his death on Cuban radio.

    21. Bill Patterson – Executed by Firing Squad.

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 06-03-61. Location: City of Camaguey Place of residence: U.S.A. Description: Infiltrated into

    Cuba, was captured, and executed by firing squad.

    22. Rafael Pino Siero – Presumably Assassinated

    U.S. citizen by naturalization (1946). Date: 22-08-77. Location: Cell in the rectangle of death punishment ward,

    Combinado del Este prison, Havana. Age: 50. Place of residence: Miami, Florida. Description: Was captured in 1959

    when he flew a plane to Cuba to pick-up Cuban military officers. Sentenced to 30 years in prison, in the 1970′s he

    was transferred to the Combinado del Este prison.

    There, according to witnesses, he was assassinated in his punishment cell. The Cuban government claims he

    committed suicide by hanging with a stocking. Notes: Personal friend of Fidel Castro from their university days.

    Decorated World War II U.S. veteran.

    23. Thomas Willard Ray – Assassinated

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 19-04-61. Age: 30. Location: Cuban airspace over the Bay of Pigs. Occupation: Air Force

    Captain, pilot with the Alabama National Guard. Place of residence: Birmingham, Alabama. Description: Piloting

    a plane on a C.I.A. covert mission in support of the 2506 Brigade during the Bay of Pigs invasion, he was shot down

    near the Australia Sugar Mill in Cuba. Having survived the crash wounded, he received a shot at close range to the

    right temple. For 18 years, the Cuban government kept his frozen body at the morgue of the Institute of Legal

    Medicine in Havana, exhibited as a war trophy and routinely desecrated. His daughter, Janet Ray Weininger, led

    an energetic campaign to recover his remains. At one point she was asked by Cuba to pay $36,000 in storage

    charges, which she refused. After receiving over 200 letters from her, Fidel Castro decided to release the remains.

    Capt. Ray was buried in Birmingham, Alabama on December 1979 with military honors. Prior to his burial, an autopsy

    was performed at to determine the cause of death. Notes: On November 2004, Ray’s daughter was awarded nearly

    $87 million in damages against the Cuban government by a Miami – Dade county court.

    24. Anthony Salvard – Executed by Firing Squad

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 13-10-60. Location: San Juan Hill shooting practice field, Santiago de Cuba. Place of

    residence: U.S.A. Description: Landed with a group on October 1960 in Navas Bay, Oriente province, to start a

    guerrilla movement. Was captured and sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Tribunal. The summary trial lasted

    only 20 minutes and ten men were sentenced to death. The appeal took 20 minutes and the execution was carried

    out that same day. Was executed by firing squad together with fellow Americans Robert Fuller, Allen Thompson, and

    Anthony Zarba. Notes: The U.S. filed a diplomatic note of protest that was rejected by the Castro government.

    Writer Norberto Fuentes recounts a 1987 meeting during which Fidel and Raúl Castro gloated about having the four

    Americans executed.

    25. John B. Skelton – Executed by Firing Squad

    Date: 08-07-63. Location: Santiago de Cuba. Citizenship: Presumed U.S. citizen.

    26. Allen Dale Thompson – Executed by Firing Squad

    Age: 36. Born in U.S.A. Date: 17-10-60. Location: San Juan Hill shooting practice field In Santiago de Cuba.

    Description: Landed with a group on October 1960 in Navas Bay, Oriente province, to start a guerrilla movement.

    Was captured and sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Tribunal. The summary trial, during which ten men were

    sentenced to death, lasted only 20 minutes. The appeal took 20 minutes and the execution was carried out that

    same day. Executed by firing squad with fellow Americans Robert Fuller, Anthony Salvard and Anthony Zarba.

    Notes: The U.S. filed a diplomatic note of protest that was rejected by the Castro government. Writer Norberto

    Fuentes recounts a 1987 meeting during which Fidel and Raúl Castro gloated about having the four Americans executed.

    27. Robert Tuller – Executed by Firing Squad

    U.S. citizen. Date: 1960. Location: La Cabaña Fortress, Havana.

    28. Anthony Zarba – Executed by Firing Squad

    Age: 27. Born in U.S.A. Date: 12-10-60. Location: San Juan Hill, Santiago de Cuba. Place of residence: Somerville, Massachusetts. Description: Landed with a group on October 1960 in Navas Bay, Oriente province, to start a guerrilla

    movement. Was captured and sentenced to death by a Revolutionary Tribunal. The summary trial lasted only 20 minutes

    and ten men were sentenced to death. The appeal took 20 minutes and the execution was carried out that same day.

    Notes: The U.S. filed a diplomatic note of protest that was rejected by the Cuban government. Writer Norberto Fuentes

    recounts a 1987 meeting during which Fidel and Raúl Castro gloated about executing the four Americans.

    II. U.S. citizens killed or missing in operations to monitor or counter the Castro regime

    Documented: 12

    1. Rudolph Anderson Jr. – Killed during surveillance mission

    Age: 35. Born in U.S.A. Date: 27-10-62. Location: Bay of Nipe, Oriente Province, Cuba. Occupation: U.S. Air Force

    Major, U-2 Pilot assigned to the 40-28 Strategic Weather Reconnais-sance Flight Program. Place of residence: Laughlan

    Air Force Base, Texas. Description: Shot down by a missile while flying a U-2 Spy Plane over Cuba during the Cuban

    Missile Crisis. He had taken the first photos of Soviet missile silos in Cuba. His body is still in exhibition in a refrigerated

    vault at a Museum of the Revolution. Notes: Was survived by wife and three children.

    2. Leo Francis Baker – Killed in combat

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 19-04-61. Location: Cuban airspace over Bay of Pigs, Las Villas province. Occupation: Flight

    Navigator with the Alabama National Guard. Place of residence: Birmingham, Alabama. Description: His plane, piloted

    by Capt. Thomas Ray, was shot down during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

    3. Robert Ellis Frost – Killed in combat

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 18-02-60. Location: España Sugar Mill, Perico, Matanzas province. Occupation: Pilot. Place of

    residence: U.S.A. Description: Killed In combat when his small plane was shot down by anti-aircraft fire when

    bombarding a sugar mill in Matanzas province.

    4. Wade Carrol Gray – Killed in combat

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 19-04-61. Location: Cuban airspace. Occupation: Flight Navigator with the Alabama National

    Guard. Place of residence: Birmingham, Alabama. Description: Shot down during an air support mission for the

    2506 Brigade during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

    5. Paul Hughes – Missing in Action

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 11-60. Location: Florida Straits. Place of residence: U.S.A. Description: Disappeared during an

    air bombing run over Cuba targeting strategic facilities in reprisal for the execution of four U.S. citizens on 21-10-60.

    6. Jay Hunter – Missing in Action

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 11-60. Location: Florida Straits. Place of residence: U.S.A. Description: Disappeared during an

    air bombing run over Cuba targeting strategic facilities in reprisal for the execution of four U.S. citizens on 21-10-60.

    7. Eugene Herman Koch – Killed in combat

    Age: 22. U.S. citizen. Date: 17-04-61. Location: Bay of Pigs, Las Villas province. Occupation: Engineering student at

    University of Villanueva, Havana. Place of residence: Havana. Description: Paratrooper, member of the 2506 Brigade,

    killed in combat during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

    8. William D. Pawley – Suicide

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 06-63. Location: Miami, Florida. Occupation: Businessman / C.I.A. agent. Place of residence: Miami,

    Florida. Description: Committed suicide after U.S. Navy ships accidentally machine-gunned the infiltration boat Flying

    Tiger II, killing the entire infiltration team. He was in charge of this mission, designed to smuggle Soviet defectors out

    of Cuba.

    9. Mike Rafferty – Accidental death

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 12-11-66. Location: Florida Straits. Occupation: Pilot. Place of residence: Florida.

    Description: His B-25 aircraft crashed into the ocean after bombing a refinery in Matanzas Bay.

    10. Alexander I. Rourke Jr. – Missing in Action

    Age: 37. Born in U.S.A. Date: 24-09-63. Location: Cuban airspace. Occupation: Freelance writer. Place of

    residence: New York, N.Y. Description: Disappeared with Geoffrey Sullivan in a Beechcraft bi-motor aircraft on a

    flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Panama (after refueling in Cozumel, Mexico) during a anti-Castro mission

    piloted by Sullivan. Earlier, on 25-04-63, they had bombed an oil refinery in Havana with homemade bombs, but the

    bombs had failed to explode. Notes: Son of a former Manhattan District Attorney. There is an outstanding reward for

    information on his whereabouts.

    11. Riley W. Shamburger Jr. – Killed in combat

    Born in U.S.A. Date: 04-61. Location: Cuban airspace over Bay of Pigs. Citizenship: U.S. citizen by birth.

    Occupation: Air Force Major with the Alabama National Guard. Place of residence: Birmingham, Alabama.

    Description: Shot down while piloting a plane in support of the 2506 Brigade during the Bay of Pigs invasion.

    12. Geoffrey Sullivan – Missing in Action

    Age: 28. Born in U.S.A. Date: 24-09-63. Location: Airspace over Cuba. Occupation: Commercial pilot. Place of

    residence: New York City, N.Y. Description: Disappeared with Alexander Rourke, Jr while piloting a Beechcraft

    bi-motor aircraft on a flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Panama (after refueling in Cozumel, Mexico) during an

    anti-Castro mission. Was a veteran of several flights to Cuba in support of anti-Castro guerrillas.

    T.R.A.C. -Truth Recovery Archive on Cuba- continues investigating reported cases and documenting previously

    unreported cases. Additional information from witnesses and survivors is greatly appreciated.

    For additional information, contact:

    Free Society Project, Inc. P.O. Box 757 Summit, NJ 07902

    Tel. 973.701-0520

    Reproduction of this material is authorized as long as its source is cited.

    http://www.therealcuba.com/Americans%20Killed%20in%20Cuba.htm

  20. Fidel Castro suffers of senile dementia. His mental deterioration is linked to his family history of mental health disorders. His sister Angelica 87 and Angel Castro 85 year old respectively, are both afflicted with senile dementia.

    Senile dementia is different from senility in the elderly. It is cause by degeneration of the brain cells. The brain functions gradually deteriorate, resulting in progressive loss of memory and mental abilities.

    Fidel Castro speech in the National Assembly on 8/08/2010; makes obvious his insanity.
    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-UH6p4xAPU&feature=related

  21. AFP: Six Cuban dissidents ‘ready’ for release

    HAVANA — A new batch of six Cuban political prisoners is ready to be released and sent to Spain having undergone medical tests and filled out the necessary paperwork, friends and family said Sunday.
    Relatives of the dissidents planning to travel to Spain with them said the prisoners had received medical examinations and their travel clothes on Saturday.

    “We are ready at any moment to travel, with God’s help,” Catalina Cano, the aunt of the of the dissidents who plans to travel with him, told AFP.

    In a deal struck between the Catholic Church and Havana that was brokered by Spain, Cuba agreed to free 52 of 75 dissidents sentenced in 2003 to prison terms of up to 28 years.

    The agreement, which saw a first main group of 20 prisoners released in July, followed talks between Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the Archbishop of Havana, and President Raul Castro in May.

    Laura Pollan, who heads the Ladies in White rights group women — wives and mothers of the 75 political prisoners — said it was always joyful to see a dissident released.

    “But it hurts to see them leave for exile, to leave the prison directly to the airport and not be able to say goodbye to relatives and friends who are not traveling,” she told AFP.

    Cuban dissidents say that even after the release of the 52, another 115 political prisoners will still be languishing behind bars in Cuba.

    Those set to be released are Marcelo Cano, 45, a medical doctor; poet Regis Iglesias, 40; journalists Juan Carlos Herrera, 44; Fabio Prieto, 47; and Juan Fernandez, 61; and Efren Fernandez, 57, who briefly went on a hunger strike.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jpFuz-NqbhH58vRbakBU7NMB9gtA

  22. O.K. SO I GOT IMSOMNIA!

    REINA LUISA TAMAYO AND THE DISSIDENTS HAVE ARMS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES NOW! THEY ARE CELL PHONES AND TWITTER ACCOUNTS! THE WALL AROUND CUBA IS FALLING APART WITH THE HELP OF A “BIRD’S SOUND”! TWEET, TWEET!

    mitin en Banes contra flia OZT

  23. ONE BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP! ANOTHER VIDEO FROM BANES, OF THE ABUSE BEIGN COMMITTED AGAINS REINA LUISA TAMAYO! KEEP THEM COMING YOANI! THE WORLD IS WATCHING!

    YOUTUBE: La misma intolerancia contra Reina Luisa Tamayo-Yoani Sanchez via cellular


    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Cuba: Mother harassed for marching for dead son: Reina Luisa Tamayo
    The mother of a Cuban prisoner of conscience who died after hunger striking has been repeatedly harassed and intimidated in an attempt to stop her from organizing marches to commemorate her son’s death. The next march is planned for 15 August.

    UA: 174/10 Index: AMR 25/012/2010 Cuba Date: 11 August 2010
    URGENT ACTION
    MOTHER HARASSED FOR MARCHING FOR DEAD SON
    The mother of a Cuban prisoner of conscience who died after hunger striking has been repeatedly
    harassed and intimidated in an attempt to stop her from organizing marches to commemorate
    her son’s death. The next march is planned for 15 August. Reina Luisa Tamayo is the mother of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a prisoner of conscience who died on 22 February 2010, having spent several weeks on hunger strike whilst in prison. Since her son’s death, Reina Luisa Tamayo has organized weekly marches on Sundays in the town of Barnes, Holguin Province, Cuba, to honour her son’s memory. Relatives and friends accompany Reina Luisa Tamayo on these weekly marches from her home to attend mass at the
    Nuestra Señora de la Caridad Church, in Barnes and from there to the cemetery where Orlando Zapata Tamayo is buried. Last Sunday, 8 August, the group reported that as soon as they tried to leave Reina Luisa Tamayo’s house to start their march, they were confronted a few metres away from the house by hundreds of government supporters who blocked their way and beat some of the participants. They were pushed back to the house and followed into the house’s garden. The participants tried twice more to leave the house and resume the march but they were again violently confronted by the government supporters, who stayed outside the house until late in the afternoon. According to Reina Luisa Tamayo, during all this time a police patrol was close to her house watching as the events unfolded and failing to intervene. The group have reported how prior to 8 August, they have also been confronted by government supporters and state
    security officials who have gathered around Reina Luisa Tamayo’s house and prevented them from marching,
    sometimes preventing them from reaching the church, the cemetery, or both. They have also reported how state security officials and police officers have set up check points on the routes to Reina Luisa Tamayo’s house on the day prior to the march to prevent people from reaching the house and joining the march.
    PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Spanish or your own language:
    Calling on the authorities to ensure an immediate halt to the harassment and intimidation of Reina Luisa Tamayo by government supporters, and that of her relatives and friends and any other citizens who seek to peacefully exercise their right to freedom of expression, assembly and association;
    Calling on the authorities to permit Reina Luisa Tamayo and others to march peacefully as is their right on
    Sundays.
    PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 SEPTEMBER 2010 TO:
    Head of State and Government
    Raúl Castro Ruz Presidente
    La Habana, Cuba
    Fax: +53 7 8333085 (via Foreign
    Ministry); +1 2127791697 (via Cuban
    Mission to UN)
    Email: cuba@un.int (c/o Cuban
    Mission to UN)
    Salutation: Su Excelencia/Your
    Excellency
    Interior Minister
    General Abelardo Coloma Ibarra
    Ministro del Interior y Prisiones
    Ministerio del Interior, Plaza de la
    Revolución, La Habana, Cuba
    Fax: +53 7 8333085 (via Ministry of
    Foreign Affairs)
    +1 2127791697 (via Cuban Mission
    to UN)
    Salutation: Su Excelencia/Your
    Excellency
    Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
    UA: 98/10 Index: AMR 25/006/2010 Date: 29 April 2010
    URGENT ACTION
    MOTHER HARASSED FOR MARCHING FOR DEAD SON
    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
    Reina Luisa Tamayo is one of the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White), a group of women relatives and friends of prisoners detained during a major crackdown on government critics in March 2003. In 2003, over several days, the Cuban authorities arrested 75 men and women for their peaceful expression of critical opinions of the government. They were subjected to summary trials and were sentenced to long prison terms of up to 28 years. Amnesty International declared the 75 convicted dissidents to be prisoners of conscience, 32 of them remain in prison. Damas de Blanco organizes peaceful weekly marches in Havana where they distribute flowers and call for the release of their relatives and friends. In March 2010 Damas de Blanco organized a daily march for a week to mark the seventh anniversary of the arrest of their relatives. On 17 of March 2010, their march was forcibly broken up by Cuban police, who briefly detained several
    women. Some of the women claimed that they were beaten by the police.
    UA: 174/10 Index: AMR 25/012/2010 Issue Date: 11 August 2010

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR25/012/2010/en

    PDF FILE LINK
    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/012/2010/en/176819df-fe09-4083-b8ff-f6f2b3727ff0/amr250122010en.pdf

  24. THE AVALANCHITO IS TIRED!!THANKS TO ALL FOR YOUR ATTENTION!

    THE WASHINGTON POST: Review of John Paul Rathbone’s biography of Cuban sugar tycoon Julio Lobo-By Ann Louise Bardach-August 15, 2010

    THE SUGAR KING OF HAVANA -The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba’s Last Tycoon -By John Paul Rathbone

    “To be as rich as Julio Lobo!” goes the refrain, still heard in Miami and Havana, usually with a sigh of envy or nostalgia. And while the list of Fidel Castro’s enemies is long and storied, few can lay claim to a more fabulous tale than the legendary Lobo. Consider that Castro’s revolutionary government ejected the fabled sugar czar from Cuba in 1960, dispatching him into exile with only “a small suitcase and a toothbrush.” Not long before, Lobo had an estimated fortune (in 2010 dollars) of $5 billion.

    In “The Sugar King of Havana,” John Paul Rathbone, an editor at the Financial Times, has pulled off a splendid trifecta. He has produced a long overdue biography of Lobo along with a perceptive and unsentimental rendering of pre-revolution Cuba as well as Rathbone’s own family story — tracing his mother’s trajectory from dazzling Havana debutante to toy store clerk in London. Rathbone’s nuanced blending of familial and national history lends this work poignancy and depth. (Castro — not one to be outdone — made his first public speech in years — albeit a mere 12 minutes on August 7 after being sidelined since 2006 following botched intestinal surgery. He published yet another tome of his memoirs — 833 pages! — to mark his 84th birthday on August 13.)

    Curiously, early in his life, Lobo was exiled by another Castro. In 1900, his parents, a Sephardic Jewish self-made businessman and his Venezuelan-Basque wife were expelled from Caracas by its newly installed tyrant, Cipriano Castro (no relation) and arrived in Havana when Lobo was 1 year old.

    Later, Lobo — backed by his banker father — invested his capital and his genius in the indispensable commodity of sugar. Very quickly, he dominated not only Cuban sugar but often the world market. And while Lobo was ruthlessly competitive (his name means “wolf” in Spanish), he also implemented progressive worker reforms in an industry once synonymous with slavery.

    He was a renaissance man, boundlessly curious, with a command of business, politics, history and culture. He assembled a priceless collection of art, most notably Napoleonic memorabilia, and he courted movie stars, including Joan Fontaine and Bette Davis. He was reputed to have filled the swimming pool at one of his estates with perfume for swim diva and film star Esther Williams. “Such are the legends from which revolutions are made,” Rathbone dryly notes, “and then justified.”

    Contrary to popular myth, many of Cuba’s business elite were appalled by the slavishly corrupt government of Fulgencio Batista, and none more so than Lobo. While other sugar barons sensed trouble in Castro’s fiery speeches (the powerful Falla-Guti?rrez family stowed $40 million in foreign banks on the eve of the Revolution), Lobo, ever the Cuban patriot, made a fateful miscalculation. He stayed put and continued to invest in the country’s sugar business, maintaining his vast holdings, art collections and properties in Cuba. After all, he had outwitted his rivals for half a century, survived an assassination attempt that took out a piece of his skull and reasonably believed he could do business with Castro. Indeed, Lobo had generously aided the rebels.

    It was none other than Che Guevara who disabused him of this quaint notion. “It is impossible for us to permit you, who represent the very idea of capitalism in Cuba, to remain as you are,” the rebel commander informed Lobo after summoning him to a midnight meeting. But in recognition of Lobo’s savvy and indispensability, Che made him an offer: Though his properties and assets would be seized in a matter of days, Lobo could stay on and run his sugar mills for the revolutionary government for a modest monthly salary. Though Lobo wondered at the time if his refusal “had consigned him to prison or worse,” he opted to leave — with nothing.

    Rathbone offers nicely etched portraits of Lobo’s two daughters, who endured a lifelong adversarial relationship with each other. Leonor, the eldest, scaled Pico Turquino, Cuba’s tallest peak, as a young woman, while the more intellectual Mar?a Luisa, a friend of Rathbone’s mother, became an art collector in Miami. It was Mar?a Luisa who began to visit Cuba in 1975, seeking some rapprochement with the Castro regime, as well as the return of some of the family’s confiscated art. She was bitterly disappointed in both pursuits.

    In exile, Lobo had occasional successes as a sugar trader working out of his New York office, but he never replicated his past triumphs. He was, after all, a sugar king who had been divested of his sugar mills. Still, he remained an impulsive Romeo, even proposing to Bette Davis. When he died in Madrid in 1983, his fortune had dwindled to $200,000.

    Rathbone’s own family never regained the status they enjoyed in Cuba. “Indeed, very few . . . prospered in exile,” he writes. His grandparents lived in a cramped two-room apartment near the airport in Miami, and some of his cousins settled in Queens.

    Only one omission in this book strikes me as significant: the fact that the finca (property) of the Castro family abutted two famous foreign-owned sugar conglomerates, United Fruit and the West Indies Sugar, both Lobo rivals. Certainly, the irony that the Bush family were major shareholders of the latter (George Herbert Walker Jr., uncle of George H.W. Bush, served as a director of West Indies Sugar until its confiscation in 1959) — and thus Lobo competitors, merited mention.

    In another stroke of historical irony, Lobo’s forced exile turned out worse for Cuba than for him. Fifty years after his departure, the Cuban sugar industry, regarded as the backbone of the country’s economy, is in a shambles. Less than one third of its mills are operational, and those that do produce, do so at a fraction of their previous productivity.

    As it turns out, the fates of sugar and Cuba appear to be the same.

    Ann Louise Bardach, a reporter for the Daily Beast, is the author of “Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Washington and Havana” and “Cuba Confidential.” She is a member of the Brookings Institution’s Cuba Study Project.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/13/AR2010081302364.html

  25. FROM ONE OF MY FAVORITE LATIN AMERICAN JOURNALISTS! BUT ANDRES FORGOT ONE LAST THEORY! THAT FIDEL IS DEAD AND THIS IS A LAST ATTEMPT TO PUT “THE MUMMY” (an impostor) IN THE SPOTLIGHT BEFORE THEY WIND DOWN TO ANNOUNCE HIS EMMINENT DEATH! JUST DIE ALREADY YOU DRAMA QUEEN! OVERACTED/INFLATED LIFE AND HISTORY WILL PROVE IT!

    MIAMI HERALD: We are playing Fidel Castro’s game-BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER-Sunday, 08.15.10

    Here’s the question being asked by almost anybody who is following the latest news from Cuba — what on earth is Fidel Castro up to?

    Since he made his first public appearance in four years last month, Cuba’s officially retired dictator — who turned 84 Friday — hasn’t stopped showing up in public, and grabbing the headlines.

    Proclaiming himself “totally” recovered from the intestinal ailment that forced him to turn over the presidency to his brother Gen. Raúl Castro in 2006, Fidel Castro has made more than a dozen public appearances since he was photographed visiting the National Center of Scientific Investigations on July 7.

    WHAT’S GOING ON?

    Is he trying to undermine his brother Raúl, or is he trying to help him? There are at least five major theories about what’s motivating Fidel’s sudden return to the limelight:

    • Theory No. 1: He is stepping back to send a strong message to Cubans, including his Raúl, not to deviate from hard-line Communism, at a time when Cuba’s economic woes are driving many on the island to think about market-oriented economic reforms.

    “Castro is trying to reassert two of the main pillars of the Cuban revolution: anti-Americanism and internationalism,” writes Jaime Suchlicki, head of the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, in a report entitled, “What is Fidel Castro up to?”

    • Theory No. 2: Fidel is trying to support Raúl, and to send a strong message to the hard-line wing of Cuba’s Communist Party that he stands by his brother’s limited economic reforms.

    “By becoming very visible, Fidel Castro may be telling the Communist Party’s orthodox wing: `Look, I’m lucid, I’m in charge, I know what’s going on in the world, I support Raúl, and I don’t want anybody to do anything against him,” Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas, who is recovering at home after a 135-day hunger strike, told me in a telephone interview from Santa Clara, Cuba.

    • Theory No. 3: Castro is trying to grab international headlines to eclipse the news about the death of Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo earlier this year, and that the dissidents’ protests that followed. Until his reappearance, the international news on Cuba was focused on Zapata Tamayo’s death and the dissident movement. Today, it’s focused on Fidel Castro.

    • Theory No. 4: Castro is trying to grab headlines to divert world attention from Cuba’s recent agreement with the Roman Catholic Church to free 52 political prisoners, and the subsequent release — rather, forced deportation — of 21 of them.

    In addition to undermining the dissidents’ recent propaganda victories, Castro may be trying to keep Cubans on the island from thinking that the prisoners’ release was a sign of weakness by the government. That, in the mind of the Castro brothers, would entice peaceful oppositionists to step up their anti-government marches.

    “As a good politician that he is, he wants to make sure than when people abroad talk about Cuba, they talk about him, and not about the political prisoners,” Fariñas told me.

    PLAIN OLD EGO

    • Theory No. 5: It’s an ego thing. Castro — the utmost narcissist-Leninist — could not stand the role of invisible foreign affairs editorialist to which he has been confined for the past four years. Now that he feels that his health has improved, he can’t help but to return to center stage.

    My opinion: There may be some truth in all five theories, but I think the answer to Castro’s reappearance lies mostly in a combination of the latter three.

    It’s no coincidence that Castro’s first public showing at the National Center for Scientific Investigations took place July 7, the same day that Cuba’s Church announced that the regime had agreed to free 52 political prisoners. And it’s no coincidence that Castro’s first extended appearance on Cuban television took place on July 12, only hours before the first group of political prisoners arrived in Spain and started telling the world about the horrors of Cuban prisons.

    Castro is trying to get the media to focus on him, rather than on what his victims are saying about his hereditary military dictatorship. And we are all falling into his trap by focusing our eyes on him.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/14/1776652/we-are-playing-fidel-castros-game.html

  26. WHEN I WAS IN THE CAIRO MUSEUM, NONE OF THE MUMMIES MESSED IN OTHER COUNTRIES’ POLITICS! BUT “FIDEL” CAN TALK OVER AND TYPE OVER THOSE GAUSES REAL GOOD!

    LATIN AMERICA HERALD TRIBUNE: Mexico Slams Castro Articles, Calls for Free Elections in Cuba-August 14

    MEXICO CITY – The Mexican government dismissed recent allegations by former Cuban head of state Fidel Castro as an attempt to “discredit Mexican institutions” and said it hopes citizens on the communist-ruled island will be able to participate in free elections in the near future.

    In two articles by Castro that were published on Thursday and Friday in the Cuban media, the former leader praised erstwhile Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist, and recalled a 2004 political scandal that, he said, was aimed at derailing his bid to win the presidency two years later.

    In addition to dismissing Castro’s comments about the country’s domestic politics, the Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement that “the Mexican government is hopeful that the Cuban people soon can take part in free elections to choose their representatives and that human rights on the island will be fully respected.”

    “Mexico deeply values its ties with Cuba and reiterates its firm willingness to continue strengthening its relations of friendship and cooperation with the Cuban people and government. In this spirit of mutual respect, we congratulate Comandante Castro on his recovery from illness on the occasion of his 84th birthday,” the Foreign Relations Secretariat said.

    Castro, who turned 84 on Friday, has made numerous appearances in recent weeks – including at the country’s National Assembly. He had been out of the public eye for years while recovering from a serious illness, during which time he ceded power to younger brother Raul, although he also published numerous articles on current events during his convalescence.

    But the ministry added that Castro, in his articles, “seeks to discredit Mexican institutions and makes groundless affirmations about the country.”

    In his article published Thursday, Castro wrote that Lopez Obrador “will be Mexico’s leading moral and political authority when the system collapses, and with it, the Empire (the United States).”

    “Today I’m honored to share Lopez Obrador’s points of view and I don’t harbor the least doubt that much sooner than he imagines everything in Mexico will change,” the article published Friday read.

    Lopez Obrador, who lost the 2006 presidential balloting to current head of state Felipe Calderon by the slimmest of margins, a defeat the leftist said was the result of electoral fraud, recently announced his intention to run again in 2012.

    In the article published Friday, Castro also referred to a scandal in which Argentine-born Mexican businessman Carlos Ahumada in 2004 released videotapes – taken with hidden cameras – showing him giving wads of cash to close associates of then-Mexico City Mayor Lopez Obrador.

    Ahumada fled to Cuba amid the scandal and was detained and questioned there by authorities on the island.

    Castro said that, according to Ahumada’s statements, those videos were seen by former Mexican President Carlos Salinas and erstwhile Sen. Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, who is currently being held hostage in Mexico by organized-crime elements.

    And along with then-Interior Secretary Santiago Creel and then-Attorney General Rafael Macedo, they orchestrated the scandal and the release of the videos with the aim of damaging Lopez Obrador’s presidential candidacy, Castro wrote.

    In exchange for Ahumada’s cooperation, according to Castro, they offered him “economic support for his businesses and judicial protection for him and his family.”

    A diplomatic crisis erupted between the two countries after Havana unexpectedly decided to deport Ahumada and Cuban officials said the case – which caused an open clash between the Lopez Obrador’s leftist PRD party and the conservative administration of then-President Vicente Fox – had a “political connotation,” an unasked-for opinion that bothered the Mexican government.

    After being deported from Cuba, Ahumada was imprisoned in Mexico until the spring of 2007, when he was acquitted of the corruption charges.

    Bilateral ties have normalized during the administration of Calderon, like Fox a member of the conservative PAN party, but the Mexican president – for various reasons – has not yet visited the island.

    http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=363126&CategoryId=14091

  27. canadiense….

    THE LAW ALSO SAYS THAT THOU SHALL HAVE LIGHTS, SIGNALS AND PAVING ON YOU MAJOR STREETS! THE CASTRO MAFIA BROKE THE LAW FIRST! EXCUSES, EXCUSES FOR “THE MUMMY” & “LA CHINA” AGAIN! YAWNNN!!

  28. the law in cuba says you C ANT DRIVE A CAR IFF YOU RE UNDER 21 … WHAT ELSE CAN BE SAID,,,,,,,

  29. LETS HOPE THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN TO ANOTHER TOURIST!WE KNOW IT HAPPENS TO THE WHOLE CUBAN PEOPLE EVERY DAY!!THIS IS HOW THEY FEEL! TRAPPED BY THE CASTROFACIST MAFIA!
    “THE MUMMY” & “LA CHINA” HAVE BEEN EXTORTING MONEY OUT OF ALL CUBAN FAMILIES FOR OVER 51 YEARS! WITH A SALARY OF AROUND $20 PER MONTH, WHO DO YOU THINK PAYS FOR MOST OF THE NECESITIES OF MOST OF THOSE FAMILIES? THOSE OF US ABROAD, AND WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO BUY JACKED UP PRICES FROM THE DOLLAR STORES WHICH ARE OVER TWICE THE PRICES FROM THE U.S.A. AND OTHE COUNTRIES. THIS IS A MAFIA DEAR READERS NOT COMMUNISM, NOT SOCIALISM!!

    VANCOUVER SUN: Benefit planned for teen who was stuck in Cuba-August 13, 2010

    A benefit concert to raise money for the family of an Ontario teenager who spent more than three months stuck in Cuba under threat of imprisonment for a traffic accident will take place next month.

    Cody LeCompte racked up more than $30,000 in legal fees and accommodation costs after the Cuban government ordered him to remain at his Santa Lucia resort pending the outcome of an investigation into an April 29 traffic collision.

    Public pressure and a stern warning from the Canadian government that tourism might suffer if the matter wasn’t resolved finally led to the 19-year-old Simcoe, Ont., man’s release last week.

    Kevin McCart, the creator of the “Bring Cody LeCompte Home” Facebook page, which has attracted more than 3,700 supporters, has since put together a quadruple bill to help raise funds for LeCompte and his mother, Danette.

    “It is our hope that this event will free the LeComptes from their debt incurred through Cuban detention,” McCart said in a news release Friday.

    The event featuring hip hop artist Dylan James, hard rockers Murmur and Persist as well as AC/DC cover band Thunderstruck will take place Sept. 3 at Club 77 in Hamilton, Ont.

    “Anyone who cannot attend can still make a donation to the trust fund at any TD Canada Trust,” McCart said.

    LeCompte arrived back in Canada last Friday after Cuban authorities finally unblocked his passport after he signed a promise to return should charges be laid against him.

    He and his mother travelled to Cuba on a two-week holiday to celebrate his acceptance to Sault College’s aviation program, but just three days in they were broadsided by a dump truck at an intersection.

    LeCompte, who was driving, suffered a broken hand, possible broken ribs and a broken collarbone, in the accident and was never properly treated for his injuries.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Benefit+planned+teen+stuck+Cuba/3396367/story.html

  30. ***
    Yoanni Sanchez and the brave Cuban bloggers are leading the Cuban Revolution now. It will be a joyous day when the evil Castro Brothers die and go to Hell for their crimes against liberty and the Cuban People.
    ***
    Yoanni Sanchez y los valientes bloggers Cubanos estan los lideres del Revolucion Cubano ahora. Va ser una dia de jubilacion cuando los malos Hermanos Castro mueran y van al Infierno por sus crimenes contra libertad y La Gente Cubano.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  31. WILLY CHIRINO, NOT ONLY ONE OF THE GREATEST SINGER/SONGWRITERS IN LATIN AMERICA BUT ONE GREAT HUMAN BEIGN. WHERE IS EMILIO, GLORIA, ALBITA, ISSAC DELGADO & OTHER CUBAN ARTISTS? WHAT ABOUT A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR THESE BRAVE MEN AND THEIR FAMILIES?

    YOUTUBE: Willi Chirino conversa con los presos cubanos liberados

    Willi Chirino, junto a los presos cubanos recién liberados, sus familiares y amigos
    Encuentro realizado en Madrid el 12 de agosto de 2010

  32. Yoani, I think you did such a great job capturing the way that most Cubans on the island see Fidel Castro. It’s a personality cult is what it is. The fact is that Castro believes only in himself. His pride is leading to his downfall because people will begin to regard him not as some powerful man or god, but as a weak human being trying to hold onto power from his deathbed. He can barely speak, and when he does, no one understands what the hell he’s saying.

  33. YOU KNOW,!! MANY CUBANS AND OTHER SUPPORTERS OF THE POLITICAL PRISONERS FROM CUBA GET ALL PISSED OFF THAT THESE PRISONERS GET SENT OFF TO SPAIN OR OTHER COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD AGAINST THEIR WILL. I’M ACTUALLY GLAD BECAUSE THANKS TO THEIR ACCESS TO THE INTERNET NOW, AND ALL OF YOU READING THIS BLOG WE CAN DISSIPATE THEIR EXPERIENCES AND INFORMATION ALL AROUND THE WORLD. YOU DONT NEED TO LIVE IN YOUR COUNTRY TO HELP YOUR PEOPLE! ENOUGH SAID!

    ASSOCIATED PRESS: Cuba to free 6 more political prisoners into exile

    HAVANA, Cuba — Cuba’s Roman Catholic Church on Friday revealed the names of six more political prisoners to be released into exile in Spain under a sweeping agreement with President Raul Castro’s government.
    The men are among 75 dissidents who were arrested in a March 2003 crackdown on dissidents and sentenced to lengthy prison terms on charges that included treason.

    In a landmark deal, Cuba agreed July 7 to release the remaining 52 prisoners still jailed from the crackdown, which human rights activists call the “Black Spring.”

    Word of the latest releases bring to 26 the number freed so far — and all have agreed to leave Cuba for Spain, with one then settling in Chile.

    Church official Orlando Marquez said the next six slated for release are Marcelo Manuel Cano Rodriguez, Regis Iglesias Ramirez, Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta, Efren Fernandez Fernandez, Fabio Prieto Llorente and Juan Adolfo Feranndez Sainz.

    Both the Cuban government and the church say releasing all 52 will take months. Still, Friday’s announcement was the first word of new releases in nearly two weeks, after an initial wave of 20 prisoners were freed fairly quickly.

    Some political prisoners in Cuba have been offered freedom but have declined, saying they want to stay in their homeland. It is not clear if those released subsequently will be exiled or if some will be allowed to stay in the country.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iUXtrV2QU_hugo-6AVuxgVM2n5JQD9HIRPUO0

  34. Happy NON-BIRTHDAY to YOU!Happy NON-BIRTHDAY to YOU!HAPPY NON-BIRTHAY, “THE MUMMY”, MURDERER, FACIST, DICTATOR, LIAR YOU!! HAPPY NON-BIRTHDAY TO YOU! MAY YOU LIVE ONLY A FEW SECONDS MORE!! BUT I PERSONALLY THINK YOU ARE DEAD, COMATOSE OR ADVANCE ALZHIMERS!! HISTORY WILL PROVE ME RIGHT!

  35. happay birthday my president may god bless you vyva fidel viva cuba haste siempre mi commandante….

  36. Pingback: Tweets that mention Generation Y » Fidel Castro, Present and Past -- Topsy.com

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