“The main thing is conscience … not science”

This short video of Juan Vela, former minister of High Eductation, has come into my hands. A meeting with some of his subordinates in Ciego de Ávila province was the setting for this declaration about the order of priorities in Cuban universities. I am sure that these words, authoritarian and simplistic, said in front of the cameras, did not cost him his job.

Perhaps it was the opposite that motivated his replacement by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. Who knows if the ex-minister, when he applied his maxim that, “the principle here is the conscience, it’s the Revolution… not the science,” didn’t do it with the verticality one expects from a member of the Communist Party. He goes, and now, free of these responsibilities, can finally realize his old dream of being a cardiologist.

Translator’s note:
I will try to get a video with an English translation on it. In the meantime, Juan Vela, at the end of the video says that he wanted to be a cardiologist, but no, he’s here, and the main thing is “the conscience and the Revolution… not science.”


25 thoughts on ““The main thing is conscience … not science”

  1. Candido:

    Common sense can do wonders for politicians. The problem for them is that greed and uncontrolled ambition stand directly opposite common sense, and sometimes they win. I don’t like politicians hanging around too long in the same job. Unlike wine, they seem to rot and get sour with age, and can’t help putting their hand in the cookie jar.

    I came here in the late sixties and only have childhood experiences which are from a long time ago.

    I don’t like dictatorships and Cuba’s even less. I try to stick to facts so as to earn the respect of people who read this blog the world over.

  2. Cold:

    You are totally right, even after being in USA most of your life, it is incredible how clear your ideas about Cuba are.

    May be could be a matter of common sense, -that by the way, is the most scarce of all senses!!!!-, may be, is a matter of being wise, smart, knowing to read between lines, etc, etc,,,but once again,,,you are right!!!!.

    I have my own way to resume Cuba’s situation, and exactly as you did say, is not the first time,,,and will not be the last one for the humankind, but Cuba’s case has it particularities, and the base of those particularities are exactly us,,,we the Cubans!!!.

    Remember, life is the adding of your own experiences, that after certain time will be indicating the route that you will be following during your existence,,,then, after 50 years of repression in each and every possible kind of manifestation, we, the Cubans learned how to hide anything, showing happiness when really you are very sad!!!!, laughing exactly when you are crying inside!!!!, and like that, we can use millions of metaphors, but the reality is that the current Cuba is under the most devastating system that the Island ever had.

    For us, all those years have been a source of knowledge and unique motive trying to find the solution, but unfortunately , the same way that the egyptians suffered under their pharaohs, everything has an end,,,nothing last forever!!!!,,,and without doubts,,,Castro, his brother, their mafia gang, the system, the abuses, the misery, etc, etc, will end and Castro will be finally resting in the dustbin of history.

    When this going to happen?,,,How close that moment is?,,,,really,,,really nobody knows exactly, but looks that it will be soon,,,is evident and logic,,,What is going to happen after Castro?,,,nobody knows too,,,but step by step it will be changing.

    Let say that Castro and the future history of Cuba could be something similar that what happened to “Benjamin Button” -have you seen the movie?-,,,,where Castro is the old woman and the future generations,,,,the new Cuba,,is Benjamin!!!!!

    I hope to be right!!!!


  3. Having lived in the U.S. a long time, I have not experienced, nor am I capable of telling the stories about Cuba that Candido and Julio bring to this post. I have to use common sense based on news events and my experiences right here in Chicago and the country at large. These are the tools I have and employ in commenting on the preposterous events that take place in the Island. I try to hit the regime as hard as I can with ideas and logic not weaponry and violence as they do to those who disagree with them.

    My definition of how the the term “Social Morals” is used, is my own interpretation and perception of the principles under which this dynasty maintains itself in power.

    I agree that the regime, unfortunately for the island’s inhabitants, are experts at double speak, half truths and false branding of their activities and campaigns. These are activities they did not invent. In fact, this has been in practice since the age of the Pharaohs in Egypt, where much of the hieroglyphic manuscripts on temple walls are propaganda, suggesting exaggerated triumphs and victorious battles by the various pharaohs.

    Contrary to what Congresswoman Diane Watson from the 33rd California Congressional District states on the audio regarding the intellectual prowess of the tyrant, I think he lacks any vision and has never grasped the multitude of facts that a really great leader should possess. He is actually a very small man who even in his death bed, does not understand the basic fact that he needs to delegate power, allow change and work with others in order to succeed. Not to mention he seems ignorant of the fact that all tyrants in history bar none, end up disgraced and used as examples to show children their vanity, cruelty and self serving behavior.

  4. Usually I’m glad to see Yoani’s “Generacion Y” blog getting more coverage (and prizes) and circulation (see comment #20 below). But I fear that when the Miami Herald begins posting some of her blogs, this will just be more Cuban government ammunition against her, her ideas, and the possibility of greater internet access in Cuba.

  5. Concubi!!! I’m an American Citizen my friend!!!! what else I can be?,,,,remember, I escape from Castro’s hands and trough Canada I came to US!!!!.

    For both of you (Cold and Concubi)!! I know what Castro and his mafia gang call “Socialist Moral” and how does it work in Cuba,,,but, may I was not explicit enough , my question was direct to people who does not knows Cuba’s reality, then, may be one of them can describe the “definition of Socialist Moral”,,,who knows!!! (I’m just joking, I know that there is not definition for that).

    May be, would be curious to know the opinion of the Congresswoman Diane Watson about it,,,,,may be she has to find her own Sherlok Holmes to understand everything, then, at the end she could say: “Elemental Holmes, Elemental!!!! they were right,,Castro and his mafia gang are cruel repressive and murderers!!!!


  6. This is happening in this country right now. If we want to help Cuba, we have to take care of this country(USA) first.Just watch the first two minutes see for yourselves.It’s scary..I don’t like Glenn Beck’s show it is kind of propaganda, but he is making a good argument, he has a point…

  7. Socialist Moral is just a brand name picked by the dynasty to mask all the violations of human rights and crimes they commit against the people.

    It’s a practice he may have acquired using certain basic marketing principles used by merchants who want to misguide consumers – i.e. they name their product to mask the greatest weakness that it has.

    An example is when a relatively slow automobile is named “Grad Prix” or a poorly performing refrigerator is branded “igloo”, etc. Although the dictator is mindless now, his satraps are very capable and use distorted marketing principles for propaganda purposes to maintain this dynasty in power and keep their jobs.

  8. Candido,
    There is no such a thing as “Socialist Moral”, so there is no answers for that.
    The only thing that Cubans can do is fight with the weapons that the Regime allows them to have.
    Applying that to Panfilo’s case, the best way to deal with a problem that Panfilo presented to the Cuban government was apply the article 79.1 (a) or (c)
    They did it with “El Caballero de Paris” against his will, but at least less cruel.
    Candido, I dont know what country you live but uf you live in the USA, check this out “The New Freedom Of Speech or Diversity Czar” – Mark LLoyd, this guy now appointed by our President, loves what Hugo Chavez has done against Venezuela’s media. It’s scary and it is just the beginning..

  9. Ettore:

    I just saw the fragment in YouTube of your link regarding the statement of Diane Watson and it in unbelievable,,,incredible,,,but it is true that like her, there millions of people totally confused or naive enough to believe something different.

    I’m not going to accuses her of being communist, or even being linked with Castro,,,for cases like that, I have just one proposition:

    “Go to Cuba, stay there one year,,,just one year as a simple Cuban, with rationing, the repression, and of course, enjoying the health situation as a common cuban,,,and after that time,,,Diane Watson,,will change her mind and probably her nest statement will be:

    “That whoever was finding a new leader, for the revolution they found a lawyer named “Satanas”!!!!!


  10. If we go back, to see the post that Concubino posted in the last Yoanis comment, regarding the message received by him from someone studying laws in Cuba -by the way this is something very dramatic,,,,studying laws in a country where the Law is just one,,,and it is Fidel Castro’s Law!!!-, then, Concubino posted several chapters or paragraphs that belongs to the Cubans laws.

    Besides to know that Law in Cuba means, repression, cruelty, division, etc, etc,,,,from the very beginning there is a phrase that represent everything about how repressive is that Castro’s system,,,and it is : “The socialist moral!!!!!”, everything is turning around to be in agreement, or to follow, or to accomplish, or to do anything, according with the “Socialist Moral”!!!!.

    What is that?,,,Is there any kind of “Democratic Moral” to follow?,,Is any kind of “Republican Moral” to do?,,,Is there any kind of “Nationalist Moral” to carry on?

    Can somebody explain the definition of “Socialist Moral”?

    Please, if somebody knows the answers for those question, please, write down the explanation to be able to understand what it is.

    For me, “Socialist Moral” means, the way, the double face, the hiding, the double moral,,,,,etc, etc,,,, that more than 50 years were imposed to the Cubans,,,, is the cruel and oppressive regime of Castro and his mafia gang,,,,”Socialist Moral”, means the excuse to kill, to punish, to condemn , etc, etc, anybody who does not think or act the same way that Castro and his mafia gang have been deciding for more than 50 years.

    Being barbaric, despicable, cruel, murderer, etc, etc, is the real meaning of the implementation and execution of the “Socialist Moral”!!!!


  11. In follow up to my post below, it appears that Diane Watson from the 33rd California Congressional District is the politician that Bibbbs is alluding to.

    I looked up the link to Diane Watson at hotair.com and to my surprise, she appears to be the ideological siamese twin of Maxine Waters. If you follow her link to Hotair.com, all you have to do is listen to the last twenty seconds of her diatribe before an unknown audience where she mentions Che, to realize that this is someone with some serious learning disabilities, combined with certain green demons that dwell within her mind.

    For starters, there are serious issues with fatherless babies in her district. Check out:


    It appears to me that instead of traveling around the world first class at U.S. Taxpayer expense, she and a team of volunteers should be combing and going door to door in the 33rd Congressional District, encouraging families to educate their children on preventing teenage pregnancy and following up on their free taxpayer funded high school education. Perhaps while doing it, she might want to take a few remedial courses herself, including proper High School education, with an emphasis and including a thorough immersion in World History.

    I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this woman, but let me just say that we can cross her out as someone who has anything constructive to contribute in the cause of overturning the Castro mafia.

    One more thing, not that she’ll listen, but math seems to have escaped her as well during her grammar and secondary education. If she really wants to help her constituents, she might want to learn this very simple formulas:

    Teenage children out of wedlock = more children later during wedlock = misery and poverty

    Many children in or out of wedlock with no parental supervision = no education = abject misery and more poverty

    Children born out of wedlock = no proper supervision = no education = welfare rolls

    And so on and so forth……get it? Just mind your own community business and you’ll really make a difference.

  12. I think John Bibb may have been thinking of Maxine Waters, the quintessential example of someone who visits or vacations in Cuba frequently to fraternize with the Coma-andante and his henchmen. Not sure what benefits, personal or civic, she obtains or provides to her district with these visits. The Coma is way over the hill, and I’m sure she has plenty to worry about in her very impoverished 35th California Congressional district, like teenage rape, abject poverty, unemployment and drugs.

    If interested, listen to this, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:

    “Waters has been included by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”) among its 2005 list of the thirteen ‘Most Corrupt Members of Congress’ list[19] and on the 2006 list[20] for “her exercise of this power to financially benefit her daughter, husband and son.”


    However, since she has this distracting infatuation with the dynasty in Cuba, it’d be great, as pointed out below, if someone could hook her up with Pamfilo so he can fill her in on the regime’s methods of dealing with people who distract from their state dictated behaviour.

  13. ***
    Hi Concubino and Ettore–HotAir.com is the site with the story. And a photo–Concubino should look for a lot smarter and prettier Cuban girl. My choice in a wife was a good Mexican girl 40 years ago. Make a better choice than Diane Watson.
    Hola Concubino y Ettore–HotAir.com es el sitio con la cuenta. Y un photo–Concubino debia buscar una Cubana mas lista y mas bonita. Escojio una buena muchacha Mexicana por mi esposa hace 40 years ago. Haga una selection mejor que Diana Watson.
    John Bibb

  14. Diane Watson, that I know!. BTW she is a great match for Panfilo.Its a match meant to be a match made in heaven..

  15. John Bib,

    I think you meant Representative Diane Watson of Los Angeles; follow the link:

    She praises Castro for Cuba’s health care system; her ignorance is appalling and frightening that she wants to copy it. She is completely uninformed on how Cuba’s system actually works; government officials and foreigners with Euros get full care in the best facilities. Everyone else – that is 99% of the population can visit clinics that have old equipment, no bandages and no medicine.

  16. John Bib,

    I did not know that Diane Waters was congresswoman for California. Do you have any more personal information about this distinguished person?.Basically I want to know if she is married or not?.Maybe she is one of this dating websites.
    My interest in this person is not for myself, everybody knows in this forum knows that I have my concubina, but for Panfilo, he is single. Perhaps you can arrange a blind date between her and Panfilo.Bro if you can hook then up, it will be great , I’ll buy you a case of Cuban Cigars. I gonna get then from the Anonimus, he sells those on the side here on the States,as you may know, he is an illegal alien, and he’s trying to make a living.I’m just helping him a little. The Cuban govertment pay these UCI (Informatic Science University) people very little money and as you can see his skills in English and in computer skills are minimal. The worst is he can’t apply for a legal status in this country because he will have no choice buy answer YES to the question of that if he ever belong to Communist Party.I feel sorry for him.Well not really, I’ll pay almost nothing for the Cubans Cigars.Looking forward to hear from John. Thanks in advance

  17. Wow, anonimo you are killing us with your really deep thinking! :-)
    Where did you memorized all this “vivas”?
    Was it in kindergarten? Do you think you are really defending your revolution doing that in this place?
    Did they teach you to say anything else other than that?

    I used to have a parrot back in Cuba that can speak more words :-)

    See my point?

    Can you defend your system with Ideas? new Ideas? and not repeating someone else’s ideas or chants? Is that too difficult for you? or are you trying to make an easy proof with every post of our collective point of view here?

    Don’t you think is pointless to be chanting slogans?
    Can you refute with arguments and logic what we expose?
    Can you justify in any way your system?

    A system that suppresses the ideas and solutions of 11 million so that only one or a few people ideas take over, what happen when those ideas of those few people are totally wrong?
    Can you see the consequences of 50 years of one man in power?
    look around you and tell me what you see..
    I see poverty, I see a failing system, I see lack of initiative, I see lack of desire to improve and solve problems for Cuba I see almost everyone trying to find a way to solve their problem by leaving the island!
    Why can’t we all contribute? Why does ideology takes priority?
    Why some can have the megaphone and others with different solutions to the same problems can not?

    Solutions to problems are not revolutionary solutions or counter revolutionary solutions. Solutions are good or bad just that simple.
    A solution that solves a problem is a good solution a solution not matter how revolutionary is that does not solve a problem is not a good solution.

    Let us for example think that Juan Valera was an extraordinary doctor in cardiology and some one else decided for him to place him in the position he occupied something that maybe was not part of his own dreams do you think it was right for him to be order to be dictated to sacrifices his own personal goals for someone’s else? Maybe he would have contribute more as a doctor than as a minister. Nobody knows, My point is that people should be allow to do their own will and not someone’s else.

    We are not puppets or toys to be use and be discarded when we are not useful any more.
    Looks thru the history of the last 50 years and see how many of this puppets of the Castro’s have been discarded!
    How would you feel if after all the sacrifice you do chanting slogans for Fidel and Raul they fired you from your comfortable position with internet at work? Just because you are not able to answer my questions? Will you still be chanting after that?

    If you can’t defend your revolution with better ideas than slogans then don’t because you are waisting your time and ours.

  18. ***
    One of our congressional representatives–Diane Waters (DemocRAT-CA) is praising the Cuban Government and the good job they do for the Cuban People.
    This woman wants the U.S.A. to copy Cuba. She should talk to Yoani Sanchez and the other brave Cuban bloggers to get the truth. But the truth doesn’t matter to socialists and communists.
    Una de nuestra representantes congressionales–Diane Waters (DemocRATA–California) esta dando hosannas al Gobierno Cubano y el trabajo bueno que haga por la Gente Cubana.
    Esta mujer quiere que los E.U.A. copiar Cuba. Ella debia hablar con Yoani Sanchez y los otros valientes “bloggers” Cubanas para apprender la verdad. Pero la verdad no importa a socialistas y communistas.
    John Bibb

  19. It is obvious based on the above video, that Castro-totalitarianism is the system of a psychopath developed as his own private, fifty year pet project. He moves the little soldiers and agents around in his real life scale model, inciting them to bully and interject with any input from the helot slaves, even to the point of denying reality based (scientific) proposals. I can almost see the thumb of the bearded one pushing Juan Vela with his index finger, to do his job and wipe out any oppositional ideas so as to maintain himself at the throne.

    This is analogous, although on a population wide scale, to a case that has just surfaced in California, where some child molesting, religious nut abducted and held an eleven year old girl for twenty years in a compound in his backyard, treating her like a slave, not allowing her to go out, using her for sex, and dictating every last detail of her life. Helping this deviant in his nefarious endeavor was his wife, who assisted him in maintaining the status quo and confining the poor child/woman. Twenty years later, both the now twenty nine year old woman and her two children, (engendered our of repeated rapes) have no clue of what occurs in the real world, and will need a psychiatrists twenty four seven to bring her back to a normal life.

    In the case of Cuba, all the satraps around the core Castro criminals, are similar in behavior to that woman/wife, helping to contain and turn the population into what is clearly a herd of humans confined to a cage in the form of an island.

  20. One more example of the paternalistic behavior of the revolution where they tell you what you will do so it is not longer your choice to pursue your own dreams but someone else’s dreams!
    The end result is a very impoverish country that has kill any private initiative and punish those that dare be different and to not conform with the official thinking.

    Specially those people that do think different than the standard are the important people to any country because those are the Albert Einstein the Newton’s the Galileo’s those that can come up with new ideas to solve old problems or to pose new problems.

    The same for political activity. We have had not by our own choice a bureaucracy in charge of Cuba that has not let any other ideas and solutions to problems flourish.
    We all can see the end result with every post of Yoani.

    Cause and Effect the principle of causality at work!

    Who is responsible for people in Cuba wanting to emigrate to other countries?
    Who is responsible for the low rate of natality?
    Who is responsible for the low levels of income?
    Who is responsible for the decline in the educational levels?
    Who is responsible for the decline in the health care levels?
    Etc Etc …
    Who is responsible for the Cuban catastrophe?
    Only one name comes to mind


  21. Psychiatrist.. I meant.

    Echocardiogram. (its implied that is of the heart _. I meant


  22. Trevor Loudon, who deserves far more credit than he gets for smoking out the communists in and around the Obama Administration, broke the Van Jones story back on April 6 and has run several follow-ups. Among other things, he revealed that Jones was a leading member of a Marxist organization known by the acronym STORM, which means Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement. A 96-page history of the organization mentions how several STORM members had traveled to Cuba in the summer of 1999 as part of the Venceremos Brigade. This is the group that was originally sponsored by the Castro regime and the Weather Underground.

    To add to the mystery, it turns out that “Van” Jones is not even his real name. His real first name is Anthony; he says he changed it because “Van” sounded cool. Various accounts say that he has been arrested twice.

    Aaron Klein of World Net Daily then wrote a story on Jones, citing Loudon’s work. Since then, Beck and others have seized on it. Now, some more of this fascinating story can be told. I have been engaged for months in a series of Freedom of Information Act requests with the Obama Administration for information about Jones and how he was hired.

    It seems clear that Jones has undergone, with powerful sponsors and benefactors, an extreme makeover. Beck, to his credit, is trying to peel away the protective cover. He needs our support to remain on the air and pursue this story. The trail will most certainly lead beyond Jones himself.

    Who Wrote His Book?

    Whatever his real name, he was praised by actor Leonardo DiCaprio in an April 30, 2009, Time magazine article as someone who is “redefining green.” This is one of several sympathetic stories about him.

    His book, The Green Collar Economy, includes only the name of “Van Jones” as the author on the cover. But it appears that the book was largely written by Ariane Conrad, an activist and writer whose name appears on the inside, as in, by “Van Jones, with Ariane Conrad.” The use of “with” is morally obligatory and suggests that she helped out in some way with the actual writing.

    She says on her blog that she “helped Van write his first, New York Times-bestselling book” and describes herself as someone who has “specialized in working collaboratively with authors, especially first-timers, to produce non-fiction books.”

    However, the Jones book relies on discredited “experts” such as Rachel Carson and Paul Ehrlich, who exaggerated environmental dangers and ushered in stronger government controls and regulations. The book denounces the “Indian-killing Teddy Roosevelt,” nuclear power, and the Iraq War and, sounding like Obama, Jones says that “we will have to fundamentally restructure the U.S. economy.” He urges a new global warming treaty.

    Ironically, the book was published by Harper One, an imprint of Harper Collins, a division of the same company, News Corporation, which now employs Glenn Beck. The foreword to the Jones book by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. describes his revolutionary plans for a “brave new world” and proclaims, “Let the revolution begin.”

    In addition to being one of Ariane Conrad’s successful “first-timers,” Van Jones’ meteoric rise was assisted by many different liberal-left foundations, including the Open Society Institute of George Soros, which helped finance his “Green for All” organization. His book includes endorsements from Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, TV host Tavis Smiley, former Senator Tom Daschle, Arianna Huffington, and Larry Brilliant of Google.

    The Ella Baker Center

    I visited one of his organizations in Oakland, California, the Ella Baker Center, and discovered a photograph of Communist Angela Davis on the first floor. Ella Baker worked with Communists such as Anne Braden. This fact is noted on the official Baker bio distributed by the organization named in her honor. They are proud of this fact, although they claim that “she had mixed feelings about communism” and only embraced socialism “as a more humane alternative to capitalism.”

    Jones shows up on a list of “veteran activists” attending a conference in the summer of 1998 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the same place where Bill Ayers is now a professor. The purpose was to plot the “Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century” under the auspices of the Black Radical Congress. Angela Davis participated and the Communist Party USA helped organize the event.

    One of Jones’ sons is named Cabral, in honor of Amilcar Cabral, the African Marxist who spoke to Castro’s Tricontinental Congress in 1966 and concluded with these words: “Our wish is that every national liberation movement represented here may be able to repeat in its own country, arms in hand, in unison with its people, the already legendary cry of Cuba: Patria O Muerte, Venceremos! Death to the Forces of Imperialism! Free, Prosperous and Happy Country for Each of our Peoples! Venceremos!”


    The Obama transition project developed a seven-page questionnaire that included 63 questions about an applicant’s background and qualifications for a federal job. The document was supposedly for “every candidate for Cabinet and other high-ranking positions in the incoming administration,” as CNN put it. But there is no indication at this point that Van Jones ever filled out such a form. At the very least, it can be said that I have not been able to obtain a copy of it-and I have asked for any such document.

    I have been engaged for months in a series of communications with the White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ), where Jones works, in an attempt to discover who hired Jones and why, and what was known about Jones when he was appointed. I have had to resort to using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on several occasions to attempt to get answers. But the answers have not been satisfactory.

    However, there is every reason to believe, in this case, that where there is smoke, there is fire. The still-untold story is where the Van Jones trail leads. It obviously leads to the White House. But to whom?

    Definitive answers will require that the media stop running puff pieces about Jones and start investigating his background. Glenn Beck should not carry this load alone.

    On Fox News, Glenn Beck has raised the question of who “vetted” Van Jones for a job and whether the FBI was bypassed. This is a legitimate area of inquiry. But if Beck’s show is forced off the air, because of advertiser pressure, Jones and his patrons in the White House will have won. And freedom of information and transparency in government will be the losers.

    I haven’t reported the answers to my queries until now. But since Glenn Beck’s show could rise or fall, depending on the outcome of his battle with Jones, I believe what is known, or is not known, should now be put on the record. It is clear that Beck is on the right track and he deserves enormous credit for tackling this important story. It may be as important as the Frank Marshall Davis scandal.

    What remains to be determined is what personal relationship, if any, there is between Jones and Obama. If Obama didn’t select him for a post in the administration, who did?

    I began this quest, after Trevor Loudon and World Net Daily ran their stories, with telephone calls and emails to Van Jones himself, his assistant and the press representative for the CEQ. None of these calls or emails was returned.

    The Start of the FOIA Requests

    My first FOIA request, filed on April 15, consisted of the following:

    “Under the Freedom of Information Act, I request immediate access to all documents, memoranda, emails, and information relating to the appointment of Van Jones to the White House Council on Environmental Quality as ‘Special Adviser for Green Jobs.’ The request should include all copies of any information, including a biography and CV, submitted in advance to the Obama Administration by Mr. Jones.”

    On April 16, Edward A. Boling, General Counsel and Chief Freedom of Information Officer for the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), replied that “CEQ searched its records system and found none responsive to your request.” He added, “We suggest that you contact the White House Office of the Press Secretary.”

    Doesn’t this seem strange? A group where someone works knows almost nothing about the person?

    The Jones appointment was announced on March 10 by Nancy Sutley, chair of the CEQ, who declared that “Van Jones has been a strong voice for green jobs and we look forward to having him work with departments and agencies to advance the President’s agenda of creating 21st century jobs that improve energy efficiency and utilize renewable resources. Jones will also help to shape and advance the Administration’s energy and climate initiatives with a specific interest in improvements and opportunities for vulnerable communities.”

    The announcement carried a short bio of Jones. It said, “Jones is the founder of Green For All, a national organization that promotes an inclusive green economy, strong enough to lift people out of poverty. He is also the co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change, two highly innovative social justice organizations. A 1993 Yale Law School graduate, Jones is the author of the 2008 New York Times best-seller, The Green Collar Economy.”

    Notice that nothing was said about Jones working with STORM. This bio was all that the CEQ would give me about Jones.

    On April 27, I sent a FOIA request to the office of the White House press secretary. It said:

    “Under the Freedom of Information Act, I request immediate access to all documents, memoranda, emails, and information relating to the appointment of Van Jones to the White House Council on Environmental Quality as ‘Special Adviser for Green Jobs.’ The request should include all copies of any information, including a biography and CV, submitted in advance to the Obama Administration by Mr. Jones.

    “This FOIA request is being directed to the White House Office of the Press Secretary at the direction of the General Counsel and Chief Freedom of Information Officer of the Council on Environmental Quality, who informs me that the CEQ found no records responsive to my request.

    “President Barack Obama has declared, ‘All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.’

    “I look forward to your immediate response and disclosure of documents.”

    I have not received any response to this letter.


    So let’s recap: the CEQ knows almost nothing about how Jones was hired and by whom. And it suggests I contact the White House Office of the Press Secretary, which I do. But it simply ignores my request.

    How’s this for transparency in government? What is the purpose of this stonewalling? Clearly, somebody is hiding something.

    On May 8, I filed another FOIA request with the CEQ, asking:

    “Was Van Jones ever affiliated with or a member of a group known as STORM, which means ‘Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement?’

    “If not, what action has he taken to eliminate documented references to his involvement with STORM that have surfaced in various news reports?

    “Was CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley aware of Mr. Jones’ reported involvement with STORM prior to his appointment to the CEQ?

    “Who made the appointment of Mr. Jones to the CEQ and what form did that take in communication with Chairman Sutley?”

    General Counsel Boling told me that “CEQ has no documents responsive to your request. Moreover, FOIA does not require CEQ to develop a document responding to these questions.”

    When I subsequently filed a FOIA request to determine how they handled my other FOIA requests, I learned that Elizabeth Moss, Christine M. Glunz, and Edward A. Boling of the CEQ simply exchanged emails wondering if there were “any documents that are responsive to this request” and noting that “FOIA does not require the creation of new records.” This is how stonewalling occurs, despite Obama’s promise to make information available through the FOIA. Bureaucrats exchange emails for the purpose of trying to find a way to be unresponsive.

    While waiting for “answers” to my FOIA requests, I researched the name Christine Glunz, who functions as Jones’ mouthpiece and sidekick, and found that the same name appears on a list of press people for disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. A release says that one “Christine Glunz” was a press contact for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) under Blagojevich. According to another article, her sister was “director of policy” for Blagojevich.

    I reached Ms. Glunz by telephone, identified myself, and asked how long she worked for Blagojevich. “Who’s calling?” she said. I identified myself again and asked how long she had worked for the Illinois Governor. “Sir, what’s your number?” She said she was in a meeting and would have to call me back.

    I suppose I will have to file another FOIA request to see if it is the same person.

    Another bio for Christine Glunz says that she worked as communications director for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign in Missouri in 2004, press secretary to Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, deputy communications director on Democratic Senator Jean Carnahan’s 2002 campaign, and White House Intern in Vice President Al Gore’s press office and then on staff as the Special Assistant to the Director of Communications.

    In response to Glenn Beck’s investigation of Van Jones, Glunz has been quoted as saying that Jones is an environmental hero and that his focus is on “building clean energy incentives, which create 21st century jobs.”

    But how did Jones get HIS job?

    Glenn Beck deserves enormous credit for trying to answer this question. He should not be forced off the air for trying to get answers.

    Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

  23. I don’t recommend this Cardiologist “wanna be” to anybody.Even now that he is just a nobody..
    Just imagine being in a consult with this “Doctor”.Let’s recreate it, just the for a fun of it..
    He will ask a patient a question like.. Are you a revolutionary?
    Your answer: Well Dr, between you and me and.. I hope you keep ..the patient Dr/Patient confidentiality,…not really.. I never was..maybe.. at the beggining of the revolutionary process, but now, you know I’m 71 years old …I just pretend to be one , but the real reason I’m here is that I have a chest pain that increases when I go uptairs, I have shortness of breath,I have a high bood preesure and my primary care phycisian thought that it was best for me to see you..then he will said:
    First of all before working you up and have you have an EKG or Chest X rays or even an Echocardogram of your Heart.. you must to see a Psiquiatrist… I can’t apply my science to a contrarrevolutionary unless you have a “clear mind”. My science is just for revolutionaries only..
    Or… He keeps his compusture and tell the patient.. you need an open Heart Surgery right away..and then while the patient is under general anesthesia he will apply the therapy that Dr Raul Castellanos Lage wanted to apply to Jose Ramon Machado Ventura when he was a patient of his,during his ternure at the Cardiovascular Cuban Institute…

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