Tiananmen Returns

The Tank Man became internationally known, caught standing before a column of tanks in the Tiananmen revolt (1989)

The Tank Man became internationally known, caught standing before a column of tanks in the Tiananmen revolt (1989)

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 30 September 2014 – Memory can rarely be put to rest. Memories don’t understand permissions or authorizations, they return, period. For a quarter of a century the Chinese government has tried to erase the events of Tiananmen Square, but now the thousands of young people who are protesting on the streets of Hong Kong evoke them. It’s hard not to think of that man with the shopping bag stationed in front of tank, while looking at these people who demand the resignation of an official as servile to Beijing as he is unpopular.

Twenty-five years of trying to clean up the official history of what happened in that other social explosion that ended in the most brutal repression hasn’t accomplished much. Those streets full of peaceful but exhausted people show it. However, there are also great differences between the 1989 revolt in the Asian giant and the current demonstrations in their “special administrative region.” The fundamental change is that we are participants—from our televisions, digital newspapers and social networks—in every moment the people of Hong Kong are experiencing. The lack of information that surrounded the Tiananmen Square protests now has its counterpart in a barrage of tweets, photos and videos coming from thousands of mobile phones

For how many years will the Chinese government try to erase what is happening today? How will they strengthen the Great Firewall within the country so that people don’t know what is happening so close by? The violent repression of last Sunday only serves to add to the determination and the number of protestors in the streets of the ex-British colony. However, despite the multitudes and the numerous digital screens shining in the Hong Kong night, memory persists in taking us back to one man. An individual who was returning from the market and decided that the treads of a tank were not going to crush his remaining civility. Twenty-five years later, reality is echoing his gesture.

144 thoughts on “Tiananmen Returns

  1. No more Che day, so people are waking up both in and outside Cuba! In spite of geopolitical games and appeasment that squeezes many small nations and many millions of poor people, when enough people start to understand what’s really going on, politicians start to sit up and notice…

  2. Thanks again Humberto, for a thorough presentation. A couple of things have become very clear: The Castristas are obviously afraid of a civil society – where the people have resources and any kind of power – being created. Also they will invent any interpretation of any law, and can’t be trusted.
    The latest news about the argument between Colombia and Panama are very interesting in the context of the el Maburro economic war…

  3. The only hope for Cuba out of its basket-state status is a full move to capitalism. This is what the top Communists hope will save the economy, letting them hold onto power as in China.

    Outside of terrorists and spies, Cuba produces absolutely nothing of value to export. This tropical country can’t even produce one bottle of real fruit juice.

    Most of its chocolate, coffee and cigars are known to be imports fraudulently relabeled as Cuban and sold to unsuspecting tourists.

    Glad to see that the Cuban government has started admitting the same goes for its Rum. I’ve been told this many times in Cuba, but now it’s official.

    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/10/07/cuba-punishes-workers-for-selling-adulterated-rum-at-state-run-store/

    I’m sure the same goes for exported Rum as well, though they will not be so quick to admit it. And they’ll continue to treat the massive fraud as isolated incidents.

    I wonder what the armchair socialists would think if they ever discovered the Habanos and Havana Clubs they were consuming all these years were produced with capitalist tobacco and sugar.

    I wonder if that sweet taste in their mouths would suddenly turn bitter.

    I doubt it. I figure they’re too stupid to realize how much they’ve been duped.

  4. FOR THOSE IN THE NYC & NJ AREA! DONT MISS THIS! GET YOUR LEFTISTS FRIEND THERE SO THEY CAN GET THE SCOOP ON THE MURDERER Ernesto Che Guevara! AND GET YOUR FREE Cuban Croquetas and empanadas TO BOOT!

    NO MORE CHE DAY: Exposing The Real Che Guevara, An Evening with Humberto Fontova
    Thursday, October 9 at 8:00pm in EDT – Columbia University College Republicans Event:
    Pupin 21 – Columbia’s main campus at 538 West 120th Street.
    The Building is located on the south side of 120th Street!
    https://www.facebook.com/events/512029155601119/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular

    216 DOCUMENTED VICTIMS OF CHÉ GUEVARA IN CUBA: 1957 TO 1959 From Armando M. Lago, Ph.D.´s – Cuba: The Human Cost of Social Revolution
    http://www.cubaarchive.org/downloads/CA08.pdf

  5. DEAR yskjs!! MR. GROSS APPARENTLY HAD THE OK FROM THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA AS PER THIS ARTICLE! THE LINK IS NO LONGER WORKING BUT I SAVED IT. WOULD BE A GOOD QUESTION TO ASK THIS CNN SOURCE! IN ADDITION, HE HAD BEEN THERE 9 TIMES BEFORE HIS ARREST! PRETTY OBVIOUS THAT THE CASTROFASCISTS WERE LOOKING FOR A HOSTAGE AND WERE WAITING FOR THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES!

    “The equipment is illegal in Cuba without government permission, but a source close to the case told CNN that “at trial, the defense presented a receipt from Cuban Customs to demonstrate the Cubans were both aware of and approved what Alan brought in.”
    “The Cuban government did not charge Alan with bringing illegal equipment,” says the source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. “The charge and conviction were on crimes against the state, in other words, activity to undermine the sovereignty of Cuba, which is simply preposterous.””

    SAN DIEGO CHANNEL 10 : With American In Cuban Prison, Wife Hopes For Clemency- Alan Gross Convicted Of Trying To Subvert Cuban Gov’t – From Jill Dougherty,CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

    WASHINGTON — Judy Gross sits at her dining table in her apartment in Washington, D.C., typing away on her laptop. She’s checking messages from friends and supporters and, she says, after a full day working as a clinical social worker at a suburban hospital, she often ends up spending another three or four hours at the computer every evening.
    Her husband of 41 years, Alan Gross, sits in a Cuban prison, convicted of trying to subvert the Cuban government. He was sentenced in May to 15 years in prison for “acts against the territorial integrity of the state.” A Cuban court rejected his appeal in August.
    “One of my biggest fears is I’m going to get a call from my attorney one day, saying Alan had a heart attack or something happened to him,” she says. “I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. I don’t know if he’ll step foot on U.S. soil.”

    Alan Gross is a development expert who has worked in almost 50 countries around the world. He was visiting Cuba as a subcontractor for a democracy program of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
    Gross was carrying several laptops and BGANs, terminals used to connect a laptop directly to a satellite for connection to the Internet, a USAID official says. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue.
    The equipment is illegal in Cuba without government permission, but a source close to the case told CNN that “at trial, the defense presented a receipt from Cuban Customs to demonstrate the Cubans were both aware of and approved what Alan brought in.”
    “The Cuban government did not charge Alan with bringing illegal equipment,” says the source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. “The charge and conviction were on crimes against the state, in other words, activity to undermine the sovereignty of Cuba, which is simply preposterous.”
    Judy Gross last saw her husband in the Havana courtroom nearly six months ago.
    She says he has gone from a vigorous 62-year-old to a gaunt, pale, old man. “He’s so frail, now he has lost over 100 pounds. And when I saw him, I could see his bones sticking out.”
    She reads aloud from a copy of the statement her husband wrote by hand and then presented in court at his sentencing. “I respect the sovereignty of Cuba,” it says. “I have learned from my parents and through experience that respect is something that one must have, in order to receive.”
    “Is that what he sounds like?” she is asked. “Oh, yeah. Very outgoing, very confident, very moral, very ethical.”
    Judy Gross is appealing to Cuban President Raul Castro and to the Cuban government to release her husband on humanitarian grounds. She has been ill and their daughter has cancer.
    Meanwhile, USAID says it has re-evaluated how it carries out its democracy programs, which it conducts in other countries as well, including the Balkans, Belarus, Myanmar and Zimbabwe.
    “We decided, after he got arrested, we’re not authorizing BGAN equipment in Cuba,” the official says. “But we are still continuing to reach out to people in Cuba and provide them uncensored Internet information. … “We’re continuing to carry out the spirit of the work that Alan was there to do.”
    The official disputes that such programs are aimed at “regime change.”
    “These are not about regime change,” the official says. “We’re not there actively trying to topple the Castro government. People accuse USAID of having that kind of posture with these programs, but that’s just not the case. This is about creating civil society space, democratic space and (is) consistent with what we do all over the world.
    “These are discreet programs. They are run in a discreet manner,” the official adds. They are not covert, not clandestine, because that is not an intelligence operation. We don’t do intelligence.”
    But what if the Cuban government says that such programs violate its laws, the official is asked.
    “Cuban law is capricious and subject to the whims of those who are controlling it at that time. So we don’t use Cuban law as a guide to these kinds of efforts in that Cuban law also violates longstanding and international human-rights protocols.”
    The Cuban people have the right to unfettered access to information, he says.
    “These are people who just want to have access to The New York Times or CNN.com and they can’t because the regime says you can’t.”
    Alan Gross’s imprisonment is affecting not only his family, it’s also affecting relations between the United States and Cuba, which had been generally improving.
    The State Department says Gross’s case is a “major impediment” to that.

    http://www.10news.com/news/29066339/detail.html

  6. Cuba sends doctors out into all the world, including trying to fight Ebola, but the’yre not willing to spend anything on health care in at home?

  7. Cuba is shooting itself in the foot by treating Cy T. and others so badly. Even friendly people who believe in helping to bring about “soft change” will stay away…

  8. The equipment Mr Gross brought wasn’t legal in Cuba when he broght it there, and he knew it? Did he expect fair trearment from the Cubans if he got caught?
    I’m in no way defending a much too harsh sentence, and jail is no place to be for a person who’s not young with failing health. However, we have to work smart with a lot of patience.
    Also the DOS are infamous for not helping…

  9. Someone said something very significant on CNN. The reason why the protesters in HK are secondary and tertiary students is a problem that exists the world over: They’re frustrated because of the lack of future job prospects.
    It is difficult for different systems to coexist, but ideology isn’t the reason they clash. Both 1st and 2nd WW were caused by economic conditions, and therefore the political landscape, were changing. It’s – still – the economy, stupid!

  10. ALAN GROSS IS NOT A SPY AND SHOULD BE RELEASED IMMEDIATELY! HE BROUGHT IN PHONES, COMPUTERS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT JEWISH COMMUNITY THAT ARE LEGAL IN CUBA NOW!
    YOUTUBE: Judy Gross discusses continued imprisonment of her husband Alan in a Cuban prison .In ill health, Alan Gross refuses to see anyone other than his attorney. After five years, the Jewish American feels it’s a waste of time to meet with anyone from the U.S. State Department. Now quite despondent.

  11. “Revolutionary Legitimacy”? LOL. Who decides on that? The armchair socialists of the world, or the Castro agents?

  12. anonymous:
    If 1000 workers and students cannot win over 1 (one) thug they cannot claim any political influence. Worthless mass, naive idiots at best. Far way from any revolutionary legitimacy.

  13. TOTALLY EXCELLENT AND LONG ARTICLE! WORTH THE READ!
    VICE NEWS: Red Gold: A Quixotic Quest to Find Beef in Cuba – By Adam Leith Gollner
    In Cuba, items that are difficult or impossible to purchase are considered perdido, meaning lost. At the time of my arrival in Havana this summer, two of the most pressing perdido goods are toilet paper and beer. Visitors can still find these items in their hotels, but for Cubans, they’ve gone missing. Perdido. Eleven million people on an island with a toilet-paper shortage. Other unobtainables include soap, pens, smartphones, and credit cards—not that any American credit cards work here, either. The internet is also perdido: Only 3 to 4 percent of the population has access to the web. But of all the perdido things Cubans can’t get a hold of, the strangest—and most taboo—is beef.

    Every person I’ve spoken to in Havana assures me that it is a greater crime here to slaughter a cow than it is to slaughter a person. All cows, they add, are property of the state. When caught cooking illicit beef, Cubans have even been known to commit suicide rather than face incarceration. Why is beef so precious to this country’s communist dictatorship? I’ve come here to find out. The answer, I suspect, must have something to do with endemic hunger and the desperation of continually fighting for survival. Or perhaps it’s an anomalous legislative side effect to five and a half decades of revolutionary idealism and trade embargoes, the sort of skewed reasoning that arises among mind-sets capable of ordering the execution of those with differing views.

    There’s more marbling to this story, however. The last time I traveled to Cuba, almost ten years ago, I’d been advised not to eat any beef. Locals told me that the beef served in restaurants came from the United States, and that it was of terrible quality. Some warned that it was contaminated; others said it was D-grade utility meat, or “cutter” beef, commonly used for dog food in North America.

    Although I steered clear of any ropa vieja that crossed my path, it seemed unlikely that the US would be selling beef to Cuba, given the trade embargo that has existed between the two nations for the past 54 years. But since the American government started authorizing agricultural exports to Cuba in 2000, the island has brought in a staggering $4.7 billion worth of US-produced food, almost all of it by payments of cash in advance. The purpose of an embargo is to isolate and weaken the survival mechanisms of an enemy state through commercial policy. In this case, America is profiteering by feeding Cuba’s citizens. Few people realize it, but around one quarter to one third of Cuban food imports currently come from the USA.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.vice.com/read/red-gold-0000472-v21n10

  14. N.Y. TIMES: Protest Organizers Claim Progress for Hong Kong – By MICHAEL FORSYTHE and ALAN WONG
    HONG KONG — As the protests dwindled and life in Hong Kong returned to its frenetic routine on Monday, organizers of the biggest pro-democracy political movement in China since the 1989 demonstrations in Tiananmen Square said they had moved the needle, however slightly, toward a more democratic future. Before the movement drew headlines around the world more than a week ago, the prospect of meaningful talks between democracy advocates and a government bent on doing Beijing’s will was nonexistent, democrats said.
    Now, preliminary talks have begun, and the student-led movement has strengthened the hand of Hong Kong’s democratic lawmakers.
    “The power shown by the people in this civil protest is the power of the powerless,” Albert Ho, the former head of the Democratic Party and a candidate for chief executive in 2012, said in a telephone interview. “We have been able at least to create sufficient pressure on the government for the commencement of a dialogue. They know that the theme of discussion is political reform. Previously, everybody treated this as a closed chapter.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/07/world/asia/hong-kong-protests.html?_r=0

  15. 1,000,000 workers and students demonstrated against communist tyranny in Hong Kong.

    1,000 thugs violently attacked them.

    Hong Kong’s billionaires and triads support the Communist dictatorship. Seems like nobody else does.

    Very similar to Cuba, where only the rich and mafia support the gangster in chief Castro.

    Nice to see the hot air of Omar and Mario. I’m sure these repudiators of truth could turn North Korea into Disneyland

  16. The Truth about Hong Kong protests is coming out slowly. It turns out, according to msnbc, that the protests are not about democracy at all. They are about changing economic conditions in Hong Kong. Property prices are very high and income are not keeping pace with them. People there are worried about their standard of living. Americans are also worried about their 30 years decline in their standard of livings. Cubans are trying to get out of an economic hole. The problems face by humanity in the World have never been because of lack of Democracy and Freedom. It always has been resource scarcity, inequality, exploitation, racism and ignorance.

  17. Well the Hong Kong protests fizzled out already. It is my understanding that the student leaders of the demonstrations were teenagers ages 17 and 18 years old. Almost everybody went home already. I think they realized how good they have it compared to other places around the World. Today’s China is not the same as the China of the 50’s and 60’s.

  18. Havana: The New Art of Making Ruins – Part 6 of 6
    http://babalublog.com/2014/02/11/babalu-exclusive-havana-the-new-art-of-making-ruins-part-6-of-6/
    Excerpts from part 6 of 6:

    Lack of maintenance has been the main cause for the deterioration of the structures built before 1959. After 1959, several other factors like poor construction quality and upkeep, use of voluntary workers who lack the necessary skills and defective construction practices have contributed to the deterioration of the housing stock. Case in point are the 4 and 5 story multifamily buildings of concrete block bearing walls and pre-fabricated floors and roof, built by the microbrigadas in the 1970s in the Alamar Neiborghood. About 75% of the buildings are affected by rainwater seepage through the roof slab and leaks in the walls which have cause their rapid deterioration (corrosion of reinforcement, concrete spalling, electrical fittings damage, etc.), due to poor workmanship, and lack of roof and waterproofing maintenance.


    Soviet styled apartment buildings in Alamar Neiborghood, Havana

    Alamar’s urban design and planning is a nightmare. The failure of the design to achieve its expected results was determined by: An inefficient buildings layout which located them far apart wasting the space in between; minimal green and recreational areas were provided; inability to create local employment and lack of adequate public transportation to places of work; insufficient infrastructure; and limited spaces assigned for the use of commercial services, banks, garages, etc. The Alamar Neiborghood has been transformed in one of the largest slum in the city.

  19. A refusal to issue a permit to buld a mosque in Havana is A HUGE MISTAKE OF CUBAN GOVERMENT:

    Mr President Raul, Mrs Marta Hernández Romero – I protest this decision. Whose favours do you want to win?

    Many peple remember of another mistake of the previous President to receive the Pope John Paul II almost as a Saint. People were then given time off work to go to Av Rancho Boyeros to wave a welcome flag for this Clown in White. Fidel played a bootlicker to JP II, who did nothing for Cuba in exchange.

    CUBAN RELIGIOUS POLICY HAS BEEN A DISASTER FOR A LONG TIME

    Either you kick them ALL OUT OF THE COUNTRY (my preference), or you give them EQUAL TREATMENT BEFORE LAW.

  20. FREEDOM OF RELIGION IN CUBA? PLEASE! MORE FASCISM!

    BREITBARD NEWS: Cuba Bans Plans by Turkish Group to Build Mosque in Havana – by Frances Martel

    The head of Cuba’s minority Muslim community announced this week that the Cuban government has rejected plans to build a mosque for Havana’s Islamic population, in yet another crackdown on religious freedom on the island. According to World Bulletin, Pedro Lazo Torres, who organizes Muslim prayers at his home in Havana and leads the tiny community, announced that plans to build a mosque in the city have come to a halt– not because of any problems with the sponsor group, the Turkish Religious Affairs Foundation, but because the communist Cuban government opposes the establishment of a religious center for Muslims in the city.

    Torres told media that he did not expect the government to reject the mosque plans despite the continued oppression of religious groups on the island because of successful plans to build a new Russian Orthodox Church. Torres estimates the Muslim population of Cuba to be about 4,000, many of whom worship in his living room, as there are no mosques in the country.

    The Cuban government’s rejection of the mosque follows a visit by Turkish officials in April and even the designation of specific land to use for constructing the mosque. In April, World Bulletin reported that Mustafa Tutkun, the assitant manager of the Turkish Religious Affairs Foundation, visited Cuba and affirmed that the mosque would mirror the design of the Ortakoy mosque of Istanbul. It was to be one of several projects by the Turkish group in the Caribbean. At the time, Turkish Religious Affairs Foundation press secretary Yuksel Sezgin said: “We believe the mosque will fit in perfectly with the European architecture of historic Old Havana.” The mosque was to have served 3,500 muslims.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/10/06/Report-Cuba-Bans-Plans-by-Turkish-Group-to-Build-Mosque-in-Havana

  21. WORLD AFFAIRS : Cuba’s Health-Care Diplomacy: The Business of Humanitarianism – by Maria C. Werlau – August 2011

    Agreements with host countries are kept secret, but some details of the income generated for Havana have emerged over the years. Terms vary depending on the country, but typically the host country pays Cuba a hard-currency sum for each health worker; currently, for example, it has been reported at $5,000 (US dollars) in Angola and $2,784 in Namibia. Haiti does not pay Cuba directly; instead, NGOs, other governments, and international organizations fund Cuba’s medical brigade, and apparently with many millions of dollars.
    The host government provides each internationalista furnished housing, domestic transportation, and a monthly stipend generally between $150 and $500 for food and personal expenses. Cuba covers logistical support and sometimes airfare, plus pays the family of the collaborator back home their regular peso salary—a scant $22 to $25 a month on average for a doctor—and a hard-currency bonus of around $50 to $120 monthly.

    Ghana signed an agreement for Cuba to train two hundred and fifty doctors over a six-year period for roughly $55,000 annually per student, even though it costs seventy percent less to train them in Ghana.

    http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/cuba%E2%80%99s-health-care-diplomacy-business-humanitarianism

  22. YES DEAR Mario! UNFORTUNATELY CUBA IS A 3rd WORLD COUNTRY IN THE 21st CENTURY THANKS TO HURRICANES Fidel & Raul Castro! BUT AS WE ALL KNOW, IT WAS NOT LIKE THAT BEFORE THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA TOOK OVER IN 1959!

    INSTITUTE FOR CUBAN AND CUBAN-AMERICAN STUDIES @ UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: Socio-Economic Conditions in Pre-Castro Cuba* – Issue 43- December 2008

    Cuba’s infant mortality rate was the best in Latin America — and the 13th lowest in the world
    .
    Cuba also had an excellent educational system and impressive literacy rates in the 1950’s.

    http://ctp.iccas.miami.edu/FACTS_Web/Cuba%20Facts%20Issue%2043%20December.htm

    PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: FIDEL CASTRO- Pre-Castro Cuba- Cuba’s capital, Havana, was a glittering and dynamic city. In the early part of the century the country’s economy, fueled by the sale of sugar to the United States, had grown dynamically. Cuba ranked fifth in the hemisphere in per capita income, third in life expectancy, second in per capita ownership of automobiles and telephones, first in the number of television sets per inhabitant. The literacy rate, 76%, was the fourth highest in Latin America. Cuba ranked 11th in the world in the number of doctors per capita. Many private clinics and hospitals provided services for the poor. Cuba’s income distribution compared favorably with that of other Latin American societies. A thriving middle class held the promise of prosperity and social mobility.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE REPORT, VIDEOS ETC.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/castro/peopleevents/e_precastro.html

  23. Wow, that hospital in Havana is no match to Cedars-Sinai in LA!

    And yet it is so much better then “hospitals” in West Africa, where Cuban professionals are now fighting ebola.

    What Humberto’s posts fail to recognize is that Cuba was, is and always be a Third World country.

  24. YOUTUBE: Patients in Hospital for Cubans part 2 – More videos showing patient’s rooms at the 10 de Octubre and Miguel enriquez hospitals in Havana. Notice how some of the beds have bed sheets that are not the typical white sheets used in most hospitals. This is because many patients have to bring their own bed sheets, pillows and towels.

  25. YOUTUBE: Room at a Hospital for Cubans – This room at the Miguel Enriquez Hospital (Formerly known as Benefica) happened to be empty at the time and it was possible to take a more detailed video. Notice the filthy conditions of the patient bathroom; the mattresses; pieces of plastic and rags covering the broken windows.

  26. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Desi Mendoza Rivero is sentenced to eight years in prison – Desi Mendoza Rivero, a 43-year-old doctor and father of four children, has been sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in connection with his critique of the authorities’ handling of a fever epidemic in Cuba. Arrested on June 25, 1997, Dr. Mendoza was tried on November 18, and currently is held in Boniato Prison, just outside Santiago de Cuba. The charge against him stemmed from statements he issued, which were later disseminated by foreign newspapers and broadcast media, regarding an epidemic of dengue fever in Santiago de Cuba which reportedly had caused several deaths. Dr. Mendoza accused the authorities of covering up the true extent of the epidemic and of not taking sufficient measures to control it. He was charged with having violated an article of the Penal Code which refers to the dissemination of “enemy propaganda" through the mass media.

    (Source: Amnesty International USA’s Freedom Writers Network, January 1998.)

    http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~vl/notes/rivero.html

  27. THE CASTRO “GOVERNMENT” SHOULD TAKE CARE OF THINGS AT HOME FIRST! THIS IS A WAY TO PUT A NICE FACE TO A 54+ YEAR OLIGARCHY DICTATORSHIP!

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGENT ACTION CUBA: INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST DETAINED IN CUBA – Independent journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias has been detained since September 2012 in Cuba in relation to his work. Amnesty International believes he is a prisoner of conscience solely detained for peacefully exercising his freedom of expression. – January 30, 2013

    On 16 September 2012 Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a journalist working for the unofficial news agency Hablemos Press, was arrested by the Cuban Revolutionary Police (Policía Revolucionaria de Cuba) at José Martí International Airport in Havana. He had been investigating allegations that medicine provided by the World Health Organization to fight the cholera outbreak (which began in mid-2012) was being kept at the airport instead of being distributed, as the Cuban government was allegedly trying to downplay the seriousness of the outbreak. Upon his arrest, Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias was taken to the Santiago de las Vegas police station, located near the airport

    FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK LINK!

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/001/2013/en/f3ec5eda-58f1-400a-9bae-ad2822179ad0/amr250012013en.pdf

  28. In the medical response to Ebola, Cuba is punching far above its weight

    While the international community has been accused of dragging its feet on the Ebola crisis, Cuba, a country of just 11 million people that still enjoys a fraught relationship with the United States, has emerged as a crucial provider of medical expertise in the West African nations hit by Ebola.

    On Thursday, 165 health professionals from the country arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to join the fight against Ebola – the largest medical team of any single foreign nation, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And after being trained to deal with Ebola, a further 296 Cuban doctors and nurses will go to Liberia and Guinea, the other two countries worst hit by the crisis.
    …………..

    Cuba’s universal health-care system enables such an export. The country nationalized its health care shortly after its revolution, ending private health care and guaranteeing free health care in its constitution. The results have been widely praised. In 2008, evaluating 30 years of Cuba’s “primary health care revolution,” the Bulletin of the World Health Organization pointed to impressive strides that the country had made in certain health indicators. “These indicators – which are close or equal to those in developed countries – speak for themselves,” Gail Reed noted,

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/10/04/in-the-medical-response-to-ebola-cuba-is-punching-far-above-its-weight/

  29. AN EARLIER LETTER BY HOSTAGE Stephen Purvis,! YOU WANNA DO BUSINESS WITH THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA? GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, BUT YOU WERE WARNED!

    THE ECONOMIST: The risk of doing business – Aug 13th 2013,

    WE HAVE received the following letter from Stephen Purvis, a British businessman who was detained in Cuba for 15 months:
    Dear Editor,

    I enjoyed reading about my misfortunes in the Economist, albeit many months after publication and in the company of fellow inmates in the Cuban high security prison, La Condesa. I would ask you to correct the impression that you give in the May 9th 2012 edition and subsequent articles that I was accused and detained for corruption.

    During my 8 month interrogation in the Vila Marista I was accused of many things, starting with revelations of state secrets, but never of corruption. After a further 7 months held with a host of convicted serious criminals and a handful of confused businessmen, most of whom were in a parallel predicament to mine, I was finally charged and sentenced for participating in various supposed breaches of financial regulations. The fact that the Central bank had specifically approved the transactions in question for 12 years, and that by their sentencing the court has in effect potentially criminalised every foreign business investing or trading in Cuba was considered irrelevant by the judges. I am thankful however that the judges finally determined that my sentence should not only have with a conditional release date a few days before the trial thus conveniently justifying my 15 months in prison, but, bizarrely was to be non-custodial. So my Kafkaesque experience at the sharp end of Cuban justice ended as abruptly as it began.

    I spent time with a number of foreign businessmen arrested during 2011 and 2012 from a variety of countries, although representatives from Brazil, Venezuela and China were conspicuous in the absence. Very few of my fellow sufferers have been reported in the press and there are many more in the system than is widely known. As they are all still either waiting for charges, trial or sentencing they will certainly not be talking to the press. Whilst a few of them are being charged with corruption many are not and the accusations range from sabotage, damage to the economy, tax avoidance and illegal economic activity. It is absolutely clear that the war against corruption may be a convenient political banner to hide behind and one that foreign governments and press will support. But the reasons for actively and aggressively pursuing foreign business are far more complicated. Why for example is the representative of Ericsson in jail for exactly the same activities as their Chinese competitor who is not? Why for example was one senior European engineer invited back to discuss a potential new project only to be arrested for paying technical workers five years ago when he was a temporary resident in Cuba?

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE LETTER!

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/08/foreign-investment-cuba

  30. DEAR Mario! THE CHINESE BETTER BE CAREFUL, THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING! THIS IS NOT Tiananmen Square 1989

    N.Y. TIMES: From Tibet to Taiwan, China’s Periphery Watches Hong Kong Protests Intently – By ANDREW JACOBS – OCTOBER 5, 2014

    BEIJING — As hundreds of protesters continue to occupy the streets of Hong Kong, challenging China’s Communist Party leaders with calls for greater democracy, much of the world anxiously awaits signs of how Beijing will react to their demands.

    But the anticipation is perhaps most keenly felt along the periphery of China’s far-flung territory, both inside the country and beyond, where the Chinese government’s authoritarian ways have been most apparent.

    Among Tibetans and Uighurs, beleaguered ethnic minorities in China’s far west, there is hope that the protests will draw international scrutiny to what they say are Beijing’s broken promises for greater autonomy.

    The central government’s refusal to even talk with pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong, exiled activists add, also highlights a longstanding complaint among many ethnic minority groups in China: the party’s reliance on force over dialogue when dealing with politically delicate matters.

    “We’ve seen this movie before, but when people stand up to the Chinese government in places like Lhasa or Urumqi and meet brutal resistance, there is no foreign media to show the world what’s happening,” said Nury Turkel, a Uighur-American lawyer and activist, referring to the regional capitals of Tibet and Xinjiang. “The difference here is what’s happening in Hong Kong is taking place in real time, for all the world to see.”

    Few places are watching the protests as closely as Taiwan, the self-governed island that China claims as part of its territory.

    Beijing’s refusal to grant Hong Kong the unfettered elections that were promised when the former British colony was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 — a move that prompted the protests — has sharpened opposition to President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan and his efforts to forge closer economic ties with the mainland.

    The concept of “one country, two systems,” the political arrangement that has given Hong Kong a raft of liberties unknown on the mainland, was first envisioned as a framework for forging reunification between Taiwan and China. Although relations have improved in recent years, the two sides have never signed a peace accord, and Beijing maintains the option of taking Taiwan by force.
    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/10/06/world/from-tibet-to-taiwan-chinas-outer-regions-watch-hong-kong-protests-intently.html?referrer&_r=0

  31. LOOKS LIKE THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA WILL GET THEIR $100 MILLION RANSOM (assets in Cuba) FOR CANADIAN BUSINESSMAN Cy Tokmakjian! SO YOU WANT TO DO “BUSINESS” IN CUBA? GOOD LUCK! CHECK OUT A LETTER BY ANOTHER HOSTAGE OF THE CASTROFASCIST Stephen Purvis WHO IS ENGLISH!

    CTV NEWS: Cy Tokmakjian faces deadline on appeal of verdict in Cuba – by Will Campbell

    A lawyer for a Canadian businessman sentenced in Cuba to 15 years in prison says a decision will be made this week whether to appeal or let the verdict stand in hopes of speeding his return to Canada.

    Cy Tokmakjian, who owns the Ontario-based automotive company Tokmakjian Group, was sentenced last month on corruption-related charges that his family has called completely false.

    Company lawyer Hermenegildo Altozano says there is a Friday deadline on whether to seek an appeal with Cuba’s Supreme Court.

    But Altozano says an active appeal would put off Tokmakjian’s possible return to Canada under a prisoner transfer treaty.

    He says Tokmakjian’s lawyers in Cuban are looking for assurances that he may be released to serve his sentence in Canada if no further legal action is taken.
    “If by not appealing we get assurances that he will be released then it is very likely that no appeal will occur,” Altozano said in an interview Sunday.
    A letter on Tokmakjian’s verdict from Stephen Purvis, the Briton who languished in a Cuban jail after being accused of spying in link!

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/cy-tokmakjian-faces-deadline-on-appeal-of-verdict-in-cuba-1.2040245

  32. When reading about the dirty tactics being used in HK I’m reminded of CastroChavismo threatening all LatAm, instigated by the same power…

  33. Mario,

    You are proud that that peaceful protesters are being sexually assaulted by Chinese communists?

    Like most pro-Castro supporters, you seem to take pleasure in rape and sexual degradation.

    You’re right, those things went on in the good ole Cuban repudios as well.

    In addition to plain old assault and murder.

  34. THE TROUBLE IN HONG KONG SEEMS RESOLVED. NO SHOTS FIRED.

    It appears, the Chinese have demonstrated how to tackle unarmed troublemakers: the unarmed way. It resembles the return of Crimea to Russia a few months ago: casualties near zero. It also resembles the “repudio” tactics Cuba can be proud of.

    Overseas politicians show disapproval of Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement

    BEIJING, Oct.6 (Xinhua) — Incumbent and former politicians of different countries have expressed their disapproval of the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong, saying that the protesters are “unrealistic” and western media reports on the demonstration “biased.”

    Charles Powell, who served as private secretary to then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher when Britain agreed to return Hong Kong to China, said on Sunday he did not believe the protest would make a change.

    “The position about elections has been clear since the law was published in 1991 and I don’t believe for one moment that Chinese are going to change that basic position,” Powell told British BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend.

    “Hong Kong has always been part of China,” Powell said. “We rented for a while and we didn’t introduce democracy,” he added.

    Singapore’s Foreign Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam said Saturday in an interview with Singapore-based Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao that many reports on Hong Kong made by the Western media were untrue and biased to China.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-10/06/c_133695640.htm

  35. http://cubanexilequarter.blogspot.ca/2014/10/hong-kong-protests-and-related-human.html

    Chinese Communists use same tactics as in Cuba and Venezuela to attack peaceful protesters.

    Use common criminals.

    Members of the Chinese Triads have attacked and sexually assaulted female protesters while the police watched and did nothing.

    The first thing the Communists did when taking over Hong Kong was give more power to the Triads and try to crush the labor unions.

    Everyone knows this in Hong Kong and China.

  36. Havana: The New Art of Making Ruins – Part 6 of 6
    http://babalublog.com/2014/02/11/babalu-exclusive-havana-the-new-art-of-making-ruins-part-6-of-6/

    The sixth and last installment in a six part series written exclusively for Babalú by Cuban American engineer, Humberto (Bert) Corzo (Part 1, Part 2, Part , Part 4 , Part 5):

    By Humberto (Bert) Corzo

    Excerpts from part 6 of 6:

    Fidel Castro, in a speech May 19, 1967, said: “Beginning in 1970, our country expects to build 70,000 or 100,000 houses a year. (…) Beginning in 1970, 100,000 families will receive a “roof” every year. In 10 years, this will amount to one million houses.”

    During the first 25 years of the Revolution, from 1959 to 1983, only 296,616 housing units were built, equivalent to 11,865 units a year, well below the 100,000 houses a year promised by the liar in chief. It took a period of 30 years, between 1984 and 2012, to build 1,121,674 housing units, equivalent to 37,389 units a year, much less than the 100,000 houses promised to be built per year. Promises, empty promises, of a corrupt and incompetent regime.

  37. The phrase “human rights” and the name “castro” should never be combined in the same sentence unless the purpose is to expose the contradiction.

    The castros are among the worst violators of human rights on the planet. They need to be brought to justice, imprisoned, and removed from power. Enough with them already.

    The castro brothers should be universally condemned for what they are — blood-thirsty homicidal thugs.

  38. The phrase “human rights” and the name “castro” should never be combined in the same sentence unless the purpose is to expose the contradiction.

    The castros are among the worst violators of human rights on the planet. They need to be brought to justice, imprisoned, and removed from power. Enough with them already.

    Murderers like the castro brothers should be universally condemned for what they are — blood-thirsty homicidal thugs.

  39. According to CNW 10-5-2014, Cuba violated Mr T’s human rights. 15 years in jail is a life sentence for a 74-year old. Is it now clear to Simba and everyone else how atrocious an act of the Castristas that was?

  40. It was the UN with the help of the USA and others that should have acted immediately against the outbreak of such a deadly disease as Ebola. Bravado by small groups with limited resources is not the way to go…

  41. YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA IS TRYING TO COVER UP INFORMATION ON THEIR KANGAROO JUDICIAL SYSTEM! YOU COULD HAVE KNOCKED ME WITH A FEATHER (heavy Cuban Sarcasm)!

    CNW NEWS WIRE: Defence documents reveal tale of Cuban cover-up in case of jailed Canadian

    TORONTO, Oct. 5, 2014 /CNW/ – Newly released documents reveal glaring contradictions in Cuba’s reason for handing a 15 year sentence to 74-year-old Canadian businessman Cy Tokmakjian of Toronto, and confiscating the assets of the Tokmakjian companies.

    “The documents have been released because the Court decision has ignored the strong evidence submitted by the Defence, in particular crucial testimony by relevant witnesses and experts including the international tax and audit firm Deloitte and the Cuban highly recognized tax expert Dr. Joaquín Cámbara, which demolished the charges of tax evasion, illicit economic activities and bribery,” says Hermenegildo Altozano, the Tokmakjian Group representative and international attorney.

    The Defence documents reveal:

    a) What the Court considers as “illicit economic activity” not only is a generally accepted international business practice, but is also contemplated as a legal activity in the Cuban Code of Commerce, such as the discount of bills of exchange or the endorsement of letters of credit.

    b) According to independent expert reports by Deloitte and Dr. Cambara, there are no legal grounds to establish a criminal offence for tax evasion when neither a tax determination nor a tax payment request have been made as mandated by Cuban criminal laws of tax evasion. Furthermore the court decision ignores the Double Taxation Agreement in force between Cuba and Barbados.

    c) It was proven in court that courtesies/client attention were really simple, low level and inexpensive gestures that weren’t meant to, nor did they result in any favors or benefits to Tokmakjian. Furthermore, there is no possibility for bribery in the case of Cy Tokmakjian given the strong control by the Cuban authorities of all economic activities. This control is translated into a complex and detailed authorization process. No import or supply by Tokmakjian companies was possible without the express prior approval by the highest Cuban authorities including the Central Bank of Cuba.

    Human rights lawyer Lorne Waldman says Cy Tokmakjian’s human rights were violated throughout his detention. “Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Mr. Tokmakjian was detained for more than 2 years before he was even charged with an offence. That is only one of the many violations of his rights that he has suffered since September 2011”, says Waldman.
    http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1423182/defence-documents-reveal-tale-of-cuban-cover-up-in-case-of-jailed-canadian

  42. YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA IS TRYING TO COVER UP INFORMATION ON THEIR KANGAROO JUDICIAL SYSTEM! YOU COULD HAVE KNOCKED ME WITH A FEATHER (heavy Cuban Sarcasm)!

    CNW NEWS WIRE: Defence documents reveal tale of Cuban cover-up in case of jailed Canadian

    TORONTO, Oct. 5, 2014 /CNW/ – Newly released documents reveal glaring contradictions in Cuba’s reason for handing a 15 year sentence to 74-year-old Canadian businessman Cy Tokmakjian of Toronto, and confiscating the assets of the Tokmakjian companies.

    “The documents have been released because the Court decision has ignored the strong evidence submitted by the Defence, in particular crucial testimony by relevant witnesses and experts including the international tax and audit firm Deloitte and the Cuban highly recognized tax expert Dr. Joaquín Cámbara, which demolished the charges of tax evasion, illicit economic activities and bribery,” says Hermenegildo Altozano, the Tokmakjian Group representative and international attorney.

    The Defence documents reveal:

    a) What the Court considers as “illicit economic activity” not only is a generally accepted international business practice, but is also contemplated as a legal activity in the Cuban Code of Commerce, such as the discount of bills of exchange or the endorsement of letters of credit.

    b) According to independent expert reports by Deloitte and Dr. Cambara, there are no legal grounds to establish a criminal offence for tax evasion when neither a tax determination nor a tax payment request have been made as mandated by Cuban criminal laws of tax evasion. Furthermore the court decision ignores the Double Taxation Agreement in force between Cuba and Barbados.

    c) It was proven in court that courtesies/client attention were really simple, low level and inexpensive gestures that weren’t meant to, nor did they result in any favors or benefits to Tokmakjian. Furthermore, there is no possibility for bribery in the case of Cy Tokmakjian given the strong control by the Cuban authorities of all economic activities. This control is translated into a complex and detailed authorization process. No import or supply by Tokmakjian companies was possible without the express prior approval by the highest Cuban authorities including the Central Bank of Cuba.

    Human rights lawyer Lorne Waldman says Cy Tokmakjian’s human rights were violated throughout his detention. “Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Mr. Tokmakjian was detained for more than 2 years before he was even charged with an offence. That is only one of the many violations of his rights that he has suffered since September 2011”, says Waldman.

    Meanwhile the son and two daughters of Cy Tokmakjian, Raffi, Sylvia and Ani, have taken to social media to increase awareness of their father’s plight by launching a new twitter account https://twitter.com/BringCyHome #FreeCYTokmakjian

    “This is a gross injustice and we need people to share the news that my father played by the rules and he is a victim of a lack of due process,” says Raffi Tokmakjian. ” He did nothing wrong.”

    SOURCE Tokmakjian Group
    For further information:

    For a full list of Defence documents contact:

    Darryl Konynenbelt
    Media Lead
    Navigator LTD.
    dkonynenbelt@navltd.com
    647-203.4340

    http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1423182/defence-documents-reveal-tale-of-cuban-cover-up-in-case-of-jailed-canadian

  43. Dear Simba, you might have noticed that we’re on the same side, AGAINST the OMario Lalaland Broz and the tripe they propagate. I based my comments on the outrageous $ amounts they Castristas confiscated and tried to extort, and the much too severe prison sentence.
    Again,we are on the same side. Do I have to start lumping YOU with the Lalaland Broz and ignore you?

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