“Hello? Hello?”

Public telephones in Cuba (Silvia Corbelle)

Public telephones in Cuba (Silvia Corbelle)

Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 13 March 2015 – She dialed the number and waited. Nothing, not a ring, not even a busy signal. She tried again and then got a woman’s voice telling her to wait on the line. After several minutes she realized it was a scam, but she’d already lost half the value of her prepaid card. Finally, she was able to connect, but her mother’s voice sounded as if she was speaking under water and she was barely able to say she was fine and that she missed her. The line was cut and her call to Cuba ended.

Among the many dramas that play out because of emigration, in the case of Cuba we have to add the complications of communicating with Island. We have the most expensive rates in the world for those who want to communicate with us, only comparable to countries at war or nations collapsed by some conflict. Cuban exiles have spent billions over these more than fifty years to talk to their families in their native land, resources subtracted from the hard work of opening a path to a new reality.

Thus, the announcement of a direct connection between Cuba and the United States for voice calls has been received with hope, a sign that such telephonic absurdity may soon end. The signing of the agreement between the US-based IDT Domestic Telecom Corporation and our national monopoly ETECSA opens the door to other possible understandings in this important area. It is a first step whose effect is still barely noticed, but which is undoubtedly good news for those living with affections fragmented by the Florida Straits.

The agreement between ETECSA and IDT is undoubtedly good news for those living with affections fragmented by the Florida Straits

In Cuba, expectations are focused not only on being able to call the United States directly without having to go through third countries. Eyes also shine when people imagine that they might be able to access the Internet via this pathway. A data connection managed by American companies but accessible from the Island has become the most widespread desire for those who don’t want to wait another year to enter cyberspace.

However, this possibility has not yet been mentioned by ETECSA which, like any company that responds not to commercial interests but rather to ideological ones, prefers to prolong censorship over the Internet to earn money. But that’s just for now. Still and all, it is a relief that very soon Cuban exiles and emigrants living in the United States well see a reduction in the stumbling blocks to communications with their relatives in Cuba. Picking up the phone, dialing a Cuban number and waiting for a line will not continue to be an adventure with unpredictable results.

76 thoughts on ““Hello? Hello?”

  1. “comes in the age of the internet”, but the Castristas are trying to slow change down to stone age pace. The good news is that the stones are cracking…

  2. Some time ago Yoani wrote about those who were connecting illegally. There must be a lot more of that going on that it’s much easier to connect – and yes sandokan – change is unstoppable…

  3. Change cannot be stopped. The regime fears everything, including its own people. It is a very dangerous idea for the regime to tolerate even a small group of people to have free access to the internet. They must feel fear of losing control of the information, and the internet is very difficult to control. Yoani, is right, they have lost the monopoly on information.

  4. PRESS HERALD: Young Cuban artists pushing the boundaries – A young generation of Cubans are using music, art and other creative forms to express themselves. – By Tracy Wilkinson
    Some have fashioned ways to criticize that are permitted, or at least tolerated. Many test the boundaries, pushing, retreating, advancing over time. Others land in jail, repeatedly.
    In late December, Sayut was detained briefly when he attended a show in Havana’s Revolution Plaza by artist Danilo Maldonado involving two pigs, one marked “Fidel” and the other marked “Raul.” Maldonado, a graffiti artist and caricaturist who uses the name Sexto, remains in jail.
    Around the same time, Tania Bruguera, a provocative Cuban artist who mostly lives abroad, tried to launch an open-mike performance in the plaza during which anyone, including critics of the government, could speak out. She was arrested just before the scheduled start of her show. (She has since been released.)
    HAVANA, Cuba — With fake-diamond studs lining his lips and ears, and a tattoo carved under his dreadlocks, Omar Sayut is hard to miss.
    His version of Cuban hip-hop is what you might call hard to miss too.
    “Down with Raul! Down with Raul!” he chants in a video performance, referring to the president of Cuba, Raul Castro.
    In another, he portrays himself as Christ, being crucified on a palm tree.
    “They / stole / my / freedom …
    They / stole / my / youth.
    All I want is a raise
    So the government will stop stealing …
    Yo / yo / yo … ”
    No, nothing subtle here.



    FINANCIAL TIMES: Cuba flirts with free speech – by Marc Frank

    For a number of years there has been public discussion over the pros and cons of market-oriented reforms in Cuba, and ample criticism of the bureaucracy. But public criticism has stopped short of questioning the political status quo, aside from a fledgling dissident press, such as the online newspaper 14ymedio.com, run by writer Yoani Sánchez.
    The opening has some similarities to glasnost, when Soviet authorities relaxed limits on the discussion of political and social issues and allowed the freer dissemination of news. The difference is that Cuba’s move comes in the age of the internet.
    In a remarkably transparent forum on Cuba’s electoral system, sponsored by the Union of Young Communists’ daily, a participant called GCR said: “I would like to know if direct elections for the principal leadership positions of the country are under consideration . . . as the current system is [in my view] highly unpopular.”

    During a forum on civil society, published online this month by the Cuban Workers Federation’s weekly Trabajadores, Joan asked: “How can the Cuban Workers Federation be a non-governmental organisation when its secretary-general is a member of the Council of State?”

    Another participant, going by the name Tumblr, charged: “The federation is an appendage of the state it represents . . . carrying out the policies of the Communist party.”

    Most of those taking part in both forums defended Cuba’s political system, but what was unique was the expression of differing political opinions.

    “The debate in these forums signals a willingness on the part of authorities to allow a range of expression and acknowledge a range of opinions that were heretofore not recognised as legitimate,” William LeoGrande, a Cuba analyst at American University in Washington and co-author of Back Channels to Cuba, said.

    THE GLOBE AND MAIL NEWS: How a Canadian businessman lost everything in Cuba by JEFF GRAY – If you are expecting that the Canadian embassy is going to come to your help, this is what they are going to get,” Mr. Yacoubian, 54, says his captor warned him. Then, he says, Major Carlito accused him of being a spy, an accusation that would eventually be abandoned before the Canadian was convicted by a Cuban court of corruption charges and expelled last year.His story, and that of Toronto-area businessman Cy Tokmakjian, who was released from incarceration in Cuba last month after a similar corruption trial, are cautionary tales for would-be investors in Cuba.

  7. Cuban law under the Castroit regime:

    Minister of Justice, Penal Code, pp. 106-107

    CHAPTER XVI: With regard to illegal slaughter of major cattle and transportation and selling.

    Article 240:

    1.¬- Whom be found guilty of slaughtering major cattle without the state previous approval, shall be sentenced to imprisonment from 4 years up to 10 years.

    2.- Whom be found guilty of transporting and selling major cattle meat, shall be sentenced to imprisonment from 3 years up to 8 years.

    Under the Castroit regime law Cubans are sentenced up to 10 years in prison for killing a cow and only to 7 years for killing a person. Thi is insane.

  8. Humberto: 8 Million eggs!!!…..and they only received a 15 years in jail sentence…. :)
    1. Last year a bank robber in America accidentally left his wallet at the scene after fleeing with cash. It didn’t take long for the cops to find him. He’d left his driver’s license, a social security, even a criminal registration card.

    2. A robbery suspect who accidentally left his mobile phone at a bank after running off with the loot, was swiftly traced by the police thanks to the man’s mobile phone provider, who charged him for roaming. He was out of state.

    3. A man went into a bank, pulled a gun, announced a robbery, and pulled a brown paper bag over his face as a mask, but only then realised he’d forgotten to cut eyeholes in the bag.

    4. In San Francisco a bank robber apparently walked into a Bank of America branch and wrote, “This iz a stikkup. Put all your muny in this bag.” But then he panicked that someone had seen him write the note and would call the cops. He walked out, crossed the road to a Wells Fargo bank and walked up to the teller with the note. She told him she couldn’t possibly accept his stick-up note because it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America. Defeated, he said “OK” and left. She called the cops who found him in the queue at the Bank of America.

    5. OK, this isn’t set in a bank, but it’s funny nonetheless. A gun-toting robber in Colorado Springs demanded cash from a corner store. When the clerk followed his demand, the robber then demanded a bottle of scotch from behind the counter on the shelf as well. The clerk refused because he didn’t believe the thief was over 21. The robber insisted he was, but the clerk still refused. Fed up, the robber showed his driver’s license to prove he was of age. The bottle of scotch went in the bag and the robber fled. But the police arrested him two hours later when the clerk gave up the name and address of the robber from the license.

    6. An Ontario man robbed a Bank of Montreal branch but was arrested a few hours after the robbery when he attempted to deposit his loot into his account at the same bank.

    7. A Massachusetts man held up a bank and claimed he had a bomb in his bag, but when he was arrested by police they found the bag actually contained books, including a phone book that had a mailing label with the man’s full name and address details.

    8. A thief covered his face with a pair of blue women’s underwear and used a pistol-shaped cigarette lighter in a botched robbery. The cashier refused to hand over the money and the robber fled to his car parked out front. But the cashier gave a full description of the make and model of the car, including the license plate, and the cops quickly caught up with him.

    9. After robbing three banks in Tennessee, a man took his clothes to a dry cleaners with the hold-up note still in the pocket of his shirt.

    10. A bank robber was left behind at the scene of the crime when the getaway driver panicked and drove off. Thinking on his feet, he attempted to steal a nearby car, but discovered it was an unmarked police car with by two cops inside.

  9. Ojala that influence from “sane” countries could help bring about the change that Cubazuela and so many countries in Latin America need without resorting to the old tyactic i}of installing military dictatorships…


    ABC NEWS: Prison Sentences for Egg Theft Scheme in Cuba

    More than a dozen people were sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison for conspiring to divert millions of eggs to the black market, Cuban official media reported Friday.

    Eighteen suspects were convicted and one was acquitted, Communist Party newspaper Granma said, in a case where prosecutors had sought terms of up to 20 years.

    Granma reported last week that the suspects included executives of the state-run egg distribution company in Havana as well as accountants, drivers and other workers.

    They were accused of misappropriating more than 8 million eggs from January to October 2012, causing an estimated $356,000 in losses to the company.

    The charges included food theft, generating fraudulent receipts and others.

    The government has tried to crack down on corruption in recent years, sentencing dozens of officials, workers and foreign businesspeople to lengthy terms.

    Employees at state-run businesses often pilfer goods from their workplaces to sell on the black market as a way of supplementing government salaries averaging around $20 a month.

    Islanders also receive a monthly ration book that provides for part of their food.

  11. Correction: Maduro – which means mature in Spanish!? – wants everybody to believe that all problems in Vzla are caused by foreign enemies. He never had any intention of fixing anything for anyone…


    While the reception to President Obama’s announcement that the United States would move to normalize relations with Cuba has overall been quite positive, some lawmakers, pundits, and The Washington Post’s editorial page have questioned the wisdom of opening up relations with a regime that tramples its citizens’ most basic human rights. It is of course true that the Cuban regime engages in human rights violations. Yet, as Dan Drezner points out, that’s true too for many other states that the United States has diplomatic and trade relations with.

    So how bad are Cuba’s human rights violations in comparison with that of other countries? It is notoriously difficult to measure just how badly a government abuses the rights of its citizens in any given year. Yet, there are academics and NGOs who try, each using slightly different concepts, information, and metrics. In a recent article (ungated) in the American Political Science Review, Penn State political scientist Christopher J. Fariss develops a smart measurement model that captures the common component among different measures of physical integrity rights. Moreover, this model generates measures that are comparable over time.

    The graph above uses this data. Cuba is clearly in the bottom half of the distribution but its record has improved somewhat over the past two decades. The graph also highlights two Communist countries with whom the United States has had troublesome relations. Critics of the policy change highlight North Korea, which has a much worse record than Cuba, which has gotten even more atrocious in recent years. Vietnam, emphasized by President Obama in his speech, is a better comparison. Indeed, the two countries have a nearly identical human rights record according to this measure (it may be different if we would focus on other rights than physical integrity rights, which include torture, political imprisonment, government killing and other forms of repression).

    While the Post editorial is correct that Vietnam’s record has not improved since the United States has established economic relations with it, I am not sure this is the best way to think about the issue. By the Fariss measure, Cuba ranks 62nd out of 197 on the list of the worst human rights abusers in 2010 (the last year for which data is available). There may be little reason to believe that opening relations will dramatically improve this record but there is even less reason to think that seeking to isolate one third of the world’s countries for the way they treat their citizens is a sensible foreign policy.

    Erik Voeten is the Peter F. Krogh Associate Professor of Geopolitics and Justice in World Affairs at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Department of Government

  13. The Human Rights Protection Points for Cuba are at ZERO like it is for Vietnam. The Cuban Representative at the UN was Right to get upset with Israel comments which has a much higher score of violation of Human Rights. This is according to a Harvard University Model that have created Metrics to measure magnitude of Human Rights violations.

  14. Free internet access among the Cuban population is not one of the goals of the Castroit regime. The regime overwhelming regulation of the internet, with minimal access, make it one of the worst in the world.

    Those who want to use the Internet have to go through “access points” control by the regime, and their activity is carefully monitored by blocking IPs or by using different filters. Only pro-government blogger’s and government employees can upload information on the Internet.

    YOUTUBE: Cuba calls to “eliminate” UN Watch speech on Israeli elections as lesson for dictatorships – UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer asks why UNHRC condemns Israel four times more than Iran, North Korea and Syria, urges dictatorships instead to learn from Israeli democracy in action. Cuba interrupts, calls for Neuer to be removed from forum.


  17. THE NEW YORKER: Obama Vs. Chavismo – BY BORIS MUNOZ
    Since Hugo Chávez took office as President of Venezuela, in 1999, the country’s government has reported no fewer than eighty plots to assassinate the President and overthrow the Chavismo movement, which continues under President Nicolás Maduro. The usual suspects include farmworkers, the paramilitary, terrorists, and former American and Colombian Presidents, in combination with Venezuelan oligarchs and extremist opposition groups. None of these conspiracies have been convincingly proved by the government. This hasn’t stopped officials from using real or imagined intrigues to attack their opponents. Only a month ago, President Maduro ordered the arrest of the opposition leader Antonio Ledezma, accusing Ledezma of participating in a plot to kill him, supposedly developed in Washington, New York, Miami, and Madrid.
    Last week, President Barack Obama signed an executive order imposing sanctions on seven Venezuelan law-enforcement and military officials, who are all accused of violating protesters’ rights during widespread anti-government demonstrations last year. The move inflamed both the narrative of an imperialist conspiracy against Chavismo and the language of its spokesmen. Maduro’s first response was to ask the National Assembly for special powers that would allow him to address the imperialist threat; the Assembly’s Chavista majority granted his request in less than seventy-two hours. Diosdado Cabello, the President of the National Assembly, who is considered to be the regime’s strongman, went on to call upon the people to defend their homeland, and warned that all those unwilling to do so would be treated as traitors. Over the weekend, the Venezuelan government launched two weeks of military drills, displaying weapons made in Russia and China, and officials gave speeches full of strong patriotic rhetoric to conjure up what they have claimed is the “imminent danger” posed by the U.S.

    Maduro’s regional allies, the members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), also closed ranks around him. Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, said that the sanctions contained a hidden “threat to invade Venezuela.” In an official announcement, Cuban President Raúl Castro said, “No country has the right to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign state or to declare it a threat to its national security without any real justification.” Just last night, the ALBA leaders, including Castro, held an emergency meeting about the sanctions in Caracas, and issued a statement demanding that the U.S. “immediately cease the harassment and aggression against the government and people of Venezuela, as that policy encourages destabilization and the use of violence by a section of the Venezuelan opposition.”

    Obama’s order, which froze the American assets and voided the American visas of the seven Venezuelan officials, puts into effect sanctions that were approved by Congress in December. The sanctions target only mid-level officials, indicating that Obama wanted to take a cautious approach to confronting Maduro’s government. The language of the order, however, is extremely aggressive, declaring Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” in order to meet the official threshold for applying sanctions. Commentators in Venezuela see the sanctions as a reaction to Maduro’s order to reduce the number of officials allowed to work at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas from a hundred to seventeen. Maduro alleges that some of the current employees were “involved in conspiratorial activities to destabilize the country,” and claims to have videos, audio recordings, and testimonies to prove it. For the U.S., the question is whether sanctions will be effective at putting more pressure on Maduro’s government or whether they will backfire and possibly even jeopardize the strategic objective of overcoming more than half a century’s stalemate with Cuba.

    At the moment, the sanctions have presented a much-needed opportunity for Maduro, whose popularity is at an all-time low. Around eighty per cent of the population, which is suffering the ravages of a severe economic crisis, believes that he is leading the country in the wrong direction. David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America and moderator of the blog Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights, says that the sanctions are damaging to American interests “for a very simple reason. Maduro’s main strategy has been to portray the very serious problems of governance he is facing as the result of an economic war carried out by the national bourgeoisie, backed by the United States. Declaring Venezuela a national security threat and declaring a state of emergency with reference to it could hardly have fit better into the Maduro government’s conspiracy narrative.”



  18. Caracas, March 18, 2015 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of the World Bank ruled in favor of Venezuela on Monday, rejecting the “exorbitant compensation” demanded by Tidewater. The U.S.-based energy shipping firm was awarded US$46 million in compensation for eleven vessels expropriated by the Bolivarian government of late President Hugo Chavez in 2009.

    According to the Venezuelan Ministry of Petroleum, the ICSID decision confirms that the government’s nationalization of Tidewater’s assets in Venezuela was “totally legal in all aspects”.

    “The much higher amounts claimed were rejected because the tribunal found that the nationalization was lawful,” stated lawyer George Kahale, who represented Venezuela in the case.

    In 2007, the Chavez government issued a law-decree nationalizing all remaining oil production sites under foreign control and mandating that all all oil extraction in Venezuela be undertaken in the context of joint ventures, in which the state oil company PDVSA retains the majority stake.

    This move subsequently triggered a wave of lawsuits by foreign transnationals in international arbitration bodies demanding compensation for nationalized assets. Last year, ICSID ordered Venezuela to pay Exxon Mobil US$1.6 billion, which represented only 13% of the amount demanded by the transnational firm and was consequently claimed as a victory for the Bolivarian Republic.

    For Kahale, the Tidewater case marks an important landmark, setting a precedent for future cases.

    “Venezuela’s positions on the central issues of the legality of the nationalization, the appropriate valuation date for determining compensation, and the appropriate discount rate for calculating compensation were all accepted by the tribunal in what is likely to be an important precedent for other cases.”

    The Bolivarian government has yet to declare if it will seek revisions or annulment of the US$46 million award, but Kahale added that the decision was being “carefully reviewed”.

    Venezuela announced its decision to leave the ICSID in 2012, citing institutional bias in favor of transnational corporations on the part of the Washington-based body. Venezuela’s departure from the international arbitrations organization does not, however, affect the status of the 27 pending cases against the Bolivarian nation.

  19. DOCUMENTARY/DOCUMENTAL: “La Primavera Negra de Cuba” – The Cuban Black Spring (March/Marzo 18, 2003) – Part #1 (English sub-titles) – Filmmakers Carlos González and Pablo Rodríguez made this important 2003 Czech documentary with interviews with dissidents prior to the March 18 crackdown knows as The Black Spring and with their relatives after their arrests and summary trials. Takes a look at the Varela Project as well.

    CUBAN BLACK SPRING: refers to the 2003 crackdown on Cuban dissidents.[1][2][3][4] The government imprisoned 75 dissidents, that included 29 journalists,[1] as well as librarians, human rights activists, and democracy activists, on the basis that they were acting as agents of the United States by accepting aid from the US government. Although Amnesty International adopted 75 Cubans as prisoners of conscience,[5] according to Cuba “the 75 individuals arrested, tried and sentenced in March/April 2003 … who were jailed are demonstrably not independent thinkers, writers or human rights activists, but persons directly in the pay of the US government … those who were arrested and tried were charged not with criticizing the government, but for receiving American government funds and collaborating with U.S diplomats.”[6] The crackdown on grassroots activists began on March 18 and lasted two days, coordinated with the US invasion of Iraq for minimum publicity.[1] Responding to human rights violations, the European Union imposed sanctions on the Castro regime in 2003, that were lifted on January 2008.[7] The European Union declared that the arrests “constituted a breach of the most elementary human rights, especially as regards freedom of expression and political association”.[8]

    All of the dissidents were eventually released, most of whom were exiled to Spain starting in 2010.[9][10]


  20. Most analysts view the removal of Cuba from the list as an easy call — it long ago renounced support for insurgencies — but the delay in any decision is causing speculation that the administration has not found a way to do it that would withstand a potential challenge from the Republican-controlled Congress.

    Even if Mr. Obama were to authorize the removal of Cuba from the list, it would not come off it until after a 45-day grace period during which a joint resolution of the House and Senate could stymie the process. Taking that into consideration, Cuba would not be off the list before the summit meeting, though the administration’s position could be known.

    This month, Spain asked the United States to help it get Cuba to extradite two fugitive members of a Basque separatist group. Although a State Department report in 2013 noted the repatriation of several members of the Basque group to Spain, Cuba’s decision to allow some members to stay on the island has been used in part to justify the terrorism-list designation.

    Some analysts said it would be premature to judge the progress made by the talks, given that the countries have not had normal relations for decades and that, for now, they continue to meet despite differences over Venezuela and other matters.

    “I think they are both playing it close to their vest to not create unrealistic expectations and to not add to people picking apart and second-guessing the progress,” said Christopher Sabatini, a Cuba scholar at Columbia University.

  21. Talks broke down, surprise, surprise!? CubaZuela is now the spearhead for bringing Chinese, Russian and Iranian influence into Latin America. Is the US doing enough to counter that? Can it?
    That’s the telenovela of the century…

  22. Humberto….the U.S. foreign policy today is the biggest impediment to creating an inclusive World….no body in the World buys into the camouflage of Democracy, Freedom, Liberty and Human Rights Champion nonsense….we have Mexico, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Palestine as proof of raw intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign, independent nations by the U.S. with the intent of expanding hegemonic influence in the World. “our naturalized country IS THE BAD U.S.A…..” let’s not forget 40 years of declining standard of living for Americans and we are now a country that only works for 28% of the People and the rest are disenfranchised and left “outside in the cold looking at all the conveniences everyone helps create on the window of the 10 cent store…and parents lying to their children…”son some day you can have that train set to play”…the same way parents were telling their children during the Great Depression of the 1930’s…..


    N.Y. TMES: U.S.-Cuba Talks on Restoring Diplomatic Ties End Abruptly – By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD

    MEXICO CITY — The United States and Cuba have ended their third round of talks on re-establishing diplomatic relations as abruptly as the meeting was announced, with no breakthrough on sticking points and in an atmosphere of rising tension over Venezuela.

    A small group of American officials led by Roberta Jacobson, the top United States diplomat for Latin America, arrived in Havana on Sunday and met with Cuban counterparts on Monday. The talks ended without any public comment and despite earlier remarks by senior officials at the State Department who had contemplated an open-ended meeting that could last to midweek.

    The Cuban Foreign Ministry released a short statement Tuesday acknowledging the meeting and saying that it had been conducted in a “professional atmosphere.” Talks would continue in the future, it said.

    Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, made similar comments in Washington, saying that the discussions had been “positive and constructive” and that progress had been made, but she declined to say on what.



  24. Telecom is no longer part of the ETECSA partnership, it is under the management of GAE, a business arm of the MINIT. ETECSA has become a military organization.

    The main reason for slowing the increase in capacity of the private phone service is the monitoring capabilities of the MINIT’ surveillance system, known as K1 and K2, which required a 100% surveillance capability.

  25. THE EMPIRE BUDGET FOR ARMS….DWARF EVERY LEADING NATION IN THE WORLD…..(no wonder we have 20% of our People under economic distress, the Middle East in Chaos, Mexico in Chaos, Ukraine in a civil war, Venezuela and Cuba under attack, post traumatic disorder to veterans among the leading mental health issue in the country. Kids between the ages of 18 and 23 killing themselves with guns the number one crime with guns….BUT…WE DEFENDS HUMAN RIGHTS AROUND THE WORLD, WE WANT TO DEMOCRATIZE DE WORLD…WE STAND FOR FREEDOM AND LIBERTY….according to what the Right in government and private corporations think this definition is of course…..

    According to the latest SIPRI figures, the US retains the world’s largest military budget at $640 billion (608 billion euros), far ahead of China ($188 billion) and Russia ($87.8 billion).

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