Saturday, August 11, 2012

LPPNEWS 24/7

Boycott Sean Penn, traitor to his nation
August 10 - Sean Penn loves dictators, especially if they are anti-American leftists. Recently, the Hollywood star visited Venezuela to campaign for strongman Hugo Chavez. Mr. Penn joined Mr. Chavez at a major rally in the city of Valencia. The actor has been a longtime friend of the despot. With Venezuelans going to the polls on Oct. 7, Mr. Penn came to bolster Mr. Chavez’s re-election efforts. He should be ashamed; Mr. Penn’s actions border on treason.
“Thank you very much for visiting us again, dear friend,” Mr. Chavez said, while introducing Mr. Penn in front of a large crowd. “We're all Americans, from the north, the center, the south. Long live the American continent!”
Mr. Penn, sporting expensive sunglasses and wearing a white shirt, was accompanied by Argentine producer Fernando Sulichin. The actor waved to the audience, and then embraced the Venezuelan socialist. Although he didn’t speak, Mr. Penn’s message was obvious: He backs Mr. Chavez’s Bolivarian revolution. In other words, the Hollywood star supports a brutal tyrant who is a mortal enemy of America and capitalism — the very nation and economy that have enabled Mr. Penn to attain great wealth and celebrity status. He is not just a colossal hypocrite, but obtuse.
Mr. Chavez has transformed his country into an oil dictatorship. Since 1999, he runs a military regime characterized by human rights abuses, economic nationalization and neo-imperial socialism. Political opponents are harassed. Critics have been imprisoned. He has cracked down on the independent media. He controls the judiciary and the central bank. He has expropriated private property. He has raised taxes on the rich. He has engaged in massive social spending and redistribution of wealth, using nationalized oil companies as a personal piggy bank to reward his constituents. The results have been disastrous. He has amassed massive deficits and crippling debt. Inflation is soaring. Poverty and unemployment have risen. The middle class has been eviscerated. Government corruption is rampant. Businesses and investors have fled. The rule of law has been overturned. Basic freedoms are repressed. The Catholic church is persecuted. Venezuela’s fledgling democracy has been dismantled. It has become the Cuba of South America — a failed Marxist police state.  Read more
 
How can you investigate a car accident without asking questions about it?
August 10 - Aron Modig, the Swedish citizen who survived the car crash that killed Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero, told a Swedish newspaper that he suffered an intensive interrogation for five days while he was in Cuba, but that he was never asked anything about the accident.
"The questions are always the same: 'Why are you here? Who sent you?' They switched between asking questions and scolding: 'Don't come to our country and interfere'," Modig told the daily Dagens Nyheter in the interview. "In a dictatorship that's no good, of course I got worried."
No questions were posed about the accident, he said.
Now, how can you conduct an investigation of a car crash and never asked any questions about it?
Only when you knew in advance what were the real reasons for the accident since you orchestrated it.
Click here to read the whole story
 
Foreign business in Cuba: Beware the dangerous embrace
August 9 - Havana is at the same time attracting and terrifying entrepreneurs.
Until this spring, Stephen Purvis had it all. The British architect, who’d helped launch the Saratoga, Cuba’s poshest hotel, was one of the more prominent figures in Havana’s business community. As chief operating officer of Coral Capital, one of Cuba’s biggest private investors, he was overseeing a planned $500-million resort in the sleepy fishing village of Guanabo. The Bellomonte resort, which would allow foreigners to buy Cuban property for the first time, was part of Havana’s ambitious, multi-billion-dollar plan to attract high-end tourists and badly needed foreign exchange. Everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. The musical Purvis produced in his spare time, Havana Rakatan, had a run at the Sydney Opera House last year before moving on to London’s West End. But in April, the 51-year-old was arrested on suspicion of corruption as he prepared to walk his kids to school in Havana.
Purvis’s arrest could have been anticipated. Coral Capital’s British-born CEO, Amado Fakhre, has been held without charges ever since his arrest in a dawn raid last fall. The investment firm is being liquidated, and both men have faced questioning at Villa Marista, Cuba’s notorious counter-intelligence headquarters. They are not alone. Since last summer, dozens of senior Cuban managers and foreign executives, including two Canadians, have been jailed in an investigation that has shocked and terrified foreigners who do business in the country.
Since replacing his brother Fidel as president in 2008, Raúl Castro has painted himself as a reformer, and Cuba as a place where foreign businesses can thrive. Over the last year, he has relaxed property rights, expanded land leases and licensed a broad, if random, list of businesses—everything from pizza joints to private gyms. And he’s endorsed joint venture golf courses, marinas and new manufacturing projects. Canadians are chief among those heeding Raúl’s call to do business with Havana. Hundreds have expressed interest in the Cuban market in the last year alone, according to Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service. Flattering reports in Canadian media have praised Raúl’s efforts. Yet they seem to overlook troubling signs that Cuba appears to be moving backwards. Read more
 http://www.therealcuba.com/

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