Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Updated LPP...

Senator Feingold Endorses Granma

at 10:48 AM Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Last week, U.S. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin announced the launch of his "Spotlight on Spending" series to highlight actions Congress can take to reduce the deficit, which is currently at $1.42 trillion.

Considering the multi-billion dollar bailouts the U.S. budget has been subject to over the last two years, we commend the Senator -- in concept -- for this effort.

So which of the billionaire bailout programs will Senator Feingold first tackle?

Will it be the $700 billion bank bailout?

The $800 billion economic stimulus package?

Nope, he's chosen the $32 million dollar FY '10 budget of Radio and TV Marti.


Plus, to add insult to ideological absurdity -- for this item was surely not targeted due to any fiscal rationale -- Senator Feingold issued the following statement,

"As we progress toward a more modern and constructive relationship with Cuba, Radio and TV Martí no longer have any real diplomatic or fiscal purpose."

In other words, let's join hands with the totalitarian Castro regime in censoring the Cuban people.

Or, more bluntly,

If you can't beat them, join them. Plus, since we're not serious about tackling the huge $700 and $800 billion bailouts, let's just bailout the Castro regime's censors and save $32 million.

Of course, the Castro regime has already highlighted Senator Feingold's statement in Granma, Cuba's official state-media.

Seems tragically fitting, as the Senator is now working for the U.S. to espouse the Castro regime as the only news source for the Cuban people.

Source: Capitol Hill Cubans

Cubans Impatient for Reform...Not Counter Revolution

Photo Credit: Frans Persoon
This article by my recent dinner partner Marc Frank, entitled, "Cubans Fear Hard Times Ahead" uncovers where the real conversation is focused in Cuba: getting the Cuban government to fix the bloated bureaucracy and let ordinary Cubans get to work on improving their own lives. Farms need seeds, equipment, and fertilizer. Consumers need more cash and less handouts. Homeowners need the ability to sell their property--at least like they do it in London and China--with long-term leases.
Here's an indicative quote from a Cuban farmer:
Farmers have never wanted the state to give them anything. What we want is that they sell us what we need to work and produce," Evelio, a farmer in central Cuba, said in a telephone interview.
Continue reading "Cubans Impatient for Reform...Not Counter Revolution" »

Soft Diet

By Yoani Sanchez

Adolfo Fernández Sainz lives among stories like this one; he turned 61 yesterday, six of them locked in Canaleta prison since the Black Spring of 2003
That afternoon the last of his canine teeth would be extracted. He had spent days on it, helped by another inmate who was skilled in extracting teeth, even molars. The collection of what had been pulled had been put under the pillow, and there they would stay until the time came for throwing them, with their yellow enamel, through the tiny window of the cell.
If all went as expected, the coming week he would be showing his smooth-gummed mouth to the doctor. He would say they had fallen out on their own, as had happened to the character in the film Papillon, which he had seen as a boy. In that film the prisoner had suffered from scurvy, but he, no. He had renounced his teeth to get access to the soft diet given to prisoners who could not chew. The preparation of plantain and sweet potato was more flavorful than the rancid food served to the others, so it was a question of survival to do without these useless things surrounding his tongue.
Cojo (The Cripple), had prepared the instruments as if he held a diploma in dentistry. Before going to Cojo’s bunk he studied his canine for the last time in the polished tin that served as a mirror. There was nothing to be sorry about; it was full of cavities, twisted to the right and stained with nicotine. This little obstacle that would emerge from his mouth was not going to stand between food and his needy body. He gave it a few knocks to loosen it and walked over to where several prisoners were waiting for an extraction. On the mattress, a piece of a spoon and a small metal bar would take the place of a hammer and chisel to weaken the tooth; an improvised pair of pliers, made from two pieces of wire, would remove the root. Payment for the makeshift surgery would be in cigarettes, about twenty he had saved over several days of not smoking.
Later he would go to sleep with the throbbing around the hole that had once sheltered his eyetooth, but happy to be able to join the brotherhood of the toothless. Others in their beds would also be controlling the pain, while dreaming the whole night through of an aluminum tray brimming over with soft puree.

Source : babalú


Division General Leonardo Andollo Valdés (Deputy Chief, General Staff) announced for the first time on Cuban state television that the Cuban military prepares for internal warfare against the people.
The War of All the People (Guerra de todo el pueblo) has been the fundamental underpinning of the Cuban armed forces’ military doctrine where the social masses are responsible for the national defense of the country against potential U.S. agression.
However, with Bastion 2009, that fundamental is evolving for the first time to include for the preparation of the armed forces’ internal war against the people.
La Jornada reports Division General Leonardo Andollo Valdés’ (Deputy Chief, General Staff) comments on the Mesa Redonda (Round Table) state television program surrounding the FAR and MININT’s military exercises beginning today.
Div. Gen. Andollo stated that the military maneuvers “begin in a situation of peacetime” and are in preparation for the increase of enemy subversive activity aimed at causing social disorder and ungovernability in Cuba.”
Was this a slip of the tongue for Andollo or was he sanctioned by the military hierarchy to make it abundantly clear for internal/external consumption the government’s plan to crush, without hesitation, social instability affecting internal security?
The economic implosion (e.g. energy crisis, falling exports, limited capital inflow, eliminating food rationing booklet) the Cuban government faces caused by a stagnate command economy with meager traces of capitalism is propelling an inevitable social upheaval that the military and security forces will confront.
Bastion 2009 exercises are further evidence of such a fundamental change to the military’s mission to now quash social instability which has been publicly announced by a high-ranking general of the Cuban military’s high command.

Arnaldo Márquez Gil, Cuban Political Prisoner of the Week, 11/29/09

The Castro dictatorship has many weapons at its disposal when dealing with its opponents.
It can label them as traitors, like the Group of 75 arrested during the "black spring" of 2003.
It can label them as "pre-criminal social dangers," like the hundreds, if not thousands, in prison who by definition have not committed a crime.
It can label them as thieves, like independent librarian Arnaldo Márquez Gil, who has been in jail since April on charges of petty theft and illegal slaughter of cattle.
Whatever it takes to throw them in jail and silence them. There is no limit to what extent the authorities will corrupt what passes as a "justice" system to deal with those who challenge the system.
Segundo Rey Cabrera González, secretary-general of the Cuban Pro-Human Rights Committee, said Márquez is innocent of the charges. The dictatorship is just trying to silence Márquez because of his opposition to the regime and his human rights work, Cabrera said.

In Cuba, at least in the eyes of the authorities, there perhaps is no greater crime.
Source:Uncommon Sense 

La Matanza del Cerdo; updated: Juan Juan Almeida liberado

Desde Galicia, una lectora que participó ayer domingo en la tradicional Matanza del Cerdo, me envía esta instantánea.
La bestia, que fue bautizada con su propia sangre, pesaba 150 kilogramos y en cuanto vio el cuchillo, me aseguró la remitente por vía telefónica, "chilló como un cerdo".

Fuente: El Tono de la Voz - Fotografía: © El Tono de la Voz

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