Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Human Rights / Notes of a Journalist...

How to Kill a nightingale

The attacker gets his hand raised and download helpless in the face of which has front, with all impunity. It is the Cuban political police themselves and not resort to trick of sending civilians to perform the acts of repudiation against Damas de Blanco.

By Angelica Mora

Alabama, April 25 / You now have the consent and approval the Havana government to act directly against the defenseless women with all possible force. They still unfinished, but injury as possible to achieve by force dominate.
I have many stories from Cuba to shrink the heart:
State security is the order now to harass the Ladies White each time they marched. Everything is permitted, unless kill ... for now.
The act of repudiation on Sunday, so says the activist Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, was "long and horrible"

"The long act of repudiation began when they left the church 5th. Avenue. The show lasted from 12 days a quarter of until a quarter past seven in the evening.
The were moving to corner in the Gandhi Park, a side of the Church of Santa Rita. Consider the Women in White on this occasion were humiliated and tortured physically and psychologically  at all times while the officers of State Security-well  acquaintances, laughing.
We were hitting at the iron of a hoe (hoe) near  the face of each, also with a pan and with a whistle, all in the ears of the six women who were present throughout the time during what was a feast for the organizers.

Participants: Laura Pollan, Bertha Soler, Julia Nunez, Loida Valdes, Asunción Hernández Carrillo and María Laura Pollan Labrada, had to listen to obscenities of any kind, including those gay women in the worst of their languages.
Young people danced around them, they beat the male member when they approached. They were smoking a cigar in his face.
Similarly offended the priest of the Church, who read a document to give strength to the community that is being harassed when attending mass. Blasphemed God and demanded that the country thrown away to "cure shameless."
No offense will be without the foreign press and that members of the Diplomatic Corps were present.
Finally moved in together on a bus six state under the pretext that it was getting dark and it was more difficult to give them protection, but not before knocking down the leg below the cord police Bertha Soler and María Laura Pollan Labrada.
Some women who wanted to reach were detained and taken from place, including: Juana Gómez Riego de Santa Clara, Villa Clara; Mercedes Fresneda; Odalys Surna and Sandra Guerra, the latter the left in Guanajay.
At the home of Maritza Guerra, three women were fasting, because they are not  allowed to go to church, along with Maritza, Blanca Rosa Hernandez Ivon Moya and Mayeza Galano.

The orders come directly from Raul Castro, the cowardly dictator  designee, who once again shows how little man who is ordering this barbarity against a group of defenseless women.
It would be good government, that call themselves democratic, to draw attention, along with international media, so that  do something and put a stop to these acts of savagery, before is too late.
26. April 2010 by Editor.
S: Cubamatinal.es /Update LPP

Detained former Venezuelan military officer who alleged presence of Cuban

The retired general had complained that the inclusion of military Cuban was beyond what should be allowed
Venezuelan Retired Gen. Antonio Rivero, who this week reported the presence of Cuban personnel in various levels of the Force Bolivarian National Army, was arrested last night by the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DIM), the newspaper Colombian El País.
Rivero, former national director of the body of lifeguards Protection Civil, passed on 7 April to withdrawal of the Armed Forces for own decision due to disagreements with the government of President Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, as he explained this week to the press.
The Caracas Daily News published on Sunday that military was "arrested last night by the DIM" and stays at Fort Tiuna  the main garrison in Caracas.
The retired general reported Thursday that Cuban personnel develops planning and shaping the military organization, training and training within the Force Bolivarian National Army.
"Beyond a military exchange, including military Cuban is beyond what should be allowed. They are in an area strategic security of the state, "he told a news conference.
S: Encuentro en la Red

LPP Breaking News & More...

Ousted Kyrgyz president charged with mass killing

Ousted Kyrgyz president softens defiance AFP/File – Ousted Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, seen here on April 13, has softened his defiance by admitting …
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – The ousted president of Kyrgyzstan has been charged with organizing mass killings in the deadly uprising that forced him from office in this Central Asian country earlier this month, the leader of the interim authorities said Tuesday. Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who is in exile in Belarus, will have his presidential immunity stripped to face the Kyrgyz charges, which also include abuse of power, said Azimbek Beknazarov, a vice-premier of the opposition forces that claimed provisional control of the country. Bakiyev fled the capital on April 7 after security forces fired on protesters and the demonstrators stormed government buildings. At least 85 people died in the violence. He tried to rally support in his home region in Kyrgyzstan's south, but eventually fled the country and surfaced last week in Belarus. Beknazarov said Belarus is obliged to extradite Bakiyev under an agreement among former Soviet countries. There was no immediate reaction from Belarus, whose authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko, has criticized the demonstrations that drove out Bakiyev. Bakiyev insists he is still Kyrgyzstan's legitimate president, but has vowed not to return to the country as its leader. Stability in Kyrgyzstan is a significant concern for the United States and Russia, both of which have air bases in the country. The U.S. air base is a key piece of the NATO military campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan; it provides refueling flights for warplanes over Afghanistan and is a troop transit point.

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Cuba may be game for golf

Cuba's Tourism Ministry says it would like to build 10 new courses around the country and attract high-rollers from Europe, Canada and even the United States if the U.S. eases its 48-year trade embargo.
The Associated Press
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VARADERO, Cuba — The two revolutionary icons were playing the gentlemen's game in fatigues and combat boots. And they weren't playing well.
Che Guevara shot a 127, besting Fidel Castro's 150 on a par-70 golf course.
Their 1961 round a month before the Bay of Pigs invasion was the beginning of the end for golf in Cuba — soon the communist government had eliminated the sport from the island almost entirely.
Only one 18-hole course remains, the Varadero Golf Club in this beach resort 85 miles east of Havana. On Friday and Saturday it hosted two one-day pro-am tournaments featuring half a dozen Cuban golfers paired with wealthy foreigners.
Organizers say the events are small steps in a campaign to bring golf back to Cuba, a country that is both the best and worst imaginable place to play.
The Tourism Ministry says it would like to build 10 new courses around the country and attract high-rollers from Europe, Canada and even the United States if the U.S. eases its 48-year trade embargo. Investors in Europe and Canada have long clamored to build courses, presenting plans that include luxury hotels, apartments and health spas.
But those proposals have remained stalled for years, with not even one foreign-financed project having broken ground.
Cuba is "the sand trap from hell," said John Kavulich, senior policy analyst at the U.S. Economic Trade Council in New York.
"The conflict is imagery versus profit," said Kavulich, whose group advises U.S. businesses on trade with Cuba. "Concerns about the image of golfers in the worker's paradise. And, if accepted, how does Granma (the Communist Party newspaper) explain the obese U.S. golfer with poor clothing color coordination, running about in their 'Caddyshack' like golf cart, betting one each hole?"
It does indeed seem hard for Cuban authorities to stomach golf, with its refined decadence. But Antonio Zamora, a Miami attorney and expert on Cuban real estate, said the government has overcome old ideological concerns and sees the sport as a way to get foreigners to visit the countryside, rather than simply staying in Havana and other cities.
The state-run tourism concern Palmares is developing golf, but Zamora said it has moved slowly because it plans to build courses in clusters of three or more, enticing players to stay in particular areas long enough to try all courses.
"There's been a lot of work done," Zamora said.
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Among those playing in Saturday's tournament was Canadian Graham Cooke, a top golf course architect. At a similar event last year, three-time major winner Ernie Els made an appearance to represent his development company.
In June 2008, Britain's Esencia Hotels and Resorts announced the Tourism Ministry had approved construction of the Carbonera Country Club for around $300 million on a stretch of beach not far from Varadero. In addition to an 18-hole golf course, the development calls for 800 luxury apartments and 100 villas.
Cuba does not recognize the right to buy or sell property and prohibits foreign ownership, but Esencia said it was hammering out a 75-year lease on the property. Construction was slated to begin in 2009, but has now been postponed indefinitely.
Cuba tourism
Cuba's vacation industry set records for foreign visitors each of the last two years, despite the deep recession. In 2009, over 2.4 million tourists came, mostly from Europe and Canada. But many stayed fewer days than usual, and tour operators offered deep discounts to keep them coming, meaning revenues slumped nearly 12 percent.
Golf could bring tourists ready to spend regardless of how dire the world economy looks.
"You've got a cigar and you are playing golf with the beach right there," said Jose Tovar, general manager of the Varadero Golf Club. "It's perfect."
There were about a dozen top-flight Cuban courses before Castro came to power on New Year's Day 1959. The PGA Tour hosted an annual Havana tournament in the 1950s that attracted Arnold Palmer, among others.
Castro and Che's round at Havana's Colinas de Villareal course was meant to thumb their noses at the Kennedy administration. Many claim Castro wanted to eradicate the game because he wasn't good at it, something his son Antonio has denied, saying his father liked trying all sports.
The grounds of the Havana Country Club were converted into a music and dance academy, and another course, the Havana Biltmore Club, became a military zone where Castro now is believed to keep one of his many homes. Colinas de Villareal also became a military camp.
Just one golf course survived in the capital, the nine-hole Havana Golf Club, located off the road to the airport. The course was originally the British-owned Rovers Athletic Club and was spared mostly so foreign diplomats could play, said Johan Vega, the local pro. Sticks and tree branches are used as flag poles on some holes and an antiquated irrigation system makes it difficult to keep the grass from turning brown.
Vega was not invited to the Varadero tournaments. He doesn't believe golf is too capitalist for his country, but said he's not hopeful it will take off in Cuba because "there's no national golf culture."
Things are far less bleak at Varadero, the only golf course built since Castro's revolution. It opened in 1999, after more than five years of construction and with the Cuban government financing all of its $20 million budget, said Tovar, the general manager.
The course's clubhouse, high on a bluff, used to be "Xanadu," an 11-bedroom mansion built by U.S. chemical tycoon Irenee DuPont.
There was a seven-hole golf course on the grounds — two holes were destroyed by a hurricane — until the Soviet Union disbanded, ending its billions of dollars in annual subsidies to Cuba and bringing the island's economy to its knees. Officials then embraced foreign tourism and built the full-size course to attract golf-hungry visitors.
Varadero hosted qualifying tournaments for the European Tour in 1999 and 2000, but since has been unable to afford to stage more, and efforts to promote golf languished until pro-am tournaments this year and last.
But Tovar said Cuba can no longer afford to not build more golf courses, given the sport's global popularity.
"From a golf course, it's a different view of our country, maybe it's not so cultural," he said. "But it's still Cuba."

Cuba holds municipal elections

HAVANA, April 26 (UPI) -- Voters across Cuba participated in nationwide municipal elections to fill 169 assembly seats, officials said.
The voting was Sunday and results were expected Monday, CNN reported.
The elections had been expected to draw millions of people to the polls. Results will determine municipal representation on local issues such as waste removal and electricity, not national matters, such as the U.S. trade embargo, officials told CNN.
Municipal candidates are selected by a show of hands by committees for the Defense of the Revolution, local monitoring groups that also are responsible for reporting suspicious activity, officials said.
Campaigning is prohibited.
At one election site in Havana, polling official Jose Caesar Munez said 211 people voted.
"There is no political party difference between these two (local) candidates," Munez told CNN. "But there is an opportunity to change (unpopular local representatives). ... That's democracy."
Others expressed doubt about purported changes, CNN said.
"We have these kinds of elections every two years but nothing ever changes," said Eduardo, a voter who asked not to be fully identified. "All you have to do is walk these streets and listen to people to hear what they're saying."

Americans in Cuba?

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Americans in Cuba?
It’s easier for Americans to get to Cuba then you might think. There are several points of departure – one of the best is Cancun, Mexico, offering daily flights to Havana.
With an abundance of tour operators willing to book airfare and hotel and arrange the special visa needed for Americans, it could not be easier for Americans to defy the State Department and visit one of the last true Communist countries. Prices range between $400 and $600 US for 3 night/4 day packages.
If you go, there are several things to be aware of. The country has been crumbling since the U.S. embargo began, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has turned to tourism to keep its economy floating. Tourist from Europe and the Americas flock to Havana and the beaches in droves. Even with the lively tourist trade, basic accommodations are all one can expect. Shampoo, soap, aspirin and many other necessities are in short supply and may be hard to find – if not impossible. Consider yourself lucky if the shower has warm water and pressure. If the bed does not have springs popping, you’ve hit the jackpot.
The tourist areas of Havana are thriving with constant renovation. The city’s architecture rivals Buenos Aires or many European cities (although not as well maintained). The true pleasures here are the cigars, rum, music and artwork. That’s correct: the art in Cuba is thriving. These extraordinary artist have little chance of showing their work outside Cuba. The savvy tourist can pick up some true gems for as little as $30.00. For larger original works of art, you’ll need to obtain a special permit to take it from the country.
Non-tourist areas are where life in Cuba shows its grit. With generations of the same family living in crumbling buildings, life can be difficult at best for the average Cuban. Fifty years of no paint or any repairs of significance have taken their toll. These areas are accessible to tourists, and any taxi driver will be happy to give you a tour. If you’re lucky they may even take you inside for a glimpse of daily life – of course, a small tip will be expected.
With all these downsides, the tourist is considered king. The public has marching orders to do what they can to accommodate visitors. With indifferent friendliness, the Cubans do what they can to comply. Just don’t expect too much and treat your host with dignity, and you’ll be rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Group " Los Aldeanos" -(The Villagers) play in the nouse of the comunist-repression in Havana, Cuba. PDF Imprimir E-mail
Written by Stated in the field   
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8:39
S: Cuba Libre Digital-Last updated on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8:52

Las Damas de Blanco say they will not surrender while increasing the repression

Las Damas de Blanco dicen que no van a claudicar aunque
 aumenta la represión
04/26/2010 | Agencia EFE

Las Damas de Blanco, family Cuban dissidents jailed in 2003, said today that no faltered in their efforts to demand the release of political prisoners on the island, but increased repression against them.
'Never let  to give in, and next Sunday we will again demand the release  of our prisoners, "he told Efe Laura Pollan, a leader of this group women, who yesterday were subjected for more than seven hours of a new act of harassment or 'rejection' as they call it in Cuba.
By third Sunday running group was prevented from holding their march Sunday, usually done in white and carrying gladioli in his hand.
The 'Ladies' were surrounded by dozens of followers of the Government of Raúl Castro slogans that rebuked revolutionaries and insults.
'We are seven hours and no collapsed or surrendered. If we turn to attack you will hear our cries on Fifth Avenue (the street of Havana where marching) calling for the release of political prisoners. We are prepared to that and much more, "he said.
Pollan, wife of Hector Maseda, sentenced to 20 years in prison, said the acts 'of repudiation' against Ladies in White are "increasingly repressive 'and explained using aggression against them 'psychological' and 'provocation' to trying to make the group 'loses equanimity. "
'We are women peaceful and all we ask is the freedom of political prisoners  do not threaten anybody, but we scream murderous and terrorist ' said.
Laura Pollan said that the idea of lawyers Cuban-Americans and a television station based in Miami, for  identify those who beat and intimidate dissidents on the island, give these people 'the opportunity to assess that they are acting evil. "
"We think people are manipulated and allowed to use '  Pollan said.
Las Damas de Blanco, which Parliament Distinguished European with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Conscience 2005, hold meetings, protests and marches in the streets of Havana  to demand the release of their relatives, sentenced to up to 28 years in prison.
S: starmedia.orange.es