Monday, May 31, 2010

LPP Top News & More...

Obama to honor war dead on Memorial Day

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CHICAGO – President Barack Obama is paying his respects to America's war dead. The president is scheduled to lay a wreath and deliver remarks Monday at a Memorial Day observance at the Abraham Lincoln Cemetery in Elwood, Ill., south of Chicago. Presidents traditionally participate in an annual Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, as Obama did last year, his first as president. Some veterans groups have criticized Obama for not appearing at the nation's most hallowed burial ground this Memorial Day. Vice President Joe Biden will help lay the wreath at Arlington instead. Obama spoke at the Lincoln cemetery in 2005. He and his family spent the holiday weekend at their home in Chicago.
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Israeli commandos storm aid flotilla; 10 killed

This video image released by the Turkish Aid group IHH Monday May 
31, 2010 purports to show Israeli soldiers aboard a military vessel in 
international AP – This video image released by the Turkish Aid group IHH Monday May 31, 2010 purports to show Israeli soldiers …
JERUSALEM – Israeli naval commandos stormed a flotilla of ships carrying aid and hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to the blockaded Gaza Strip on Monday, killing at least 10 passengers in a predawn raid that set off worldwide condemnation and a diplomatic crisis. Israel said its commandos were attacked by knives, clubs and live fire from two pistols wrested from soldiers after they rappelled from a helicopter to board one of the vessels. Dozens of activists and at least 10 Israeli soldiers were wounded in the bloody confrontation in international waters. Reaction was swift and harsh, with a massive protest breaking out in Turkey, Israel's longtime Muslim ally, which unofficially supported the mission. Ankara announced it would recall its ambassador and call off military exercises with the Jewish state. The bloody showdown came at a sensitive time in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to meet Tuesday with President Barack Obama to discuss the next round in U.S.-led indirect negotiations. From Toronto, Netanyahu spoke by telephone with top Israeli officials and expressed his "full backing" for the military, according to a statement from the army. The White House said in a written statement that the United States "deeply regrets" the loss of life and injuries and was working to understand the circumstances surrounding this "tragedy." The activists were headed to Gaza on a mission meant to draw attention to the blockade, which Israel and Egypt imposed after the militant Hamas group seized the territory of 1.5 million Palestinians in 2007. There were conflicting accounts of what happened early Monday, with activists claiming the Israelis fired first and Israel insisting its forces fired in self defense. Communications to the ships were cut off shortly after the raid began. An Israeli commando who spoke to reporters on a naval vessel off the coast, and who was identified only by the first letter of his name, "A," said he and his comrades were surprised by a group of Arabic-speaking men when they rapelled onto the deck. He said some of the soldiers, taken off guard, were stripped of their helmets and equipment and thrown from the top deck to the lower deck, and that some had even jumped overboard to save themselves. At one point one of the passengers seized one of the soldiers' weapons and opened fire. A high-ranking naval official displayed a box confiscated from the boat containing switchblades, slingshots, metal balls and metal bats. "We prepared (the soldiers) to deal with peace activists, not to fight," he said. Most of the 10 dead were Turkish, he added. A Turkish website showed video of pandemonium on board one of the ships, with activists in orange life jackets running around as some tried to help an activist apparently unconscious on the deck. The site also showed video of an Israeli helicopter flying overhead and Israeli warships nearby.
Turkey's NTV showed activists beating one Israeli soldier with sticks as he rappelled from a helicopter onto one of the boats. Activists said Israeli naval commandos stormed the ships after ordering them to stop in international waters, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from Gaza's coast. An Al-Jazeera reporter on one of the Turkish ships said the Israelis fired at the vessel before boarding it. The pan-Arab satellite channel reported by telephone from the Turkish ship leading the flotilla that Israeli navy forces fired at the ship and boarded it, wounding the captain. "These savages are killing people here, please help," a Turkish television reporter said. The broadcast ended with a voice shouting in Hebrew, "Everybody shut up!" In a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel's military chief of staff and navy commander said the troops were able to take over the five other boats without incident and all of the violence was centered on the boat carrying most of the flotilla's passengers, the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara. Troops were attacked, said Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and an unspecified number of troops were helicoptered to hospital suffering from gunshots, knife wounds and blows. "To me it is clear without a doubt, judging by what I saw and what I heard in the first reports from the soldiers, that in light of the danger to human life this violence required the use of weapons, and in my opinion the soldiers acted as they should have in this situation," Ashkenazi said. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed regret for the loss of life, but called IHH, a Turkish group organizing the sea convoy, a violent organization "operating under cover of humanitarian activity." The ships were being towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod, and wounded were evacuated by helicopter to Israeli hospitals, officials said. Two ships had reached port by midday. Many of the passengers were from European countries. The European Union deplored what it called excessive use of force and demanded an investigation by Israel. The EU said the blockade of Gaza, now in its fourth year, is "politically unacceptable," and called for an immediate, sustained opening of crossings into the Hamas-controlled territory, according to a statement by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Turkey called on the U.N. Security Council to convene in an emergency session about Israel. Thousands marched in protest in Istanbul, some setting Israeli flags on fire after trying to storm the Israeli consulate. Israel quickly advised to its citizens to avoid travel to Turkey. In neighboring Jordan, hundreds demonstrated in the capital Amman to protest the Israeli action and demand that their government breaks diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. Israeli security forces were on alert across the country for possible protests. There were no details on the identities of the casualties, or on the conditions of some of the more prominent people on board, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, European legislators and Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, 85. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli "aggression," declared three days of mourning across the West Bank and called on the U.N. Security Council and Arab League to hold emergency sessions on the incident. Ismail Haniyeh, leader of the rival Hamas government in Gaza, condemned the "brutal" Israeli attack and called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to intervene. In Uganda, Ban condemned the deaths of the activists and called for a "thorough" investigation. "Israel must provide an explanation," he said. The activists were headed to Gaza on a mission meant to draw attention to a 3-year-old Israeli blockade of the coastal territory. Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after Hamas, which it considers a terrorist group, violently seized the territory. Critics say the blockade has unfairly hurt Gaza's 1.5 million people. Before the ships set sail from waters off the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus on Sunday, Israel had urged the flotilla not to try to breach the blockade and offered to transfer some of the cargo to Gaza from an Israeli port, following a security inspection. The violent takeover threatened to deal yet another blow to Israel's international image, already tarnished by war crimes accusations in Gaza and its blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory. Organizers included people affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian group that often sends international activists into battle zones, and the IHH. The Turkish group is an Islamic humanitarian group that is based in Istanbul but operates in several other countries. Israel recently arrested the IHH's West Bank operative, but said his arrest was not related to the planned aid mission. Hasan Naiboglu, the Turkish maritime affairs undersecretary, told the Anatolia news agency that Israel had jammed communications with the ships. He accused Israel of violating international law by carrying out the raid in international waters. Turkey had unofficially supported the aid mission and has been vocally critical of Israeli military operations against Palestinians in Gaza. The flotilla of three cargo ships and three passenger ships carrying 10,000 tons of aid and 700 activists was carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials. This is the ninth time that the Free Gaza movement has tried to ship in humanitarian aid to Gaza since August 2008. Israel has allowed ships through five times, but has blocked them from entering Gaza waters since a three-week military offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers in January 2009. The latest flotilla was the largest to date. ___ Goldenberg reported from aboard the Israeli warship INS Kidon. AP writer Selcan Hacaoglu contributed to this report from Ankara.

In the Box...

Cuban Doctors: Imperialist Embargo Is Killing Fidel


Socialized Medicine
a Triumph of the Revolution
Habana, Cuba -- Called to task by Fidel Castro to explain themselves for botching several operations on the 80 year old Cuban President, his surgeons have taken the unprecedented action of holding a news conference to explain to the world President Castro's medical condition. Chief Surgeon Rafael Bernardo of the Cuban Escuela Latinoamericana de Ciencias Médicas explained to the gathering: "When we first operated on the Maximum Leader we'd thought that he was suffering from a broken Wish Bone. The operation made President Castro's condition even worse. After several more unsuccessful operations on a Funny Bone, his Spare Ribs, and Water on the Knee we realized that his problem had to be related to his Bread Basket. Of course, if it were not for the U.S. embargo we would have had modern medical training devices and operated on his Bread Basket sooner," Cuba's Chief Surgeon said.

A Cuban Surgeon demonstrates Castro's surgery with a Cuban medical training device, the 1950s era pre-revolution Halliburton Medical Group Super Fun Operation trainer.

In today's America obsolete 1950s era medical training devices have long been converted to games for the medical community's leisure hours

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
We must all pray that some grotesque Zionist infiltrator does not sabotage the efforts of the fine Cuban physicians who are working to save Fidel's life.
Cuban doctors went on to explain that Comrade Castro's medical condition could have been easily treated when his first symptoms appeared - if it were not for the criminal Yankee war of imperialism and the inhuman blockade of Cuba. "Our doctors, though the best in the world, are forced to learn medicine using 1950s pre-revolution medical training devices - much like the Iraqi doctors under Saddam Hussein when their country was also suffering from the U.S. embargo," the doctors complained.

Demonstration of the delicate surgical technique of removing a patient's Bread Basket using a 1950s era pre-revolution Halliburton Medical Group Super Fun Operation trainer.

"President Castro's grave medical condition proves once again that the capitalist Empire of America will do everything possible to force the Cuban people to live on so little for so long," Cuban doctors said. "The world community should make Americans feel shame and guilt for not allowing the heroic Cuban people to live off generous donations from rich Western individuals and corporations, like all the other heroic socialist nations of the Third World do."

Second opinion from Iran:
Castro's illness caused by Jews

The People Cube's columnist Dr. Leonid Fuku reports from Tehran:
A selected group of doctors, approved by the Guardian Council of Iran, have offered their professional second opinion on the ailing Cuban President's condition:
DIAGNOSIS: The stress and anxiety from seeing the suffering of righteous Muslims at the hands of Zionist occupiers, have led to Fidel's spontaneous expulsion of blood from the rectum as a sign of solidarity with the murdered children. The condition is aggravated by a new Mossad-CIA program to assault Fidel's rectum by emitting secret death rays from Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba, as well as by Zionist attempts to destroy Cuba's Socialized Health Care so that Jewish doctors could once again have unlimited access to people's blood.
RECOMMENDATION: All people of good will around the world must ask Allah for an end to the madness and for the survival of our staunch ally in the fight against American imperialism.

Fruits of the Revolution: a well-treated Hero of the Revolution enjoying free health care in a free Cuban hospital.
"Doctors in Cuba aren't slaves to profit so they can do so much more. They were so good that they amputated four of my fingers to ensure that infection would not spread, that was of course after they used the leaches and blood letting to get out the poison that was in the splinter. Only Socialism cares that much."

This is Yamilet Fernandez Donate. She was lucky enough to get treated for all kinds of things and even got a free abortion! And since it's a Socialist country there's no expensive malpractice insurance for the Revolutionary State to worry about!
ALFREDO GUEVARA: "history will be 'TERRIBLE' IF  THE REGIME not give SURVIVAL STEPS " PDF Imprimir E-mail
Written by Stated in the field   
Monday, May 31, 2010 9:24

History will be "something terrible" if the generation now is holding power in Cuba does not give "the steps that must be given" for the regime should not perish, said the president of Festival Film International de la Isla, Alfredo Guevara, at a meeting  held last May 5 students from the Faculty of Communication at the University of Havana.
"I believe that the steps we need to live is going to give us  because if they do not, in history is a tremendous thing, "he told  the opening words of the meeting, according to a transcript received  in drafting JOURNAL OF CUBA.
"It would be terrible interpretation then make the historians of the first generation is that they were not able to give  this step. I believe that those who play them, they are ready "to  give it. The important thing is that "the future will not have interpreters to say, had to disappear biologically "to something moved, added at any time without mentioning the word "change."
Guevara, a so-called "historic" the Revolution was asked by students and teachers of the generational conflict  on the island, the militarization of the government, for whom choices not revolutionary, the crisis of the ideology of the regime, was digital, the role of the media and migration, among other topics. In sometimes had to admit that he had no answers, in others not answer  clearly to questions.

The Army, "quarry" natural government of Raul Castro
The official justified the "militarization" of the government, strengthened since Raul Castro formally took power.
"There was much disorder in the state. The State has for many years, the shelter-I do not qualify as hard, I will say this, but Note that I say this with love, "has been the refuge of all the vague and of all people not used to much, "he said.
"Let's forget the bureaucrats, who are a plague. But have you been that in the Army? As it happens, no "he said.
He explained that after the fall of the "Socialist Camp call (...) it was originally hollow and rotten cheese, it was not socialism, "the Army had to develop the defense industry, had to procure food and, therefore, develop on-farm agriculture, etc. It's like a pilot scheme which would have to do in this country, " considered.
"Where is Raul after decades of leading the Army and solving these problems that we are talking about and what will be its quarry? ", he asked rhetorically.

There is no "generational conflict"
Guevara denied that there is a generational conflict between old leaders of the revolution-most-seventies, which concentrate  power, and youth, who see little chance of influencing the country's future.
"Yes there is a terrible conflict that young people and youth like me too. It is the conflict between the immobility, the routine, anxiety and time spent. I think that is not a generational conflict, a conflict that is ageless, "he said.
At the beginning of the meeting, had stated that Guevara gave "Sadness" thinking in young people with an attitude "empty and insensitive" to  important issues in the country.
"The things that we live in everyday life are too hard too bitter, sometimes hurt us both in life and in life of our families, and it makes sense to develop certain traits numbness, despair and rejection, that the language of the Revolution sometimes slips ... not the Revolution, but the ombudsmen "he said.
"We are in a crisis is a political and moral, which has  many facets. For me the most terrible (...) is emptiness. Up is terrible to walk down the street and not knowing whether the people I  cross-living or dead are real people, "he said later, during the  exchange.

Allow active counter equal to "suicide" of  regime
The president of the International Film Festival was questioned by his audience about the famous phrase of Fidel Castro "Within the Revolution everything, outside the Revolution nothing, "the consequences of this idea for intellectuals and artists of the Isla and options leaving those who are not revolutionaries.
He said he would ask the non-revolutionary  "What are the difficulties they have."
"I have the conviction that people are not revolutionary and  especially those which are nothing, are such that we no longer account who they are. It is a disgrace, a reality that if I were journalist and I got the chance to publish it as a starter in the Granma,  I would not. But as a revolutionary militant who I am, fight to disrupt the situation we have, "he said.
He described the Communist Party as "a church, ie a congregation of minds that relinquishes part of his freedom to add many freedoms and pursue a job. That's what has to Youth do and the party, add and add. "
"You can defend the right not to be revolutionary. What is not can accept is the counter because the counter active is to accept the suicide. And the Revolution is a vanguard wanting to develop a project, "said Guevara.
The government often described his opponents as "mercenaries service of empire ", this description has also reached intellectuals, artists and bloggers with a critical stance on situation in Cuba, but not all cases are linked to the dissent.
Following a question from a student on the usual practice of official press to publish "the response of the offended" without never spoken of the "offense" Guevara spoke of what Havana calls "media campaign" against Cuba after the death strike political prisoner hunger Orlando Zapata.
"Zapata died on hunger strike, should not die," he said. "If I had had the power, would do what is being done with (the independent journalist Guillermo) Fariñas, who is a fool; not stop, "he said.
Fariñas, admitted to a hospital in Santa Clara and fed via IV, began his hunger strike on February 24, the day after  Zapata's death to demand the release of 26 prisoners political ill.

"Our press is very poor, is not convincing and fails hit "
In his home to meet with students and professors of the School of Communication, Guevara defended "Militant journalism."
"A journalist who do not become what he wants can never be good   journalist, "he said.
"Only from the militancy-that is how I call the passion and passionately bias can be, for me, real journalism " said, criticizing the idea of "objectivity" that predominates in the press.
"Our press is very poor, is not convincing, and even in the best  case, as Juventud Rebelde, Which begins to show some  transformation, also failed to hit as I wanted to hit our media, "said the media on the island, all controlled by the government. "But that does not depend on lack of passion or insensitivity, depends on rules, "he said.
Later, at a question from a student, blamed "all  stupid, all stupid and ignorant all occupy today charges "that some content does not reach the media.
Regarding Cuba's entry into the digital age, Guevara acknowledged that his generation does not see, not just get into the digital technological revolution that is taking place in the world. "
"When blogs began to emerge, he said, but to no avail-I believe it is now slowly beginning to understand, 'if there four blogs against us, we'll do 40 for (...) We fill the cyberspace of ideas, but are not the same: repetition is death. "

Justifications for the Cuban migration drama
To a question from a student on Cuban migration process  and its representation in film of the island, Guevara acknowledged "the that has been tearing the Cuban family everywhere. "
It is "a drama that I think any way that is fair or healthy has resulted. That of not being able to write to a mother or not being able to receive news of a child is nonsense and does not say either of those personified or sponsored these policies, "he said.
However justified the phase "destructive" process consolidation of a regime like Cuba.
"A revolution is not a walk along the shores of the sea or river peaceful. It's a storm. It's a huge shock that breaks foundations of society. Destroyer to be building. And in that way, it's time for a generation and pleasures untold suffering memorable, "he said.

A "mad Chavez"
Guevara is declared a "rabid Chavez."
"I am among those who believe, and please understand my words that the real intelligence always has some demonic. If there is a bit of mischief, intelligence is not given the everything, "he said.
"I am a rabid Chavez against my will, because I admire the work  and can not stand the language. That bear is not permanent is moments of (Venezuelan President Hugo) Chavez that are bright, "  explained.
Taken from the Journal of Cuba
Source: Cuba Libre Digital - Last updated on Monday, May 31, 2010 9:30

LPP Archive...

Fidel Castro TV series charts 638 assassination attempts

He Who Must Live documents Cuban leader's escapes from bacteria-infected hankie, exploding cigar and poisoned wetsuit
Fidel Castro smoking cigar
Fidel Castro, the former president of Cuba, has survived several hundred assassination attempts including an exploding cigar. Photograph: Wally McNamee/Corbis
Illness has forced him from public view but Fidel Castro is back in Cuban living rooms via a lavish television series that celebrates his escape from 638 assassination plots.
The eight-part series, He Who Must Live is an extravagant departure from Cuban TV's typically low-budget fare: more than 1,000 actors and extras are used in a mix of CSI-type fiction, docu-drama and archive material.
The interior ministry, institute of police sciences and state-sanctioned film-makers teamed up to tell the story of how the CIA spent decades trying to murder the US's tropical communist foe.
"As a historical series we turn to a mix of genres to help us and give the viewers more information about the facts," the director, Rafael Ruiz Benítez, told officials before the first 70-minute instalment aired last Sunday.
The prime time show, unprecedented in its glossiness, is to run over eight weeks, each episode focusing on a different period. It marks an unexpected starring role for a leader who relinquished power and vanished from public view four years ago after serious intestinal problems.
Dan Erikson, an analyst at the Inter-American Dialogue thinktank and author of The Cuba Wars, said: "Fidel Castro may be leaving the stage but it's already clear that he has no plans to go quietly. By commissioning a major television series about how Fidel Castro outwitted and outlasted his foes in the United States over the past 50 years, the Cuban government is reviving one of its favourite story lines and burnishing the mythology that swirls around Cuba's revolutionary leader."
The series took three years, 243 actors, 800 extras and a possibly significant chunk of Cuban TV's spartan film-making budget.
The inaugural programme focuses on efforts to kill Castro when he was a young revolutionary in Mexico in 1956 preparing to lead several dozen guerrillas on a mission to overthrow Cuba's US-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista.
Later instalments feature the CIA's notorious and much derided efforts to kill the Soviet ally after his insurgency triumphed and he established a communist state 90 miles off Florida.
Some are well known: the exploding cigar, the ballpoint hypodermic syringe, the gift of a poisoned wetsuit. Others less so: a bacteria-infected hankie, an aerosol can filled with LSD.
Cuban security services counted 638 assassination plots by the CIA or their many proxies. A retired agent, Fabián Escalante, wrote about them in his book, 638 Ways to Kill Castro. His colleague, Xavier Solado, wrote a pamphlet of the same name. There was also a 2006 Channel 4 documentary of the same name.
Cuba's TV series features actors playing Batista, the CIA director Allen Dulles and, it is thought, presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, who authorised the murder attempts. A thaw after Barack Obama's election has ended with Washington and Havana trading insults but the US has forsworn killing Castro.
The series airs at a difficult time for the revolution. Raúl Castro has tinkered with the centrally planned economy he inherited from his big brother, but with little success. The state is struggling to pay international creditors and ordinary Cubans are suffering food shortages, electricity rationing and meagre wages.
"The gigantic paternalistic state can no longer be, because there is no longer any way to maintain it," the economy minister, Marino Murillo, said in a recent video shown to communist party cadres, according to Reuters.
With gloom widespread, the TV series may not set pulses racing, said Erikson. "While some older Cubans may be intrigued by this trip down memory lane, the reappearance of Fidel as a telenovela star will likely prompt younger generations of Cubans to reach for their remote controls."


El Bola ~ Cuba's King of Song

Category: Performing Arts
Location: GALA Hispanic Theatre


SundayJune63:00pm - 3:00pm
ThursdayJune108:00pm - 8:00pm
FridayJune118:00pm - 8:00pm
SaturdayJune128:00pm - 8:00pm
SundayJune133:00pm - 3:00pm
ThursdayJune178:00pm - 8:00pm
FridayJune188:00pm - 8:00pm
SaturdayJune198:00pm - 8:00pm
SundayJune203:00pm - 3:00pm
ThursdayJune248:00pm - 8:00pm


This play celebrates the international career of Afro-Cuban singer, pianist and composer Ignacio Villa, nicknamed "Bola de Nieve" (Snowball). This original musical comedy follows the backstage antics of a director, a flamboyant “diva” and a santera who are staging a musical review about Bola’s life.

This production was written by Héctor Quintero and will be directed by Hugo Medrano. Starring actors and singers from Venezuela, Cuba, Miami and DC. Also with DC’s very own Sin Miedo. In Spanish with English surtitles.

Marine journalist to talk about cruising Cuba

Marine journalist and Cuba expert Peter Swanson will speak June 11 at CubaCon 2010, a Cuban art and culture conference scheduled for June 10-13 in Provincetown, Mass.
Swanson will discuss sailing the "Great Bahamas-Cuba Loop: A Post-Embargo Cruising Strategy." Other marine experts might join him for a session that's still taking shape.
Swanson, a Massachusetts native now living in Florida, has written about Cuba for Soundings and Soundings Trade Only, PassageMaker, Yachting and He has developed a Web site ( devoted to the prospect of cruising Cuba if the U.S. travel ban is lifted.
Swanson has recently lectured about Cuba at PassageMaker's Trawler Fest in Fort Lauderdale and at the Essex by the Sea series in Essex, Conn. His talk in Provincetown will focus on how cruisers can incorporate the north coast of Cuba and Havana into their traditional Bahamas cruising plans.
"I invite New England mariners to join me for the conference, which spans four days featuring many sessions on Cuban art and culture," Swanson said. "There is also a Cuban music dance party on tap, along with a Cuban art auction and Cuba movie day."
Swanson's talk is scheduled for 2 p.m. Registration information, the conference agenda, presenter bios, lodging and more is available at the conference Web site.

Contact conference organizer Rob Sequin at rob@havanajournal.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call him at (508) 744-6790 for information.

"Ladies in White" say Cuba prisoner plight goes on

HAVANA (Reuters) – The Cuban government has not yet improved conditions for political prisoners or released any as had been hoped after recent talks between Catholic Church leaders and President Raul Castro, Cuba's "Ladies in White" dissident group said Sunday. Speaking to reporters after the group's traditional Sunday march protesting the 2003 imprisonment of their loved ones, leader Laura Pollan said they had heard nothing from the government about its plans. "Here, nothing is known. Everything is a state secret," said Pollan, whose husband, dissident Hector Maseda, is serving a 20-year prison sentence. Catholic officials said Castro promised in a May 19 meeting with Cardinal Jaime Ortega to move prisoners soon to jails closer to home or, if they were sick, into hospitals. According to some reports, he also signaled the possible release of an unknown number of prisoners. The high-level talks preceded a mid-June visit to Cuba by Vatican Foreign Secretary Dominque Mamberti. So far, Pollan said, the only thing certain is that no prisoners have been moved or released. "Everything is speculative; there is not thing concrete," she said. The Ladies in White have staged weekly protest marches since the March 2003 arrest of 75 dissidents, many of whom are their husbands or sons and most still behind bars. After Sunday's march by 33 white-clad women, Pollan told them it was important for them and their imprisoned family members, particularly those who are ill, to remain calm while waiting for the promised changes. "Anxiety can produce strong stress and we don't want them to get sicker," she told the women. At least 26 of the prisoners are said to be in ill health. Former prisoner Guillermo Farinas has been on a hunger strike for more than three months demanding their release. His hunger strike followed the February 23 death of hunger striking prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo, which prompted international condemnation of Cuban human rights. In April, the Cuban government tried to stop the women from staging their Sunday marches and brought in pro-government counter protesters to harass them. But Ortega intervened, and officials allowed the marches to go on, at least for now. Human rights advocates say Cuba has about 190 political prisoners in all. The Cuban government views them as mercenaries working for the United States and other enemies. (Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

The Castro harass Damas de Blanco throughout the island


Reported  the Cuban regime to pursue them within the country, where no no media or representatives of the Church or embassies. "We siege. Do not let us leave the house"Reported

Credit Photo: AP

Las Damas de Blanco, relatives of the 75 political prisoners in Cuba, denounced the dictatorship of the Castro brothers pursues and abuses not only in the capital Island, Havana, but throughout the country.

Laura  Pollán, Leader of the group, after their classic march Havana, told the international media "in interior (of the island) are not respecting"To the Ladies White and are attacking theBecause there are not the press and representatives of the Church or embassies.

The particular case is to Reina Luisa Tamayo, Mother political prisoner Orlando Zapata TamayoWho died Feb. 23 after 85 days on hunger strike. The woman, living in the eastern province of Holguin, said she and her companions were "beleaguered, ostracized"By followers Fidel Castro and his brother Raul, to the point such that they could not leave their homes.

"We repudiated, prevent us from going to church, give us a ring when we  to leave the house, is a multitude of them that keep us out, we offended by swearing"Complained the mother of Orlando Zapata.