Thursday, September 2, 2010

LPP News...

Earl threatens East Coast with a pounding

 

Inside the Eye of the Hurricane Earl Play Video ABC News  – Inside the Eye of the Hurricane Earl
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Hurricane Earl menaces US East Coast AFP/Getty Images – People stand on a pier as waves crash below them in Southern Shores, North Carolina. Hurricane Earl bore …

BUXTON, N.C. – The last ferry left for the mainland and coastal residents hunkered down at home as Hurricane Earl closed in with 115 mph winds Thursday on North Carolina's dangerously exposed Outer Banks, the first and potentially most destructive stop on the storm's projected journey up the Eastern Seaboard.
The hurricane's leading edge brought on-and-off light rain in the afternoon to the long ribbon of barrier islands, which were expected to get the brunt of the storm around midnight. Heavy surf was already washing over the only highway on Hatteras Island before sundown but crews were able to keep the road open.
Earl's arrival could mark the start of at least 24 hours of stormy, windy weather along the East Coast. During its march up the Atlantic, it could snarl travelers' Labor Day weekend plans and strike a second forceful blow to the vacation homes and cottages on Long Island, Nantucket Island and Cape Cod.
It was unclear exactly how close Earl's center and its strongest winds would get to land. But Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate said people shouldn't wait for the next forecast to act.
"This is a day of action. Conditions are going to deteriorate rapidly," he said.
Shelters were open in inland North Carolina, and officials on Nantucket Island, Mass., planned to set up a shelter at a high school on Friday. North Carolina shut down ferry service between the Outer Banks and the mainland. Boats were being pulled from the water in the Northeast, and lobstermen in Maine set their traps out in deeper water to protect them.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency. Similar declarations have also made in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.
As of Thursday afternoon, though, the only evacuations ordered were on the Outer Banks, which sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean like the side-view mirror on a car, vulnerable to a sideswiping. About 35,000 tourists and residents were urged to leave.
Earl weakened into a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds on Thursday. A slow winding down was expected to continue as the storm moved into cooler waters, but forecasters warned the size of the storm's wind field was increasing, similar to what happened when Hurricane Katrina approached the Gulf Coast five years ago.
"It will be bigger. The storm won't be as strong, but they spread out as they go north and the rain will be spreading from New England," National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said.
The eye of the storm was expected to pass about 50 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. But even at that distance, Earl could have a punishing effect, since hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or more extended 70 miles from its center and tropical storm-force winds of at least 35 mph reached more than 200 miles out.
Hundreds of the Outer Banks' more hardy residents gassed up their generators and planned to hunker down at home behind their boarded-up windows, even though officials warned them that it could be three days before they could expect any help and that storm surge could again slice through the islands. It took crews two months to fill the breach and rebuild the only road to the mainland when Hurricane Isabel carved a 2,000-foot-wide channel in 2003.
"It's kind of nerve-racking, but I've been through this before," said 65-year-old Herma De Gier, who has lived in the village of Avon since 1984. De Gier said she will ride out the storm at a neighbor's house but wants to be close enough to her own property so she can quickly deal with any damage.
Officials warned once the winds began to pick up, police, firefighters and paramedics probably weren't going to answer emergency calls.
"Once this storm comes in and becomes serious, once it's at its worst point, we are not going to put any emergency worker in harm's way," North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue said.
Forecasters said that after Earl passes the Outer Banks, a kink in the jetstream over the eastern U.S. should push the storm away from the coast, guiding it like a marble in a groove.
Earl is expected to move north-northeast for much of Friday, staying away from New Jersey and the other mid-Atlantic states, but also passing very close to Long Island, Cape Cod and Nantucket, which could get gusts up to 100 mph. The storm is expected to finally move ashore in Canada sometime Saturday afternoon.
Much of New England should expect strong, gusty winds much like a nor'easter, along with fallen trees and downed power lines, forecasters said.
"This is the strongest hurricane to threaten the Northeast and New England since Hurricane Bob in 1991," said Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center.
Clayton Smith and his colleagues at a yacht servicing company in New England scrambled to Nantucket to pull boats to safety, hoping to get about 40 vessels out of the water in two days.
"Complacency is a bad thing," Smith said. "It's better to be safe than sorry."
But many people in Nantucket weren't too worried about Earl. Arno's Main Street Grill plans to stay open Friday as long as possible said owner Chris Morris. The hurricane might even be good for business.
"There's not much else to do during a hurricane besides eat and drink," he said. "I mean, there's only so many times you can visit the whaling museum."
The storm is likely to disrupt travel as people try to squeeze in a few more days of summer vacation over Labor Day. Continental Airlines canceled 50 departures from Newark on its Continental Connection and Continental Express routes along the East Coast, beginning Thursday night. Other airlines were watching the forecast and waiving fees for changing flights. Amtrak canceled trains to Newport News, near Virginia's coast, from Richmond, Va., and Washington. Ferry operators across the Northeast warned their service would likely be interrupted.
And the Army Corps of Engineers warned it would have to close the two bridges connecting Cape Cod to the rest of Massachusetts if winds got above 70 mph.
___
Associated Press Writers Christine Armario in Miami; Martha Waggoner, Emery Dalesio and Gary Robertson in Raleigh, N.C.; Tom Breen in Morehead City, N.C.; Bruce Smith in Jacksonville, N.C.; Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, S.C.; David Sharp in Portland, Maine; Mark Pratt in Boston; David Porter in Trenton, N.J.; David Koenig in Dallas; and Frank Eltman in Stony Brook, N.Y., contributed to this report.

Gays Take Castro to International Court

Thursday, September 2, 2010
The Brazilian gay rights NGO, Grupo Gay da Bahía (GGB), is filing a complaint at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague against Cuban dictator Fidel Castro for "crimes against humanity."
In this case, for crimes against Cuba's homosexual community.

According to the GGB, which is considered the oldest gay rights NGO in Latin America, Castro is responsible for the "demoralization, persecution, imprisonment in forced labor concentration camps, torture, banishment, and death of thousands of gays, transvestites and lesbians."
As part of its complaint, the GGB will hold a conference in Salvador da Bahia during March 2011 that will feature pictures and testimonies evidencing the Castro regime's homophobia.

No wonder Castro is quickly trying to message ahead of this.

Non-Government Regulated Church Leader Arrested

Here's what happens to Church leaders that refuse to be officially regulated by the Castro regime. 

Needless to say, this is not something that Cardinal Jaime Ortega and the Cuban Catholic Church need to worry about.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide:

Cuban church leader arrested on questionable charges
A respected church leader in Cuba was unexpectedly arrested on Monday and taken to a town in Central Cuba where he is expected to stand trial. CSW believes the charges of "offensive behaviour" and "threats" against Reverend Roberto Rodriguez to be false.

Those close to Reverend Rodriguez, who is in his late 60s and in poor health, say he became a government target after the organization he led publicly withdrew from a government sanctioned religious umbrella group in the second half of 2008, and that the criminal charges against him are an attempt to discredit and silence him. His arrest was so sudden that Reverend Rodriguez was unable to take important medication with him. It is feared that without it, his health will continue to deteriorate.

According to his family, state security officials arrived at the home without warning on 30 August and forced Reverend Rodriguez to go with them. The family understands that he will be taken to the town of Placetas where he will be put on trial sometime over the next few days. Prosecutors are asking that he be given a one-year prison sentence.

Charges were first brought against Reverend Rodriguez in late 2008 and he was given three trial dates over the course of 2009 but no trial ever took place. He and his family were forced to move after being subjected to constant verbal and physical abuse from their neighbours, apparently acting with the support of the government. He has spent the last 21 months under house arrest.

CSW is calling on the Cuban authorities to release Reverend Rodriguez immediately and drop all charges against him.

CSW's National Director Stuart Windsor said, "The treatment of Reverend Rodriguez and his family over the past 21 months has been disgraceful. The European Union will be looking at the human rights situation and reviewing its Common Position on Cuba this month. While some heralded the release of some Cuban prisoners of conscience this summer as an improvement in the human rights situation, the arrest of Reverend Rodriguez this week demonstrates that the Cuban government is not interested in real human rights reform. We call on the EU to make urgent representations on behalf of Reverend Rodriguez to the Cuban government."
S: Capitol Hill Cubans

alert...

The Chinese government expects to increase cooperation with Cuba in security and law enforcement stated Zhou Yongkang, an important leader of the Chinese Communist Party.
“We should work together to safeguard in a joint manner the security and interests of both nations,” said Zhou, member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, in a meeting with Army Corps General Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, Cuba’s Minister of the Interior.
According to Who’s Who in China’s Leadership, Zhou has experience in security and law enforcement. He was China’s Minister of Public Security from 2003 to 2007.
ACG Colomé Ibarra also met with Minister of State Security, Geng Huichang, as well as the Minister of Public Security, Meng Jianzhu.
Interestingly, Meng wrote an article titled “Intensify the Construction of Five Capacities, Comprehensively Raise the Level of Stability Maintenance,” where he points to new problems for public security agencies “managing social order.”
Perhaps the article might be used as a blueprint for Cuban state security to head off their social order challenges.
With Spanish anti-riot equipment and Chinese advisement on security issues, the Castro regime, through its police/paramilitary forces, is well prepared to quell any destabilizing situation in the streets of Havana.
[Image: Chinese security forces in anti-riot gear. By China Elections & Governance.]
S:CUBAPOLIDATA

September 02, 2010

House hopefuls can't escape Cuba factor

(pic2) Cuba is a passionate point of contention in the fiery race between David Rivera, at right, a Republican, and Joe Garcia, a Democrat, for Florida's 25th congressional district, which stretches from Homestead and Doral and across the Everglades to near Naples, a Miami Herald article says.
The two Cuban Americans – who at different times each worked for the Cuban American National Foundation – back the trade embargo and a ban on U.S. tourist travel, but are otherwise at odds on greater engagement with the island.
For evidence, look no further than their campaign contributions: Those who want more travel to Cuba are contributing to Garcia. Those in favor of keeping tougher sanctions against Cuba back Rivera.
(pic1) Garcia hopes to demonstrate that Cuban-American voters embrace more dialogue with the island. However, he is facing an uphill fight.
During the primary, almost twice as many Republicans than Democrats voted in the District 25 race. Statewide, Republicans went to the polls in droves, outnumbering Democrats by 350,000.
On Spanish-language radio, Rivera has sought to frame the congressional race as one critical to U.S. policy.
That stance can score points for him among staunch supporters of travel restrictions and the embargo. But the issue could turn off voters who agree with Garcia and do not consider Cuba a key electoral issue.
To read the entire Herald article, click here.
–Patricia Mazzei and Lesley Clark.
Posted by Renato Perez at 11:34 AM in Politics, U.S.-Cuba relations
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September 01, 2010

Dissidents don't mind that Spanish visitors shun them, if their visit aids the prisoners

The Ladies in White on Wednesday said they did not mind that the Spanish socialist officials who visited Havana did not plan to meet with them because "what's really important is for them to do (fot2) something positive for the political prisoners in Cuba."
(For background, see previous blog entry and our Aug. 30 item "Visit by Spanish Socialists Draws Fire.")
"This is not something that worries us," Berta Soler, a spokeswoman for the group, told Europa Press. "If they can do something for the political prisoners, if they can achieve something positive during their trip to Cuba, then it doesn't bother us that they don't want to meet with us."
Soler acknowledged that the Spanish government had much to do with the release of 52 political prisoners.
"Spain has opened its doors to those men and that's something we should be grateful for," she told the news agency in a phoned interview.
Still, the release process "has not been as we would have liked," she said, explaining that the prisoners are freed and taken directly to the airport for the flight to Madrid. She would prefer to see the men released to their homes first.
"Since they'll be banished like the others, at least they should be given the right to bid farewell to their people," she said. And, once in Spain, they should be given political asylum "because they have been persecuted."
To read the Europa Press report, in Spanish, click here.
–Renato Pérez Pizarro.
S: Cuban Colada

Criticism due to the persecution of homosexuals...

Fidel: 40 years ago no outbreak homophobic values in Cuba

Carmen Lira Saade

(The  Jornada) .- Although there is nothing to denote him any discomfort , I think that Fidel is not going to like what I have to say : - Commander , all the charm of the Cuban Revolution , recognition, solidarity  a good part of the universal intellectual , the great achievements of  people against the blockade, in short, everything , everything was due to pipe persecution of homosexuals in Cuba. Fidel does not reject the subject. Or denies or rejects the claim. Just takes time to remember, say, how and when the prejudice unleashed the revolutionary ranks.

P.  Five decades ago , because of homophobia, were marginalized homosexuals in Cuba and many were sent to labor camps Agricultural military , accusing decontrarrevolucionarios .
R. Yes , "she recalls , were moments of great injustice, a injustice! "He repeats emphatically , " has made it to anyone. If we us , we ... I'm trying to narrow my responsibility all this because, of course , personally , I have no such prejudices.
It is known that among his best and oldest friends are homosexuals. But then , how this hatred was formed differently?
He thinks that all was occurring as a spontaneous reaction in the revolutionary ranks , coming from the traditions . In Cuba This does not only discriminated against blacks : also discriminated  women and , of course , homosexuals ...
"Yes , yes. But not the Cuba of the new morality , which the revolutionaries were so proud of inside and outside ...
- Who was therefore responsible , directly or indirectly , that not put a stop to what was happening in Cuban society ?  Is the Party? For this is the time when the Communist Party Cuba noexplicita their statutes banning discrimination on sexual orientation .
"No," said Fidel . If someone is responsible , it's me ...
"It is true that in those moments I could not take care of this issue ... I was surrounded primarily by the October crisis , the war, political issues ... "
"But this became a serious and grave political problem , Commander.
I understand ,   I understand ... We did not know it value ... systematic sabotage ,   armed attacks are happening all the time : we had so many terrible problems , problems of life or death, you know, you do not pay enough attention.
"After all that , it became very difficult to defend the Revolution abroad ... The image had been damaged forever  in some sectors, particularly in Europe.
"I understand , I understand , "he repeats , " was just ...
" The persecution of homosexuals could be less or greater protest anywhere. Not in revolutionary Cuba "I say.
"I understand : when the saint is like sin , right? ... It is not the same as sin the sinner , right?
Fidel outlines a faint smile , then get serious again :
"Look   you think how our days were in those early months of the   Revolution: the war with the Yankees , the issue of weapons and almost  simultaneously with them, plans of attacks against my person ...
Fidel   reveals that influenced him tremendously and what they altered their Life threats of bombings and attacks themselves that was Victim:
"I could be nowhere , I had no where to live ... " The betrayal were the order of the day, he had to go to break kills ...
"Escape to the CIA , who bought so many traitors , sometimes between same people for one, was not a simple thing , but in the end anyway  if you have to take responsibility , I take mine. I'm not going to throw the  blames others ...", says the revolutionary leader .
Only regrets not having corrected then ...
Today , however , is facing the problem :
Under the slogan "Homosexuality is not a threat , homophobia is "was held recently in many cities by the third Cuban Day World Day Against Homophobia. Gerardo Arreola , a correspondent for The Day in Cuba, timely accounts of the debate and the struggle that takes Later in the island by the respect for minority rights sex.
Arreola is referred to Mariela Castro, a sociologist at 47 years -daughter  Cuban President Raul Castro , who heads the National Center Sex Education ( CENESEX ) , an institution which , she says, has managed improve the image of Cuba after the marginalization of the 60s.
Here are the Cubans and the Cubans , to keep fighting for inclusion, so that it is the struggle for all and all for the sake of All and all, said Mariela Castro opened the day , escorted by transsexuals who held a Cuban flag and a multicolored gay movement .
Today in Cuba , efforts by homosexuals includes initiatives such as change of identity of transsexuals or civil unions between same sex.
Since the 90s, homosexuality is decriminalized on the island , although no longer having  of all cases of police harassment . And since 2008 practiced free operations sex change .
Blocking
In 1962 the United States imposed a blockade against Cuba. It was a fierce attempt to commit genocide ... as he called Gabriel García Marquez , the writer who best chronicle the period.
" The period that lasts until today , "he says Fidel.
"The   existing lock is now more than ever, and with the added , these moments , that is constitutional law in the United States because vote that the president, the Senate vote , the House voted Representatives ... "


The world of the future must be common and  human rights must be above individual rights ... And there will be a rich world, where rights are just the same for everyone, said Fidel Castro. The image, during a  Cuban leader's appearance on the 22nd at the televisiónFoto Reuters / Revolution Studios / CubadebateEl number of votes and application can greatly relieve or not the situation. But there is ...
"Yes , there is the Helms -Burton law , interventionist and annexation ... and  Torricelli law , duly approved by the U.S. Congress USA.
Senator Helms remember well the day in 1996, which was adopted his initiative. I was elated , and repeated to reporters the core of their claims :
"Castro must leave Cuba. No matter how I leave Castro country: whether vertically or horizontally , that is a matter of them ... But Castro must leave Cuba. "
siege begins
"In 1962 , when the U.S. imposed a blockade , Cuba was found suddenly with evidence that he had nothing more than six million  determined Cubans , in a bright and unprotected island ... "
Nobody no country could trade with Cuba , with no one could buy or sell, and from that country or company! not caught in the uprising U.S. trade decree . Always struck me that CIA boat patrolled the waters to make few years , to intercept ships carrying goods the island.
The biggest problem , however , was always to medicines and  food , which remains to this day. Still not allow any food business to trade with Cuba , even the importance of the volumes that the island would gain or because it   is always required to pay in advance.
Facing starvation, the Cubans had to invent life again from the beginning, says Garcia Marquez.
They developed a technology need and a shortage economy , reports : an entire culture of loneliness.
Not   is a gesture of regret, less bitterness, when Fidel Castro supports neglect that left the island much of the world . On the contrary ...
"The   struggle, the battle that we had to make efforts led us to higher than we might have done it without blocking , "says Fidel.
Recalls   with a sort of pride , for example , the gigantic operation masses who carried out five million boys , grouped CDR . Only a day of eight hours achieved a vaccination mass throughout the country , with which eradicated diseases such as polio and malaria.
Or when more than a quarter of a million literacy - hundred thousand of them children burst into the hills literacy for most of the adult population of the country not  could neither read nor write.
But the leap is given, no doubt, in medicine and biotechnology :
"There's talk that Fidel himself commanded to form a team in Finland of scientists and physicians who would be responsible for the production of medications.
"The enemy used against us war agents. "He brought here the Dengue virus II . The pre Cuba revolutionary was not known nor I. Here we showed the Second , which is much more dangerous because it produces a dengue hemorrhagic attacks on  especially children .
Came by Boyer . They brought the counter , the same who were with Posada Carriles, Bush pardoned those same , the same that led to sabotage the plane in Barbados ... The same people given the task of introducing  the virus, " Fidel complaint .
" They blamed Cuba because, they said , there were many mosquitoes on the island "I say.
- How   would not having to fight if needed Abbe and Abbe  we could not get: nothing else produced in the U.S.? - reveals.
The commander's face darkens :
We began to die children, recalls. " She could not treat the illness. Nobody we wanted to sell the medicines and equipment with which eradicates  virus. One hundred and fifty people died from the disease. Most were children ...
We had to go to the shopping smuggling, although it was expensive. Wherever banned until bring . Once , out of mercy , bring a little left .
For mercy , said the strong man of the Revolution. I confess my confusion ...
Not   precisely for mercy, but in solidarity, came some   friends of Cuba. Fidel mentions, for Mexico, the Echeverría : Luis and Mary Esther , although they were no longer in government, could get some equipment which can overcome to some extent the epidemic.
"Do not ever forget , "he says shocked.
- You see ? "I say. Not all has been bad or unfortunate character of power relations with Mexican ...
"Since   Certainly not, " he says before we conclude the conversation , interview and let's go to lunch shared with his wife , Dalia Soto del Valle.
From   the outer terrace where stands to watch and analyze the world,   Life ... Fidel queen makes a toast to the future world we a single country.
"What is it that some are Spanish , some English, other Africans ? " And some have more than others ...?
"The world of the future must be common, and the rights of human beings  humans must be above individual rights ... Y going to be a rich world, where rights are just the same for everyone ... "
- How are you going to get it , Commander?
" Raising ... educating and creating confidence and love.

S: Bolpress.com / Front Line LPPNEWS results

Opinion...

The cynicism of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro declares now that is not homophobic , but his speeches expressing the opposite
Celebración del Día Internacional contra la Homofobia en Cuba
International Day Against Homophobia in Cuba.
In an interview granted to the Cuban dictator journalist Carmen Castro Lira Mexican pro -director of the leftist daily Aztec La Jornada, and who has more than once  subservience and devotion demonstrated by the old tyrant ( and tyrant old) , this, while taking responsibility for the persecution  homosexuals in Cuba during the 1960s, disclaims skillfully that responsibility , arguing that " in those moments " could not " take care of these issues. "
One of the sites  that homosexuals were sent to the UMAP was ( euphemistically called Military Units to Aid Production , but in fact labor camps that existed in Cuba since 1965-1968 ). Following Castro's statements to Lira - published by parties La Jornada and, indeed , with a writing full of typos and solecisms - not a few media have been associated with  the UMAP only homosexuals. We should clarify that the 22,000 human beings who were taken to labor camps , only 20 percent were homosexual "detected " by the bodies repressive . The rest of the "troops " was composed of religious different doctrines , Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, Adventists seventh day , evangelists and others , as well as young (and not so young ) who had no permanent job or that deviated in some way conception of the New Man convened by the communist revolution.
But the most contradictory statements made by the tyrant to fan Mexico are the causes and dates that states to exempt while ago mea culpa. The  more intense persecution of homosexuals began in 1964 , two years after the October Crisis and other events Antillean argues despot to be not aware of the situation that they were suffering . However, in a speech that the madman pronounced nuclear the March 13, 1963 , said: "Many of these Pepilla vague, middle-class children , are walking around with a few shorts  too close ( laughter from the audience ), some of them with a guitar attitudes ' elvispreslianas ', and have taken their debauchery to extremes of wanting to go to some sites concurrency organize public shows feminoid for self ". Feminoid,  said the satrap and the audience laughs. And that does not stop , " Twink aspiring to that? No! ' A tree that grew twisted ...', and the remedy so easy. I'm not saying we're going to drastic measures against these twisted trees , but young aspirants, no! " . Homophobic great cunning in Biran : homosexuals , according to apparently , are " crooked trees . " But still :
 There  a few theories , I am not a scientist, I am not an expert in that matter ( laughter from the audience ), but always noticed one thing : that the field was not the byproduct . I always watched that, and I have always very present . So to the great homosexuals are obsessed by-productthat  thank God, " was lacking in the field. " It must be, perhaps, perhaps who knows, because he was born in the countryside. The audience to whom it was directed  that speech , euphoric as obvious allusions to , at some point  will confirm to shout to the big male farmer : " The loose leg Fidel! "," gay ! " . He asks his listeners view the stallion illustrates : "What say you, comrades ? What is our youth strong , enthusiastic , energetic , optimistic , striving for a future, willing to work for that future and die for this future? What do you think of all those evils ? " . The response of the public  Needless to say it.
Well, this is enough to get an idea Just who planted the animosity in the "masses "against homosexuals. And a fair idea that the newly resurrected murderer lies about the dates on which he was engaged in "other things" .
Already  know that the peasant in Biran go down in history as that paradoxically , destroyed the field , the city and the lives of many generations. Carmen Lira , if anything happens to the story, or less remains in the memory of a few, will be like someone folded ,  assume that personal interest , one of the worst cruelties which has been made in Latin America.

Despite embargo, Cuba a haven for pirated U.S. goods

 


HAVANA (Reuters) – A few weeks after Ashton Kutcher's latest comedy "Killers" premiered in the United States, the movie was already entertaining the masses in communist Cuba.
For two pesos, the equivalent of nine U.S. cents, the state-owned Yara movie theater in the heart of Havana offered Cubans a washed out and pixilated copy of Kutcher's adventures as a CIA assassin who is himself targeted for a hit.
"It's a very good flick. We just got it on DVD," says a woman in the ticket office.
The problem is that "Killers" will not be officially released on DVD in the United States until September 7 and even then Cuba will be off limits due to the 48-year-old U.S. trade embargo against the Caribbean island.
But half a century of U.S. sanctions have turned Cuba into a piracy haven and a missed opportunity for U.S. businesses.
Even though the embargo forbids U.S. companies like Microsoft from exporting software to Cuba, most personal computers on the island run unlicensed copies of its Windows operating system.
Pirated copies of the latest version, Windows 7, have been available for months from illegal vendors in Cuba.
The blue-skinned aliens of "Avatar," James Cameron's blockbuster film, appeared on Cuba's state television in February while the movie was still breaking box office records around the world.
Surfing Cuba's five television channels, all state-owned, a viewer could stumble across shows such as Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" and NBC's "Friends," or movies like Dreamworks' "Madagascar 2".
Video games of all types are sold by software pirates in Cuba for the equivalent of about $2.
"The reality is that U.S. products and services are down there whether the companies that make them sell them or not," said Jake Colvin, Vice President for Global Trade Issues at the National Foreign Trade Council in Washington.
"The frustrating thing is that U.S. companies are getting nothing for it," he told Reuters.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN?
The trade embargo, imposed since 1962 with the aim of toppling the Caribbean island's communist government, forbids most U.S. business with Cuba, with the key exception of agricultural products, and, under certain restrictions, medicines.
Cuba's unofficial position is that the embargo limits access to so many products that it forces people to resort to piracy.
But it also does so with a certain relish, which is both the result of five decades of U.S.-Cuba hostility and a jab at the capitalist system Cuban leaders disdain.
The Business Software Alliance, a Washington-based industry group, says 63 percent of the computer programs being used in Latin America as a whole in 2009 were unlicensed and had an approximate commercial value of $6.2 billion.
But in Cuba, the piracy rate is estimated to be around 80 percent, if not higher, said Montserrat Duran, BSA director of legal affairs for Latin America.
Cuba has been more protective of its own products, having spent much time and money defending its world-famous Cohiba cigar and Havana Club rum brands in legal battles in the United States.
The National Foreign Trade Council says the current lack of formal diplomatic relations between the two nations makes it difficult for U.S. companies to raise these issues with Cuban authorities.
"Until we fix the relationship, until we have governments that talk to each other and have a better official relationship and we have rules that allow companies to interact and do business in Cuba we are not going to be able to address the problem," said Colvin.
MIXED BLESSING
Better relations, when they come, could be a mixed blessing for Cuba's financial exposure over pirated goods, one computer engineer on the island said.
"The day we finally resolve our problems with the United States, Microsoft's Bill Gates will try to collect the bill. And it will be huge," he said, asking not to be identified.
A spokesman for Microsoft declined to comment.
In the meantime, Cuba should focus on the future rather than worry about the past, said Business Software Alliance's Duran.
"Nobody expects them to pay for what has been done, but governments should legalize their products and lead by example. People need to understand that piracy is a crime similar to stealing a car," she said.
Cuba took a step toward addressing the problem last year when it developed a variant of the free, open-source operating system Linux and promoted its use in the country's computers.
Cuban leaders said conversion to Linux would ease their security concerns about the widespread use of U.S. software and create another front in their long fight to resist U.S. domination.
(Editing by Jeff Franks and Doina Chiacu)

human rights | 26 former prisons are on Spanish soil...

Six other Cuban dissidents arrive in Spain on Thursday
They are prisoners of Group of 75 , imprisoned in the " Black Spring "of 2003 and sentenced to six to 28 years in prison on charges of work for the United States. His imprisonment caused an radical departure from the international community towards the island.
 
EL UNIVERSAL
Wednesday September 1, 201024:30
 
Madrid. - A new group of Cuban dissidents released from prison six come from  Spain Thursday morning , according to the Ministry of Foreign  Madrid.

The members of the new group will land in the country accompanied by their families and join the 26 dissidents and released that have arrived in Spain in recent weeks DPA said .

According to the Ministry headed by Miguel Angel Moratinos , the arrival is scheduled from Thursday and extended to  next week, "according to the availability of flight tickets "from  the island.

The Cuban Catholic Church and announced on 24 August the release of six dissidents under the agreement met with Raul Castro 's regime .

Cuba 's government pledged in July to release 52 political prisoners within four months .

It  are prisoners of the Group of 75, imprisoned in the so-called "Black Spring" of 2003 and sentenced to six to 28 years in jail , accused of working for the United States. Its imprisonment provoked a radical departure from the community International to the island.

Until now , the last dissident released reached Spain 's Juan Adolfo Fernández Sainz landed in Madrid last August 20.
S: eluniversal.com / translate LPPNEWS Front Line

He arrived in Spain a new dissident released by the Cuban Government

  • Prospero Garcia met in Cuba a sentence of 25 years
  • It is the first of a group of six new prisoners to come to Spain
RTVE.es / AGENCIES- MADRID 02/09/2010 - 15:54 hProspero Gainza Agüero , a new Cuban political prisoner has arrived in Madrid Thursday accompanied by several family, Among whom was his wife , Mary Esther White and his son.
Gainza, 53, is the first prisoner of a new group of six dissidents who released the Government of Cuba.
He has flown to Madrid on a regular flight of Air Europe, which has landed at 15.23 hours at the airport Barajas .
A team psycho -social care of  Red Cross was waiting in the lobby of the airport authorities  remove to a hostel, where they will spend the first days in Spain.
The former prisoner , serving a sentence of 25 years , is a member of the illegal movement of civil resistance "Pedro Luis Boitel .
With the arrival in Madrid of Gainza, and there are 27 Cuban political prisoners who have traveled to our country framework of the releases which gave rise to open dialogue between the government of Raul Castro the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Cuba, which is supported by the Spanish government .
S: rtve.es / Front Line LPPNEWS simultaneous translation
could have left a stain of 1.5 Kms

Exploits another oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico

An explosion has destroyed an oil platform Thursday in the Gulf of Mexico, sea throwing 13 people are located , one of whom was injured , said the Coast Guard. An oil slick over 1.5 kilometers long was visible on Thursday after the explosion, although according to the correspondent of the COPE in the U.S. , citing the U.S. Coast Guard , to be confirmed if it comes from this latest explosion or on the contrary is adrift after the catastrophe caused by the flight of BP for four months and that both events have taken place relatively close. Late in the Coast Guard ensured that the fire had been extinguished, and not show any traces of pollution in the area.
MB / Writing World - 02/09/2010

Authorities received the first wake-up call around 9:00 local time ( 15.30 CET in Spain). It warned of a fire at a facility south of Vermillion Bay , about 148 kilometers from the coast.

The platform had 13 employees, of whom all but one have been located , reports the Fox Nine helicopters were sent to the platform located 130 miles south of Vermillion Bay in Louisiana, he said, adding that it is not clear the extent of injuries to the injured person.
A spokesman for the company that owns and Mariner Energy reportedNo one principle that there was no sign of contamination after the explosion and fire, although hours later the U.S. Coast Guard claimed , citing employees of the platform, you could see an oil slick more than 1.5 kilometers. Be confirmed if it is from this explosion or a few months ago caused the BP platform .

This platform is located about 130 km south of Vermilion Bay, Louisiana, And operated in shallow water (135 mt) .

The accident occurred more than four months after the explosion and subsequent sinking of the platform Deppwater BP Horizon - also located on the Gulf of Mexico - in April, which caused 11 deaths and the worst oil spill in U.S. history USA.
S : Cope.es / translate LPPNEWS Front Line

Video disclose the Ladies in White...



Video disclose the Ladies in White
In order to contextualize the announcement by the Cuban government on the release and forced exile of 52 political prisoners, the Human Rights Foundation ( HRF) reported on September 1, 2010 an exclusive documentary video of the Ladies in White group Cuban civil society organizes every Sunday in Havana peaceful marches for freedom and human rights in Cuba.

The group is internationally recognized and is formed by the wives , mothers , sisters , daughters and other women supporters of the jailed dissidents during the " Black Spring "of March 2003. On that occasion , 75 people, including independent journalists , librarians, and activists for democracy and human rights were arrested and sentenced to terms ranging from six to 28 years in prison.
Currently , 26 prisoners have been released and exiled to Spain, while a prisoner was exiled directly to the U.S. for medical treatment . At least five prisoners have refused to accept exile , which means they have chosen to remain in jail until they are granted unconditional freedom and allowed to remain in Cuba.
"The release of these innocent people is certainly a positive development and a cause for celebration . However, we must remember that the mechanisms of repression remain intact in Cuba, and that to start any of these people should have been incarcerated. It should also be clear that it has reversed criminal judgments against them, or they have been declared innocent , but still considered criminals by the Cuban government . Those who can stay in Cuba, made under the shadow of the continuing political persecution , "said Thor Halvorssen , president of HRF.
"The number of political prisoners in Castro 's prisons remains a mystery , the judicial system remains a farce, and anyone can be arrested without having committed any crime. With current law, Raul Castro could easily replace these 52 prisoners , a new onslaught against opposition voices in Cuba , "he continued Halvorssen.
Las Damas de Blanco have said they will continue to protest every Sunday until the last of the imprisoned dissidents during the Black Spring release. In the video , Laura Pollán , a spokesman for Las Damas de Blanco, tells the story of how the group was formed after Black Spring and analyzes recent events that have attracted international attention to political prisoners of the Cuban regime .
"In the world there are still many people who are blind to this demagogue government [which says ] that in Cuba there is a lot of freedom , which is a paradise , which is the earthly paradise, or paradise Caribbean . I invite those who believe in ' freedom 'of Cuba to come to live here, " Pollan says in the video. " Let them come to live as an ordinary citizen , not to bring dollars to come to work, to earn what a worker earns , to live in a humble home , to buy food with ration books , and to express all I can say in their country against the government ... , that you say it here in Cuba to see what the outcome. "
The Cuban government has been under pressure to release political prisoners after death, in February, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who declared a hunger strike in protest at the treatment that the system gives the political prisoners there. Zapata 's death led to another dissident Guillermo Farinas , start their own hunger strike.
"Right now it is giving an awakening in the world, [ which] is taking the band [ eye ] on Cuba , "says Pollan .

" The political prisoners who have already rejected the forced exile have decided, bravely sacrificing their own freedom to defend freedom of expression for all , "said Halvorssen. " This is a powerful warning to a regime that has usurped power for 51 years and pursuing his opponents in a merciless and relentless , "said Halvorssen.
Despite the announcement of release of 52 political prisoners, the Penal Code of Cuba remains unchanged , as laws allowing the arrest of anyone who criticizes the Cuban government. The Cuban Penal Code authorizes the arrest as " pre-emptive security measure " to anyone who has a " proclivity " to commit crimes, which is demonstrated through the "conduct in manifest contradiction with the norms of socialist morality . "
"Until now, periodic releases of political prisoners in Cuba has generally been followed by the arrest of more dissidents who have merely exercised their freedom of expression. Political prisoners have become scarce under the boot of Raul Castro , as they did under the boot of Fidel, "said Halvorssen. "Any meaningful reform in Cuba must go beyond the pursuit of indulgences in Europe and large international headlines . Why not start more than once an honest transition to democracy and respect for the rights and civil liberties ? "concluded Halvorssen.
In May 2010, the HRF also posted videos of former prisoner of conscience , Armando Valladares, and the renowned blogger Yoani Sanchez in honor of Day of Solidarity with Cuba. The videos were filmed exclusively for the Freedom Forum 2010 Oslo and are available on YouTube.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF ) is an international nonpartisan organization devoted to defending human rights in the Americas. The HRF 's International Council is composed of individuals who were prisoners of conscience Vladimir Bukovsky, Palden Gyatso, Václav Havel, Mutabar Tadjibaeva , Ramon J. Velásquez , Elie Wiesel, and Harry Wu.
S: Contact / Front Line LPPNEWS simultaneous translation