Tuesday, December 21, 2010

LPP First Draft...

WikiLeaks: Cuba banned Sicko for depicting 'mythical' healthcare system

Authorities feared footage of gleaming hospital in Michael Moore's Oscar-nominated film would provoke a popular backlash
Film-maker Michael Moore at a screening of his documentary Sicko in Sacramento
A WikiLeaks cable reveals that when Michael Moore's film was shown to Cuban doctors, they were 'disturbed at the blatant 

misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba'. Photograph: Max Whittaker/Reuters
This article was taken down on Sunday 19 December 2010 pending
investigation and the following correction was published in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Tuesday 21 December 2010

  1. Sicko
  2. Production year: 2007
  3. Country: USA
  4. Cert (UK): 12A
  5. Runtime: 113 mins
  6. Directors: Michael Moore
  7. More on this film
Contrary to a claim made in a leaked US diplomatic cable whose contents we reported, Sicko – a documentary by film-maker Michael Moore – was not banned in Cuba. The film, which examines US healthcare through comparisons with some countries' publicly funded systems, including Cuba's, was in fact shown in film theatres throughout the island and on national TV
Cuba banned Michael Moore's 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a "mythically" favourable picture of Cuba's healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a "popular backlash", according to US diplomats in Havana.(Read More Click Here)

Day 20, Saturday 18 December
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir "stashed $9bn in UK banks".
Michael Moore's film Sicko was banned by the Cuban authorities. The US film-maker is quick to state that his film was shown in Cuba.
Julian Assange says his life is "under threat" and that the Swedish rape case against him is "a travesty".
El País
• The US state department, along with its embassies, did its utmost to stop Spanish construction company Sacyr from winning a contract to extend the Panama canal. In spite of this, the Spanish consortium won the €2.4bn bid to build a third set of locks on the canal.
New York Times
Bank of America says that WikiLeaks has fallen foul of its customer code of conduct and will not process any more payments made to the controversial website.
• Cables show that visitors from many of world's leading democracies are failing to criticise the Castro regime or meet with dissidents while on the island. A cable hints that there were economic motives behind the accommodating approach.

WikiLeaks cables detail Fidel Castro's doomed love for Obama

Dispatches chart Cuban leader's obsession with US president, from admiration to eventual sense of betrayal
Shepard Fairey's portrait of Barack Obama

WikiLeaks cables lay bare Fidel Castro's admiration for Barack Obama, who swept into the White House as the candidate of hope and change. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Barack and Fidel: like so many great love affairs it was doomed. But memory of the passion, or at least infatuation, lingers.
Having seen off 10 US presidents – all committed to his assassination, overthrow or isolation – Fidel Castro had more reason than most to beware the occupant of the Oval Office.(More Read Click Here)

AUSTRALIA, Canada and several European countries have stopped pressuring Cuba over human rights in the hope of winning commercial favours from Havana, according to confidential US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
The western governments continued to pay lip service to concerns about political prisoners and censorship, but in reality were appeasing the island's communist rulers, said Jonathan Farrar, the US head of mission.(More Info Click Here)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009, 18:05
C O N F I D E N T I A L HAVANA 000344
EO 12958 DECL: 06/09/2019

Classified By: COM Jonathan Farrar for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) The Government of Cuba has offered no official reaction to President Obama's June 4 speech in Cairo. Former president Fidel Castro, however, previewed his interest in the Cairo speech in a Reflection article on June 6 that he started with "Yesterday afternoon, while I was carefully analyzing Obama's address at the Muslim university in Cairo..." (Note: Fidel's June 6 Reflection was devoted principally to linking the June 4 arrest in the United States of Kendall and Gwendolyn Meyers for espionage related charges to the June 3 OAS resolution regarding Cuba. End Note.) Fidel's subsequent Reflection on June 9 will only add to speculation from our civil society and diplomatic contacts that Fidel is obsessed with President Obama.
2. (C) Fidel's latest, lengthy (3,500 words) Reflection focused entirely on the Cairo speech, including pages worth of short excerpts from the speech itself. Fidel split the speech into two sections. Fidel mostly sympathized with POTUS - in his own way - regarding the first section, which included the fact that the U.S. is not at war with Islam, the Israel-Palestine issue, and Iran and nuclear weapons. Specifically, Fidel said, "One cannot blame the new president of the United States for the situation created in the Middle East...He takes office at an exceptionally complex time for his country and the world...It is still too early to pass judgment on his degree of commitment to the ideas he presents..." Fidel then continued his attempts to walk a thin line between a positive impression of a popular U.S. president and the idea that the evil empire will never change. For example, Fidel explained that "the current president's main difficulty lies in the fact that the principles he is advocating contradict the policy the superpower has pursued for almost seven decades...(Click Here for More details)

Cuba opens new online frontline in war of words: Castropedia

Havana's alternative to Wikipedia is intended to set the historical record straight – and it is unlikely to go down very well in the US
EcuRed seeks to give information from a 'decolonised' perspective, Cuba says. Photograph: --/AFP/Getty Images
Cuba today unveiled its own version of Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia devoted to the "accumulation and development of knowledge".
However, some of EcuRed's 20,000 entries appear to bear a slightly partisan stamp. Not only does the site refer to the US as "the empire of our time" and "the most powerful nation of all time", it also notes that Cuba's near-neighbour has historically taken "by force territory and natural resources from other nations, to put at the service of its businesses and monopolies".
Nor does the factfile end there: "[The US] consumes 25% of the energy produced on the planet and in spite of its wealth, more than a third of its population does not have assured medical attention," it reports.
With a poetic flourish, it also makes reference to US-Cuban relations. From early on, it says, Washington gazed at the island "like those who admire a beautiful fruit that will end up falling in their hands".

Cardinal hopes Cuba will release 11 dissidents

Jaime Ortega AP – Cardinal Jaime Ortega speaks to reporters after a Christmas concert in the cathedral in Havana, Cuba, …
HAVANA – The Roman Catholic Cardinal who helped broker a deal with Cuba to free dissidents jailed in a 2003 crackdown says he hopes the government will make good on its pledge to release the last 11 remaining in prison.
Havana Archbishop Jaime Ortega says "hope springs eternal" that Havana will honor its "formal promise" to free them.
But he declined to speculate Monday on when they might be released.
He told reporters: "I can't make conjectures."
Cuba agreed to the deal in July. All 52 were supposed to be freed by early November.
Exile was not an explicit condition of the agreement, however all but one of the 41 released so far are now living in Spain.
Those still behind bars have said they want to remain on the island.


Proposed Cuban players leave to play abroad
Officers know that your idea will meet resistance (Courtesy baseballdecuba.com)

Monday December 20, 201003:11 PM
Havana .- Concerned by defections to bleed the Cuban baseball, a Legend of the ball has just launched an idea as revolutionary as controversy: allow players contracted abroad.

The  Victor proposed Mesa, a popular former center fielder for the national team, promises to raise waves in Cuba, a country that abolished For almost half a century professional sports considered a form operation, Reuters reported.

The players are idolized in  Cuba, but with average salaries equivalent to about $ 18 monthly  live light years away from their colleagues in the U.S. Major Leagues.

The temptation has led to dozens of Cuban players drop during tournaments abroad or to emigrate illegally United States, only 145 kilometers across the Strait Florida.

"It hurts like a kick in life each time we lead to an athlete formed by the revolution, "said Mesa, 50, 1992 Barcelona Olympic champion.

"I would like, example, that our players played 8 years in the series national and then the State would allow them to be hired to play  leagues in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Japan, South Korea or Mexico, "said  Reuters.

Cuba, for decades a favorite in any tournament of baseball, has been giving leadership in battle of first level.

In  lost the 2009 World Cup final against the United States and finished fifth in the WBC. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics fell in the final against South Korea.

This year the results were  Mixed: lost to Dominican Republic in Puerto Premundial Rico, but then won the Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan.

Mesa know your idea will meet resistance. In fact Minister Economy seemed to punch the weekend, when it clarified that the 2011 Cuba exported only plans to continue coaching services and sports technicians.

"We are not raised in the guidelines lightly to recruit top athletes abroad " Parliament Marino Murillo said.

Theft athletes
In  Cuba sport is seen as a way to showcase the achievements of socialist system. Athletes compete for love of country, not money.

But nearly two decades of economic crisis and deterioration of  quality of life fueled dropouts. Officers estimated 300 players left the country in recent years.

The pitcher Aroldis Chapman, for instance, escaped in 2009 during a tournament in Holland and this year signed a six-year contract for 30 million dollars to the Cincinnati Reds.

According to sources in sports about 40 juveniles came from Cuba in recent months, in many cases  collected on the coast by boats hired by agents waiting then place them in the majors.

"We are stealing athletes from an early age between 14 and 18 years of age," said Mesa.

The  Cuban government denounced the theft of athletes as part of half century of U.S. aggression, its ideological enemy.

Allow  The players are contracted abroad does not mean professionalize the National Series in Cuba. Nor are information by the majors, as the U.S. maintains a tight trade embargo against the island.

A similar system contracts in existence since the 1990 Cuban trainers for. Mesa, for example, developed and played on computers in Japan and has just signed as manager of the Mexican team for Manatitlán Oilers next season.

The former launched his idea in circles local baseball and hopes to defend early in a national debate on economic reforms promoted by President Raul Castro.

"I  I made a proposal and was not very positive in the country. But I said the best idea, as a Cuban, like baseball, "he said.

The  Cuban Baseball Federation, whose vice president is Antonio Castro a son of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, has said a word.

But a recently published official weekly table statements advocating employment abroad.

And the controversy is already in the streets.

"The  Board raises no idea, or develop baseball in Cuba. On the contrary, just with him, "said Felix Salazar, a fan who argued in "Hot corner" of a Havana park.
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In Cuba, Santa arriving by plane from the U.S.
December 18, 2010 12:50 

In Cuba, the sleigh of Santa Claus is a Boeing 737. And not from the North Pole but from Miami.It  expected to arrive by year's end thousands of Cuban exiles in the United States, bringing everything from appliances to medicine and clothing to help their relatives on the island, earning a average salary of $ 20 per month.
The number of exiles Cuban U.S. residents who visit the island increased significantly since President Barack Obama raised restrictions on their travel. And they bring a lot more than before. A airline says the average weight of luggage up to 55% in recently and often an accompanying cargo plane flight  passengers.
"They bring things to the family," said Paul Romano Garcia, a Havana from 45 years to win the equivalent of $ 9.50 per month selling fruit at a market in the center of the capital.
Román  said he looks forward to the arrival of his older brother, who lives in New Jersey and promises to bring many gifts, including a stereo. The brothers are not 30 years.
"My son is asthmatic and brings  devices for asthma, "he said." That is very important medicines.  Some do not exist here, or is difficult to get. "
During the President George W. Bush Jr., U.S. Cubans could travel to their country once every three years and could not send more than 100 dollars per month to the island. Those restrictions ended in April 2009.
The Cubans did not, however, still have travel restrictions to Cuba from the United States.
The  charter operators say passenger demand rose by clouds since Obama removed restrictions and rising.
"They come  1,000 people per day from the U.S. and expect to order  this year has about 400,000 visitors, "said Kirby Jones, president Alamar Associates of Bethesda, Maryland, U.S. consulting firm Advising U.S. companies wishing to do business with Cuba.
"America is the country where more people come, after Canada," said Jones.
The vast majority are children of Cubans or Cuban.
The  traffic increases during the holidays of the year, there are more flights than usual, which also filled. Officials Miami airport said that the weekend before Christmas there were 55 scheduled flights from Miami to four Cuban cities.
In  José Martí International Airport in Havana people piled next to a metal fence to see the arrival of their loved ones, pushing carts with bags, pots, TVs and other  articles.
Arturo de Cordova traveled from Miami with five suitcases filled with cookies, candy, rice and other products for your child and  her daughter, who picked him up at the airport.
"I come to share with my children," said Cordoba, a jeweler who lives in the United States for 30 years.
Tom  Cooper, president and owner of the company Gulfstream Air Miami Charter, which makes daily flights to an apparatus 737 of 146 seats said that in the last year nearly doubled the number of people carries, of the 23,000 passengers in 2009 to nearly 50,000 this year. It also increased the amount of passenger baggage.
"Weight  average rose from 85 pounds (38.5 kilos) to 132 (60) per person, " said Cooper. "The first 44 pounds are free. From then on, there to pay a dollar per pound, the standard in the industry. "
The Cubans have so much baggage that half of its flights Gulfstream chartered a twin-engine cargo and leave half an hour before reaching almost while the plane with the passengers, said Cooper.
The money and goods that bring visitors are vital to Cuba, where after five decades, many products are scarce abound in the United States.
The Cuban government attaches to embargo imposed by Washington for 48 years, which prohibits U.S. trade with Cuba, except for two items, food and medicine. The fact that Cuba has historically weak economy does not help.
The exiles are much more facilities to acquire U.S. assets and bring TVs flat screen and other goods in spite of the taxes the electrical charge.
Daniela Lezcano, a ten- years in West Palm Beach, Florida, traveled alone for three weeks Pinar River and brought clothes, food, medicines and toys, including a replica of a 1960 red Corvette. His family planned to celebrate Christmas with roast pork, yucca and conger eels, a dish of rice and beans.
"We are very, very happy to see family more often," said the girl's uncle Juan Miguel Guerra.
Many  People say that family gatherings after decades of tensions Cold War are more important than the goods that bring exiles.
Roman said he will go to the airport with ten family members to visit his brother for the first time since he left Cuba in 1980.
"We  to mourn a lot. It is a very nice, but very sad, "he said. "We are going home together, where I lived before. He'll be very happy because it is the birthplace. "
He added that both the island and Cuban exiles have been hit hard by tensions between Washington and Havana.
"I'd like Cuba and the United States get along, because many Cubans are there. That would have peace," said
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