Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
In today's Wall Street Journal, Johns Hopkins University Professor Fouad Ajami writes (in the context of Libya):

Some NATO planners are worried that we might yet make a martyr of the tyrant if the military campaign against him were to succeed. This is but a variant of the soft bigotry of low expectations. If and when the end comes for Gadhafi, he shall fall alone. In Beirut and Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, and in the streets of Iran and Shiite Iraq—where Musa al-Sadr still enjoys a saintly aura—there shall be joy. The undoing of Gadhafi would be seen as the grant of belated justice.

This argument is reminiscent of opponents of U.S. sanctions (and pro-democracy programs) towards Cuba, who believe that they give the Castro regime an "excuse" for its repression and control -- as if the Cuban people were stupid or ignorant to the reality of their oppressors.

That, too, is a variant of the soft bigotry of low expectations.

From Head-of-State to International Criminal

Tyrants that violently suppress the legitimate rights and democratic aspirations of their people should take note.

From the International Criminal Court (ICC):

Today 16 May 2011, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo requested ICC judges to issue arrest warrants against Muammar Abu Minya Gaddafi, Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and the Head of the Intelligence Abdullah Al Sanousi from crimes against humanity committed in Libya since February 2011.

The Office gathered direct evidence about orders issued by Muammar Gaddafi himself, direct evidence of Saif Al Islam organizing the recruitment of mercenaries, and direct evidence of the participation of Al Sanousi in the attacks against demonstrators. Additionally the Office documented how the three held meetings to plan the operations.

The evidence shows that civilians were attacked in their homes; demonstrations were repressed using live ammunition, heavy artillery was used against participants in funeral processions, and snipers placed to kill those leaving the mosques after the prayers.

The evidence shows that persecution is still ongoing in the areas under Gaddafi control. Gaddafi's forces prepare lists with names of alleged dissidents. They are being arrested, put into prisons in Tripoli, tortured and made to disappear. "These are not just crimes against Libyans, they are crimes against humanity as a whole," the Prosecutor said.

This is the first case in Libya. The Office will further investigate allegations of massive rapes, war crimes committed by different parties during the armed conflict that started at the end of February, and attacks against sub-Saharan Africans wrongly perceived to be mercenaries. "There will be no impunity for such crimes in Libya," said the Prosecutor.

Capitol Hill Cubans

Cuba rejects U.S. claim over dissident's death

14:15, May 17, 2011 

Cuba on Monday rejected U.S. politicians' claim over the death of a Cuban dissident, saying Washington said so because it is "seeking excuses" to invade the island country.

The official daily Granma said in an editorial that the claim over the death of Juan Wilfredo Soto Garciais is the most recent example of the "hundreds of smear campaigns" orchestrated by the U.S. government against Cuba.

Soto, 46, died on May 8 at a hospital in Santa Clara, central Cuba. Fellow dissidents and several U.S. politicians claimed that he was beaten by police two days earlier, which, they said, led to his death.

The Cuban government denied any police aggression and said Soto died of acute pancreatitis and complications from other diseases he was suffering at the time. Testimony of Soto's relatives published by Cuban press backed the official account of the death.

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/Source: Xinhua

Cuba further loosens regulation of private sector

HAVANA (Reuters) – Communist-run Cuba has given all small businesses the authority to hire labor and will loosen other regulations governing private enterprise, the government said in a statement on Monday.
The measure was the latest indication that President Raul Castro's government has decided to loosen its grip on economic sectors that include retail services, construction and transportation in favor of private business.
Last year, the government allowed some types of family businesses and skilled trades to hire workers.
The government said that "the Council of Ministers agreed to extend to all non-state activities authorization to contract workers and continue the process of making more flexible regulations on self employment."
It provided no further details in the statement read on state-run television.
The Cuban economy is dominated by the state, which employed about 85 percent of the labor force through 2009.
The government announced plans late last year to lay off hundreds of thousands of workers and move them to what it called the "non-state" sector as part of an efficiency drive.
In the years after the 1959 revolution, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, now retired, nationalized all small businesses.
Self-employment, often a euphemism for small private businesses, was first authorized in 1993 after the fall of the Soviet Union plunged Cuba into crisis, but it was severely restricted until last year.
In September, the government began issuing new licenses, allowed family businesses to rent space outside their homes, sign contracts with the state, hire labor and seek bank credits, among other measures.
More than 200,000 new licenses have been granted since October, compared with less than 150,000 that existed previously.
(Reporting by Marc Frank; Editing by Jeff Franks and Peter Cooney)

Cuba dissident accused of promoting U.S. intervention

- With stern warnings and wide array of propaganda, the Cuban government on Monday accused opponents of seeking internal excuses leading to a military conflict with the United States.
Wilfredo Soto dissident Juan Garcia, who died on Sunday May 8, 2011

"Our people will not be confused by the counter   internal media seeking a pretext to promote conflict United States and will respond calmly and firmly to the actions of these mercenaries, "said a editorial takes up the entire front page the official journal Granma.

Entitled "Making excuses," the article says Cuba is currently the victim of a smear campaign for international  denigrate and blame the Cuban authorities for the death of dissident  Wilfredo Soto Juan García, which occurred on Sunday 8 May in of Santa Clara.
But it goes much further. Granma come to question whether these  campaigns could not serve America and its "employees internal "to invoke the protection of civilians and bombing the Havana.
The death of Soto Garcia is the subject of sharp controversy between the Cuban regime and opposition sectors, which confer dissident's death a police beating. International Organizations as Amnesty International and the World Organisation Against Torture have requested an investigation to Havana, which has submitted testimonies from relatives and medical documentation to confirm death as a result of acute pancreatitis.
-Winning "informants?
According to the editorial, the smear campaign came from political media, journalists and "multiplatinum whistleblower" reported a fact that did not exist, without attempting a minimum conformation.
The last reference seems aimed at the blogger Yoani Sánchez and psychologist journalist Guillermo Farinas, Sakharov Prize 2010, who reported from the beginning the death of Soto Garcia because the blow received on 5 May.
"Quite shamelessly pushed for converting a pancreatitis a political assassination, a police detention justified under three hours for disturbing the peace, without any use of force, in a beating death, a person with a history criminal, sentenced to two years imprisonment for common crime, a political dissident, a victim of long sentence " the article said.
Article arremente also against Barack Obama for President recent statements on the case of Soto García and whips especially the Cuban-American Rep. David Rivera.
"Even the president Barack Obama in Miami and to a rather tendentious question of Univision, although he said details remained to be precise, also speaking on Vidal Park events that never happened, "he said Granma.
Escalation of repression

As for Rivera, who is given celebrity "electoral corruption and extremist campaigns" Granma states that "it is not surprising that he should lie, but to do so clumsily."
The newspaper believes that those who reported the death version by beating "should not have impunity" and "should confess error and apologize to the family whose grief is not respected. "
"At least they should admit the mistake and apologize to the family whose grief is not respected," it said.
The inclusion of full-page article of the journal Granma and hortatory tone of their accusations could mark new shares  repression against the dissident movement in the heat of escalating arrests, pro-government mob demonstrations and actions violent in recent weeks.
The government crackdown on the opposition demonstrations are intensified after the words of Raúl Castro during VI Congress of the Communist Party, extolling the right of loyalists to "defend his revolution against "Internal mercenaries" to flout the laws established in the country.

Cuban official daily accuses dissidents of attempting to create conflict with the U.S.

 16.05.2011 / 16:20 h

Havana, May 16 (EFE) .- The newspaper Granma, spokesman Communist Party of Cuba (PCC only), accused the dissidents of find and make "excuses media" as the recent death of Wilfredo Soto opponent Juan Garcia to promote conflict United States.
Granma reports that the death of Soto García has become the last "disinformation campaign" against Cuba, in an editorial across its front page to criticizing the "counter" and "mercenaries", as the government calls dissidents, as well as U.S. and European conservative politicians and media international communication.
"Our people will not be overwhelmed by internal counterrevolutionaries seeking a pretext media to instigate a dispute with the United States will respond with calmly and firmly to the actions of these mercenaries, "he adds Granma.
"What is intended with these campaigns? Only denigrate or worse? Will the movers and shakers and their domestic employees would love to invoke the "protection of civilians' to bomb the Havana? ", Stresses the newspaper.
Representatives of Cuban dissidents have alleged that Soto Garcia, a 46 year-old opponent of the central city of Santa Clara, died May 8 in a hospital as a result of an alleged beat police received two days earlier.
The Cuban government has denied that police aggression and ensures that Soto Garcia died due to acute pancreatitis and complications Other illnesses and suffering.
In recent days, Cuban media have reported evidence García Soto family of confirming the official version while the dissent insists that several witnesses alleged assault, which would have occurred in a public park- are being threatened by the police not to speak.
Granma criticizes that this new campaign, which it considers "Deflated" in 72 hours, he tried to turn "a pancreatitis a political assassination, "a" justified under police custody three hours for disturbing public order and without any use of deadly force in a beating "and" a person with a history criminal (Soto Garcia) "on a breakaway.
The official organ of the PCC also attacks various media international news treatment of the case against political appointment as U.S. Rep. David Rivera (R) or Spanish conservative MEP Jose Ignacio Salafranca for his statements about his death.
Also accused of being curious and strange that the U.S. President Barack Obama, has ruled on the case in a recent television interview.
Granma contrasts the echo of which qualifies as "campaigns" Cuba against the "silence" on issues such as civilian deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan, the alleged existence of prisons U.S. secret in Europe, the case base Guantanamo, secret CIA flights or the consequences of economic crisis in the poorest sections of Europe.
Pastor Mario Lleonart Felix, one of the last people alive who saw the opponent Juan Soto Wilfredo Garcia, he would become a priority of the Cuban State Security, and may even suffer physical attacks danger of death, denounced holdouts from the Havana.

Lleonart said Monday in an article entitled "God hates a lie", that relatives of the deceased Soto García, alias El Estudiante, have been pressured by the Cuban political police to cover up the crime, and reported the case of media manipulation.

"The crime of Wilfredo Soto Juan Garcia has added even more treacherous when, once again trying to ignore another death, the murderer lay hold unscrupulous methods take as little as a testament to his sister Rosa, with psychiatric disorders from adolescence and greatly susceptible to be manipulated, as has happened in this case consideration, "lamented the Baptist pastor.

The religious Other examples abounded in of the manipulation that has undergone the family of slain opposition.

García Soto, who died in the first minutes of the morning of Sunday, May 8, hours after being beaten by two policemen in the park in Santa Clara Vidal (central Cuba), had refused to leave the place request of one of his killers, saying he was "a free man."

Then two soldiers severely beat the opponent, then handcuffed, while other members of the political police prevented some curious take pictures.

Following the claims of opponents, played internationally, the Cuban government has mounted an operation to discredit the complainants of the crime, based on the trite excuse that they are trying to smear "Cuba" and actually Soto García was never beaten. Lleonart, dissident sources said, would be in the sight of law enforcement agencies.

The Pastor has warned that he "and other references about thirty witnesses willing to testify what he said the student (who had been beaten by police), we are also Cuba."

On Tuesday May 10, psychologist and independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas said from Havana that the Cuban political police has threatened several witnesses to the beating of Juan Wilfredo Soto and relatives of the dissidents was "terrified" and did not want to talk to have no conflict, an end confirmed by other dissidents.

In Cuba, a country where the judiciary is subordinate to political dissidents survive in abject helplessness. Hence it is not credible allegations that opponents of Castro lie about the case, as they would be exposing themselves to long prison sentences, even risking their lives.