Friday, May 27, 2011

BBC News - Libya Death toll from escalating unrest tops 100

BBC News - Libya Death toll from escalating unrest tops 100%

The Latest Tyrant-Turned-"Reformer"

Friday, May 27, 2011
China wants North Korea's Kim Jong-Il to become the latest tyrant-turned-"reformer" -- in the same mold as Libya's Saif Gaddafi, Syria's Bashar al-Assad and, of course, Cuba's Raul Castro.

And just like his tyrannical brethren, Kim is not motivated by a voluntary zeal to provide greater freedoms, rights and opportunities to his people.

To the contrary -- what he seeks are distractions to navigate through North Korea's current economic crisis, so that he (and his family) can maintain their (brutal) dictatorial grip on power.

Just last year, South Korean newspapers wrote:

There has been a lot of activity in the border area between North Korea and China in early December that experts attribute to changes in China's Northeast Development Strategy and North Korea's economic reform. Furthermore, they suggest there have been signals that there will be an economic reform in North Korea that will be launched in earnest starting next year.

One expert in China who has had exchanges with high ranking North Korean officials for the past several years told a Hankyoreh reporter recently, "I have heard that North Korea will announce its plans for economic reform through the 2010 New Year's Joint Editorial." He added, "I have also heard that North Korea's leadership has decided to move up the schedule for economic reform after Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's visit last October."

He continued to say, "The price of goods doubled following the currency reform that happened Nov. 30, but North Korea's government is prepared to release stocked goods when it announces its economic reform." He added, "The economic reform will be North Korean in style, in that it will attempt to maintain an ability to control and lead the market economy."
Doesn't this last sentence sound familiar?
And yesterday, Reuters reported:

China seen nudging North Korea's Kim on economic reform
North Korea's secretive leader Kim Jong-il finished his latest visit to the Chinese capital on Thursday, embarking on the next and possibly last leg of a train journey that Beijing has used as a rolling tutorial in the virtues of economic reform.
Kim's visit to China in August left the "impression that the Chinese were trying to push harder on the North Koreans to move in the direction of undertaking certain kinds of economic reforms," said Scott Snyder, an Washington D.C.-based expert on North Korea at the Asia Foundation [...]
As Pyongyang's ties with South Korea and much of the outside world have soured, Kim has leaned more on ally Beijing for support, which has cost China both in economic aid and in strains with South Korea and other nations alarmed by North Korea's nuclear weapons development and military brinkmanship.
"The main factor is that North Korea, especially the leadership, is hungry for cash and China is the only viable source of cash," said Snyder.

Surely Kim will turn to Raul for advice on his public relations campaign.

Capitol Hill Cubans

North Korea frees American detained for half year

Robert King Eddie Jun AP – In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, Robert King, left, U.S. special envoy for North …
BEIJING – North Korea freed an American held for a half year for reportedly proselytizing, handing him Saturday to a U.S. envoy who said Washington had not promised to provide aid in exchange for the man's release.
The envoy, Robert King, accompanied Eddie Jun on a flight from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, and told reporters after arriving in Beijing that Jun would return to the United States to be reunited with his family "within a day or two." Jun did not appear with King before reporters.
Jun, a Korean-American who traveled to North Korea several times and had business interests there, was arrested in November, with the North's official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, saying he was accused of committing a serious crime. Pyongyang didn't provide details about the alleged crime, but South Korean press reports say Jun was accused of spreading Christianity.
King, the U.S. envoy for North Korean human rights, traveled to Pyongyang with a team of specialists earlier in the week to assess the severity of the latest of North Korea's chronic food shortages. He said he spent 3 1/2 days in talks with North Korean Foreign Ministry officials. He did not specify how much time was spent discussing Jun but tried to quash any speculation that the U.S. offered aid to obtain his freedom.
"We did not negotiate or agree to any provision of food assistance," King told reporters. He said he would report back to Washington.
KCNA announced Friday that North Korea would release Jun after King "expressed regret at the incident on behalf of the U.S. government and assured that it would make all its efforts to prevent the recurrence of similar incident."
In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner welcomed Jun's release. He said the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, which represents U.S. interests in the country, had confirmed the North was going to free the American. He said Jun was in decent health.
Toner said King had raised Jun's case in discussions with North Korean officials, and visited the American on Thursday. The spokesman said he did not have details on the talks and so could not comment on whether King had expressed regret to North Korea.
"We welcome their decision. It's certainly a positive step," Toner told a news conference.
He said it would have no bearing on the U.S. decision on whether to provide food aid and on restarting dialogue with the North. On engaging the North, Toner said the U.S. was still looking for "concrete actions" in other areas and an improvement in the North's relations with South Korea.
The United States, which fought on South Korea's side during the 1950-53 Korean War, doesn't have diplomatic staff based inside North Korea.
The North said that former President Jimmy Carter also asked for Jun's pardon during a recent visit.
In recent years, North Korea has detained several Americans, one of them for trying to proselytize, and they were often freed only after high-profile negotiations.
North Korea officially guarantees freedom of religion, but authorities often crack down on Christians, who are seen as a Western-influenced threat to the government. The distribution of Bibles and secret prayer services can mean banishment to a labor camp or execution, defectors from the country have said.
The news on Jun came on the same day Kim Jong Il returned home from a weeklong trip to China. Kim's visit there, his third in just over a year, was seen by many as an attempt to secure aid, investment and support for his dynastic transfer of power to his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.
Kim Jong Il, in a thank-you letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao, said the China-North Korea friendship, "sealed in blood and handed down by the elder generations of the two countries, will develop steadily through generations in the common interests and wishes of the two peoples," according to the North's state media.
North Korea is thought by many to be in dire need of outside help, and China is its only major ally. The North has antagonized many through its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It pulled out of international six-nation talks aimed at ridding it of nuclear programs more than two years ago.
Beijing supports a resumption of the negotiations, but South Korea and the United States demand that North Korea first exhibit sincerity toward disarmament.
North Korea's population also faces chronic hunger.
The U.N. World Food Program launched a $200 million dollar international appeal late last month after it concluded that more than 6 million of North Korea's 23 million people were in urgent need of aid. It said the North's public distribution system would run out of food between May and July.
Associated Press writers Foster Klug in Seoul, South Korea, and Matthew Pennington in Washington contributed to this report.

Cuba to grant private enterprises payroll tax moratorium, allow larger restaurants

HAVANA - Cuba announced new measures Friday to spur the island's push into private enterprise, instituting a moratorium on payroll taxes for small business owners and loosening limits on the size of private restaurants.
Under the new guidelines, anyone who hires one and five workers will not be subject to payroll taxes during 2011.
The measure was adopted at a recent Cabinet meeting chaired by President Raul Castro and announced in Friday's issue of the Communist Party newspaper Granma. It applies to all small business owners, but is likely to have its greatest effect on private restaurants and cafes that employ waiters and cooks.
The government said it will allow such establishments to serve up to 50 diners at a time, up from the 20 that had been permitted previously. Many private restaurants — known as "paladares" — already openly skirted the size limits.
Dozens of new restaurants, some with chic decor and first-world prices, have opened in Havana and other cities since Castro's government began overhauling the economy last year, and more than 222,000 Cubans have taken out licenses to work for themselves since permission for such activities was liberalized in October.
Castro is also seeking to reduce state subsidies and trim a bloated government payroll, though his plan to lay off half a million state workers has stalled indefinitely. Economists say creating jobs in the private sector is crucial to getting that plan back on track. Cuba's Communist government still employs about four in five Cuban workers, and the state controls virtually all means of production.
According to Granma, authorities are also studying whether state-controled real estate could be put to better use by renting it out to private restaurant owners, a measure that could dramatically increase the size and marketability of the new establishments.
Most of the new restaurants have been set up in homes and back yards for lack of commercial space.
The Granma article also laid out rules that make it easier for the self-employed in several areas to claim tax deductions, and to receive a temporary suspension of their business licenses if they don't plan to work.
The economic overhaul aims to pull Cuba out of a deep fiscal morass while preserving the Communist system ushered in by Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution. More changes appear on tap as well, though it is not clear when.
Delegates to a key Communist Party summit in April approved a long list of guidelines for economic changes including legalizing the sale of real estate and cars and expanding the ranks of private co-operatives that could morph into mid-sized companies, though neither measure has yet been passed into law. The party is also studying ways to grant small-business loans to would-be entrepreneurs, create a wholesale market and improve the spotty supply of raw materials.

Cuba and EU experts will recall life and work of Ernest Hemingway

Professionals from a dozen countries participate. SPECIAL
  • The meeting will be devoted to the 50 anniversary of Hemingway
Family have been invited writer and specialist on the subject in both countries

HAVANA, CUBA (25/MAY/2011) .- Professionals  two dozen countries will participate from 16 to 19 June in  Havana at the XIII International Symposium on the life and work American writer Ernest Hemingway, who spent several years in Cuba.

Experts on the personality of the author of 'The Old Man and the sea, 'Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and Nobel in Literature in 1954, will present unpublished facets of the writer, said Wednesday the committee organizer.

The meeting will be devoted to 50 Anniversary Hemingway (1899-1961) and delivered to the Cuban Heritage Farm Watcher (now museum), where he lived the also the author of 'Who do Bell Tolls' for over 20 years in the outskirts of capital.

Relatives have been invited writer specialists on the subject in both countries, among them John Sandford relative novelist and Hemingway, and American scholars of  the artist's life.

The president of the National Council Cultural Heritage, Margarita Ruiz said the meeting will be a way to perpetuate the legacy of one of the most prolific writers  the history of letters, called Bronze God of Literature American.

As headquarters of the symposium, supported by Cuban Ministry of Culture, the organizers chose the Hotel Ambos Mundos, where he stayed for the first time, La Bodeguita del Medio  Floridita Restaurant.

Ruiz said he was working on conservation of much of the literature of Hemingway and transfer to digital format, a process that takes time, due to the large number of existing original.

Concerts are planned, presentations, formal lectures, film shows, activities children and visits to places where the author left his mark on 'Farewell to Arms. "

Former President Fidel Castro and eminent American writer met during the National Tournament  Fisheries of the Needle, 15 May 1960 in the then Navy Barlovento, in western Havana.

Hemingway made three visits to Cuba since 1928 and lived on the island for short periods, until in 1940 purchased Finca Vigia, where he lived until shortly before commit suicide on July 2, 1961.

Spain insists that the EU needs to tackle the common position on Cuba

Trinidad Jiménez believes that Raul Castro "has been brave 'when starting a process of reform and opening on the Island
The Foreign Minister of Spain, Trinidad Jimenez, said  the European Union (EU) must overcome the common position on Cuba and find new ways of dialogue enabling to move towards a better links, EFE reported.
"We understand that the common position is not useful to advance relationships "and" there is broad and pervasive that would have to open a new stage with Cuba, leading to increased dialogue, "the ministers in Brasilia, where he made a visit official.
Jimenez also said that Raul Castro "has been brave" in deciding  launch a process of reform and opening on the Island
"Once decisions have been made in the economic sphere and that   has initiated a process of openness, "the most important thing now is that these reforms "have implementation and development as quickly as possible, "he told reporters the Spanish Minister.

Posted on 05-27-2011

Died the journalist Adolfo Rivero Caro

By Pedro Cortes
Journal Americas

Has died in Miami at the age of 75 years, journalist Adolfo Rivero  Caro, who was one of the founders of the rights movement human in Cuba, where he suffered persecution and imprisonment up he could go into exile.

Rivero Caro became known for her columns in the newspaper El Nuevo Herald, in which he denounced the horrors of communism, a system that knew well and defended democratic ideals from the point of view  conservative and neoliberal.

In his youth embraced Marxist ideas and after a successful movement led by Fidel Castro, has held high positions in the directors of the Cuba Communist Youth.

As he liked to quote a classic story, "if not 20 years Communist is that you have no heart, if you're still at 30 Communist, you do not have heads. "

To those who knew him closely, Rivero Caro had the heart and head. It was for those who knew him through his appearances  on television and in political forums. Their studies civil law at the University of Havana, he gave him skills and  writer passionate about his ideas to maturity.

Son of journalist to get to Miami began to work on that profession, where he excelled as a columnist. Television programs  A Mano Limpia as Oscar Haza, which often involved in  debates.

Many of those who read or heard could not imagine that Cuba was a professor of Marxist philosophy at the University of Havana.

But by 1968, precisely because he was a connoisseur of philosophy  Marxist, was one of the signers of a document addressed to the Committee Central Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) in denouncing the  distortions of communism by the Castro regime. From fell a victim of police harassment policy.

Steps taken in Washingto and Europe for his brother Emilio Adolfo,  journalist who also suffered a political prisoner in Cuba, could Adolfo  go into exile in Paris, from where he went to Washington to work on Radio Martí. Later he came to Miami.

To enter the news of his death, the Americas Journal extends its  condolences to his brother Emilio Adolfo, his son Alexander, her daughter Amparo, his granddaughter and his niece Oriana Irma Alicia Rivero Price and other relatives.

Funeral services will be offered this Saturday from 4 to 8 pm Bernardo Funeral Home in Garcia, 8215 SW 40 Street.

May he rest in peace.

Fariñas, free after twelve hours of arrest in Cuba

The dissident was arrested for the seventh time since end of his hunger strike for 135 days, along with other opponents Santa Clara

Day 27/05/2011 - 9:03 p.m.
Fariñas, libre después de doce horas de arresto en Cuba
Guillermo Fariñas (left) and Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez", victims of the latest crackdown Villa Clara.
Eighteen Cubans have been arrested in the crackdown last against dissidents in the province of Villa Clara, in the center  island. Including independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas, who  2010 staged a hunger strike for 135 days from the date of Orlando Zapata's death until the Castro regime began release those detained in the Black Spring of 2003.
Fariñas remained detained twelve hours along with eleven other opponents the Provincial Police Operations Unit, including twelve noon and midnight on Thursday (six hours on the peninsula). Since July 2010, the Cuban psychologist has been arrested in seven sometimes for hours or days.
The  responsible for Cubanacan Press had gone with his companions the aforementioned police station to demand the release of six other dissidents, including Jorge Luis García Pérez, known as "Antúnez",  arrested the previous day. Fariñas told ABC two years ago, the Villa Clara opposition organizations agreed to an submitted to the detention centers jointly whenever a dissident was arrested during a peaceful protest.
"Antúnez" and five others were arrested on Wednesday during the day called "Boitel-Zapata",  in memory of Pedro Luis Boitel and Orlando Zapata Tamayo, two prisoners political dead in his cell during a hunger strike. The first in 1972 and the second in 2010.
The dissidents were protesting in a square in Placetas, near Santa Clara county. "This is our last battle, the regime did not want to give the public places to express ourselves freelyInsist that these belong to the revolution, "said Farina.
Precisely  next Monday in Madrid presents the biography of the leader Student died in prison in 1972 during a hunger strike. Since then it is a symbol for internal dissent. As we are Orlando Zapata or Guillermo Fariñas. "An unmarked grave, life of Pedro Luis Boitel" is the title of the book of Argentine writer and poet Fernando Gril, presented at 12.00 in the Fine Arts, in an act organized by the Ibero-American Association for Freedom (AIL).

Promote law against companies that help Cuba

 Penalize those who collaborate with the development of the oil industry on the island


The Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, promotes a bill imposing sanctions against companies and individuals  assisting Cuba to develop its oil industry, reported Friday his office.
Ros-Lehtinen introduced the evening of Thursday bill for the protection of coral reefs in the Caribbean, imposed sanctions on "companies and individuals to help Cuba in the development of its oil industry, even in dangerous waters near the Florida Keys, "his office said in a statement released today.
The congresswoman, known for his tough stance against the Cuban regime, said that "it is in our interests national security to deter others from engaging in these risky schemes "to develop the oil industry in Cuba.
Ros-Lehtinen said that, among other things, the initiative seeks to deny entry visas to the United States "to anyone invest over a million dollars in Cuba's oil sector. "
Also  shall be unlawful for any U.S. citizen to help the regime " explore opportunities of drilling (oil) in Cuban waters " added.
It is the third time that Ros-Lehtinen introduced the draft  law, which must be approved in both houses of Congress become law.
For Cuban-American congressman, the legislation will help protect coastal waters and deprive the U.S. and Cuban Government the opportunity to fill their coffers with money oil "while continuing to hold and abusing the Cuban people undermining U.S. security interests. "
Fear Ros-Lehtinen is that foreign aid to develop its industry oil, "the Castro regime to become moguls Caribbean oil. "
The bill is sponsored Democratic Congressman Albio Sires and Gerald Connolly, and Connie Mack Republican, Vern Buchanan, Mario Diaz-Balart, David And Allen B. Rivera West.