Sunday, July 3, 2011

Libya. Battle in Zawiyah.New Video...

LPP First Draft...

Chavez in Castro's Magic Mountain

Saturday, July 2, 2011
Great column by former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda:

The secretive guest at Castro's Magic Mountain

Chavez's secret convalescence in Havana gives the countries a chance to work out a Plan B
The news photo is evocative: the ancient Fidel Castro at the bedside of the ailing Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, who is currently convalescing in an extended, secretive stay in a Havana hospital.

Perhaps they are discussing the misdeeds of imperialism and the enduring virtues of Simon Bolivar and Jose Marti.

In any event, the scene brings to mind Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, perhaps the greatest novel of the 20th century. Set in the Swiss Alpine village of Davos on the eve of the First World War, the novel revolves around the illness, recovery or death of a dozen or so patients of tuberculosis or "consumption", all secluded in a sanatorium on the slopes of the magic mountain.

Memorable characters inhabit the novel — Madame Chauchat; the grief-stricken Mexican woman known as Tous-les-Deux; and of course the protagonist, Hans Castorp. But at the novel's core are the endless conversations between two patients, Lodovico Settembrini and Leo Naphta, respectively the Italian idealist and the Jesuit cynic, about war, morality, life, death and the saving of Castorp's soul.

Admittedly it's a leap from Chavez to Castro.

Mr Castro and Mr Chavez are not Thomas Mann's creations, and it is doubtful that their exchanges match the philosophical and historical musings of the German novelist. But what is almost as extraordinary is the notion of two strongmen — one a brutal dictator, the other a wannabe autocrat — incapacitated by old age or ill health in the only place where the nature of their ailments can be kept secret.

There Mr Castro and Mr Chavez can try to deal with the consequences of their own demise, given their mutual dependence. In Mr Castro's case, at least, we know he has been ill for nearly five years, though largely recovered now; he is almost 85 years old and lucid only on and off (according to people who have been with him recently); and he no longer runs Cuba on a daily basis.

We don't know what his prognosis may be or how much influence he wields on his "younger" brother Raul, now 80.

In principle, Raul is committed to significant change in the island's ramshackle economy — while conserving total power.

We know much less about Mr Chavez, which is the whole point of the Havana convalescence. Whatever else may be true, the Venezuelan caudillo's claim that he will spend weeks in Cuba because of an emergency operation on a pelvic abscess is not credible.

Cuba isn't respected for its hi-tech, top-level medical expertise. We can better evaluate Cuban social medicine or its barefoot doctors when international comparisons become possible.

Whatever ails Mr Chavez — from prostate cancer to a minor infection — is a mystery. So the explanation for his undergoing treatment in another country is secrecy.

The only other country in the world where the health of a president remains a state secret is North Korea, a bit far from Venezuela.
If nothing is seriously wrong with Mr Chavez (perhaps aside from an ailment that might cause personal embarrassment, given macho considerations), unpublicised healthcare in Havana will allow him to keep everything under wraps and return home triumphantly, whenever medical and political criteria coincide.

Contrariwise, if Mr Chavez is terminally ill, his Cuban connection will enable him and the Castro brothers to plot a course for the future that hopefully — for the trio at least, if not for the peoples of their two nations — ensures continuity of policy and alliances.
Many bets have been lost in the past half-century over claims that Cuba cannot survive without one or another essential prop. Surely Cuba depends on a massive Venezuelan subsidy — hard currency and cheap oil in exchange for Cuban doctors, athletics coaches and security personnel. The loss of that subsidy could well be an insurmountable challenge to the Castro regime's survival.
Similarly, the very notion of chavismo without Chavez may well be chimerical. He has no viable successor, and all the Cuban intelligence and security agents in Caracas would likely prove unable to put Humpty Dumpty back together again in the form of Mr Chavez's older brother, Adan; or his vice- president, Diosdado Cabello; or his former cabinet minister and head goon, Jesse Chacon.

If that is the case, Havana and Caracas have a problem. Mr Chavez came to power 12 years ago. With the exception of the Castros, he is the longest-standing current chief of state in Latin America.

Presidential elections are scheduled in Venezuela for December next year. But the disappearance of the lieutenant-colonel would either force an early vote or create a power vacuum where anything could happen. The Cubans would have scant influence on the outcome, but their fate may largely depend on it. No wonder the Castros want to keep Mr Chavez alive and under their wing, at least until he recovers, or they all come up with Plan B.
Meanwhile, we can just guess what ails Mr Chavez, and what the tropical Naphta and Settembrini are holding forth about on an island "mountain" that is hardly magical any more. 
Capitol Hill Cubans

EFT Archive (Research Alert Group)...Chavez's Dangerous Liaisons...

Venezuela teams up with Russia and Iran.

12:00 AM, Sep 19, 2008 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
Russia's dispatch of long-range bombers to Venezuela for joint military exercises may not signal the start of a new Cold War, but it does provide more evidence that Hugo Chávez has become the chief source of hemispheric instability. To be sure, the Venezuelan president is increasingly unpopular in Latin America (and increasingly unpopular at home), and his influence over regional politics is declining. But high oil prices have given him the power to cause trouble and threaten U.S. interests.
Venezuela's announcement that it will stage war games with Russian forces was at least partly a response to American security policy. Earlier this year, the U.S. Navy reestablished its Fourth Fleet, which had been disestablished way back in 1950. The Fourth Fleet will oversee U.S. naval activities in Latin American and Caribbean waters. By planning sophisticated military maneuvers with Russian warships, Chávez is making a bold show of anti-Yankee defiance. (The Kremlin, of course, has its own reasons for wanting to irritate Washington.)
His pockets bulging with oil wealth, Chávez has spent billions of petrodollars on Russian weapons. He has also reached out to Iran and cultivated warm bilateral relations. As the Los Angeles Times recently reported, Western officials fear that the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah "is using Venezuela as a base for operations." One Western anti-terrorism official told the Times that the Venezuela-Iran relationship is "becoming a strategic partnership."

LPP Archive...

Chavez heads to Iran on diplomatic tour


October 18, 2010|By the CNN Wire Staff
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, left, shares a toast with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is set to arrive in Iran Monday night to discuss the expansion of relations between the two countries, according to Iran's semiofficial Fars News Agency.
His visit comes on the heels of stops in the Russian Federation and Belarus, where the Venezuelan leader signed economic cooperation deals, which included an agreement with Moscow to build Venezuela's first nuclear power plant.
With its burgeoning nuclear program, Iran has shown interest in uranium deposits in Venezuela.
Chavez will stay for two days in Tehran, and will be accompanied by a Venezuelan delegation, Fars said.

Unhappy Face...

Chavez stay in Cuba could last for months, official says

By the CNN Wire Staff
July 2, 2011 1:56 p.m. EDT
Doctors in Cuba removed a cancerous tumor from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's body, the president said Thursday.
Doctors in Cuba removed a cancerous tumor from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's body, the president said Thursday.
  • The vice president says Chavez will be back before 180 days
  • The time frame is much longer than originally stated
  • Chavez will meet with three Cabinet ministers on Saturday
(CNN) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's stay in Cuba, where he is being treated for cancer, could last for months, the country's vice president told a Colombian radio station.
Vice President Elias Jaua told W Radio Friday that Chavez would return to Venezuela "before 180 days."
The timetable is much larger than initial government claims that Chavez would return by July 5.
Chavez this week admitted that he had a cancerous tumor removed and was undergoing further treatment. The announcement confirmed rumors as his stay in Cuba extended, despite government reports that he had undergone a simple procedure.
So far, the government says that Chavez is remotely carrying out all his duties and is not in any form incapacitated in a way that would prevent him from doing so. From Cuba, Chavez has overseen a prison standoff that is going on its third week, and has given his ministers orders, officials have said.
Chavez details recent surgery in speech
Chavez walks with Cuba's Castro
But the Venezuelan constitution states that in the event of an absence, the executive powers must be transferred to the vice president, opposition politicians say.
Specifically, Article 234 of the document states that for a "temporary absence" of the president of up to 90 days, the vice president will fill in for him. This period can be extended an additional 90 days by lawmakers.
The pro-Chavez majority in Congress is likely to block any vote to label Chavez as "temporarily absent," but Jaua appeared to be referring to the law when he said the president would be back before 180 days.
In the meantime, the government continues to push the image of a Chavez carrying out his presidential duties from Cuba.
On Saturday, Chavez was to meet in Cuba with several of his Cabinet members, the state-run AVN news agency reported. The meeting, which will be broadcast by Cuban television, will include Agriculture Minister Juan Carlos Loyo, Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, and Science, Technology and Industry Minister Ricardo Menendez, the agency reported.
The government on Friday released video footage of a similar meeting Chavez held with his top general, foreign minister and his brother, who is a governor.

Cuba plans limited housing and auto market

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba will authorize limited housing and car markets by 2012, the Communist party newspaper Granma said on Friday, a move awaited by local residents since the early 1960s when home and most auto sales were banned.
Granma, reporting on a recent meeting of top level party, government and other officials, said Cubans would still be prohibited from owning more than one home. But for the first time, they could buy and sell the dwellings with minimal government interference.
A ban on the buying and selling of cars registered after the 1959 Revolution will be completely lifted, Granma said, as will the prohibition on owning more than one vehicle.
The measures will not apply to foreigners unless they are permanent residents.
Cubans will have to pay a still undefined tax on the transactions and, in the case of homes, carry sales out through a state bank.
Regulations restricting inheritance and donations of a home will also be significantly loosened, Granma said. The changes would make it easier to sell property or pass it on to relatives upon death or before moving to another country, avoiding the now frequent confiscations by the state.
While there is legal home ownership in socialist Cuba, property owners cannot lawfully sell their houses. They can only do a swap, or "permuta," for another home, supposedly of equal value.
A thriving "permuta" market exists, and it is not unusual for money to be exchanged, but only under the table.
Car ownership in Cuba is permitted for a relatively privileged few, among them artists and athletes who have worked abroad, and doctors who have served overseas medical missions.
There is an exception for cars that predate the 1959 Revolution, mostly vintage American models that can be bought and sold freely by anyone. Long gone from roads in the rest of the world, they are still widely used as taxis in Cuba.
Plans to liberalize the sale of personal property were announced at a Communist Party Congress earlier this year upon the adoption of economic reforms. But they were moving ahead slowly due to the mountain of laws and regulations that existed, Granma said. The new deadline is the close of 2011, Granma said.
The news was music to the ears of most local residents who have bought and sold their homes and cars under the table for years and have complained about the bureaucracy and corruption that has grown up around the restrictions.
"It's great, and now all those people who have made our lives miserable and turned the regulations into a way to make money might have to earn a living," Marlen, a Havana nurse, quipped. She asked that her last name not be used.
Granma said authorization for buying and selling property would be performed by licensed notaries in the future, avoiding months and years of waiting for approval from various ministries and other government bodies.
(Editing by Jeff Franks)

Prison because they violated their civil rights...

Human Rights / A conflict in civil society. Case: Sunday Ifraín Díaz Fuentes
If Cuba does not violate rights civilians, this man was not serving 13 years of deprivation of liberty, aggravated as received a shot in the leg by a  official state security, an attempt to escape and many beatings, which have been on hunger strike since the May 11th of this in the Combinado del Este prison. Being led the National Prisoners Hospital located in the center prison.

Havana, July 1 / Communicators Network Community / Facts: Ifraín was in Russia in 2005, and wanted to take over there to  his wife (Anahy González Gómez) and his son (Frank) through letters of invitation, but the child is a minor could not travel the way the government has taken to calling "temporary." The Mom decided to leave and join her husband, but after 20 days back, it missed the child.
However, the desire to join Ifraín did not stop with his family, and  In 2007, after three months of being in the U.S. of America, decided to remove them from the island on a jet ski. Also I wanted to be a friend, Ruben Concepcion Garcia, who considers his foster brother, but it was too heavy for the crossing so small ship at sea. As was successful in his first effort, he decided back a few days to rescue Reuben.
On the first occasion were linked to the possibility of leaving the country, two soldiers from active duty, those who accepted receive $ 70, which they divided, in addition to stealing Ifraín belongings of the watercraft. It is noteworthy that this fact nothing was heard until the second time he tried to Ifraín enter the island, which had no link with soldiers above.
The Playa del Chivo was penetrated by the first and the second  Playa de Baracoa. When you repeat your trip, which was unsuccessful, was captured the watercraft, driven to the border and the delivered (by chance) to one of the soldiers involved in the first entry, which appropriated a pair of slippers Sponge priced at 1.90 (one U.S. dollar ninety cents).

This abduction was the only link to the case and not Ifraín has no connection with, and which was not a victim or participant, because the stolen property had been seized by the police. Without But both inputs were tried by a military court, which is inconsistent with the first paragraph of Article 5, Chapter I, Title II of the Criminal Procedure Law, which says: "It is up to  Military Tribunals knowledge of criminal proceedings for the commission of an offense resulting in a military accused, even when one of the participants or the victims are civilians. "
Do not let the family participate in the trial Ifraín, which was qualified as defendant poses itself as "exemplary" was  out at the local site in the 5th and 214 streets in the Theater Havana Detachment of the Directorate of Border Guard Troops of the Ministry of Interior and was tried twice for trafficking.

As Ifraín had been living abroad a few years, not allowed him access to a lawyers' lawyer, so had to pay between 1200 and 2000, CUC International Law Firm have the right to be defended by appointment. Unable to access much money, was defended by a legal counsel.
Not in the Military Court Case No.72/07 of Territorial West, a reference to the shot that struck him in the leg when arrested in the province of Matanzas to 45 days -About-his second attempt to enter the country. Ifraín is was in shorts, barefoot and shirtless, which could see clearly he was unarmed, yet one of the military participated in the operation of their capture, headed by an officer who Frank calls himself by the Department of Operational Safety  State, shot less than a meter away, across the bullet one leg at the knee, which has left him sequelae walking.
Yes, the Judgement referred to in the record a Medical Certificate of the accused, unable to know whether it refers to gunshot wound or trauma that caused the beating to which he was submitted at the time of his capture.
From the above it follows that no one was even warned by the injury that caused her squad members who were responsible for capturing Ifraín, when he fled in  his second attempt to enter the country.
After numerous efforts made by his family, 17 April 2008, ten months after his arrest, was operated Ifraín  several herniated discs that had him unable to move  feet, but this is not the only surgical procedure that has been  subject, also in September 2009, suffering from severe pain vomiting stomach and gallbladder and operated, this time taking the hospital's decision to escape by jumping from a first floor, with captured in the attempt.
Ifraín raises that he was beaten with the tonfa (stick regulation), dragged him handcuffed, when he drove the carriage of prisoners, he was returned to pound at the entrance of Combined East and  at the entrance of PERT No.2. Account at that time asked their captors to kill him before returning to the "monster or Hell"  which is the prison where they were slowly killing due to lack of food, poor living conditions and lack of medical care. The more Roely was prevented to continue giving strokes to reach the  HNR (National Hospital for Prisoners).
Even if you were making films (Dr. Maella), its captors beat him for the right eye and pulled his head against the wall tile body lair.
After all these attacks keep him incommunicado for within 3 months, only let you talk with your family on the phone  once a month for 10 minutes. It was impossible to consent to a visit family show him the beating he had received.
Among other things Ifraín complains of blackmail used with sister during the time he was on the run in the second raid  and she spent 60 days in detention by the political police, subjecting  questioning and telling lies then fade away  the process of the trial.
The family sought a judicial inspection and the Supreme Court People in the person of the president of the Military Division, Colonel John Marino Fuentes Footwear, dismissed this claim, the 2009, and raised the penalty of 13 years in prison tended to a minimum qualifying high social dangerousness  of what happened.
He was also tried again for the attempted escape of prisoners, on May 26, 2011, imposing a penalty of nine years of joint imprisonment.
Currently you have not been allowed into the country to his son less *, which he claims give permission and explained to her sister Aymara, only in case of death is that the child may obtain a visa  humanitarian.
Here is the story of a man just 44 years of age, their family and their infant son going through difficult times in hell that makes competition to that of Dante, so you can stay in power a regime imposed by terror.

* In a country that claims by all means the right to spy convicted and confessed in the United States to receive visits family. (Editor)

The chain of command By Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello ...

The chain of command
Written by indicators in fisheries   

By: Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello .-

The charges in the highest levels of government are now covered by high-ranking military, some of them even had not been removed. But also the high intermediate direction, you understand business, business mixed with foreigners, managers of large shops and hotels, there are junior officers, colonels, lieutenant colonels and majors, retired, but within the range of the working age to civilian life.
It's all a breed that tends to remain separated from the rest of society, as a special class that has access to what two generations of poor people may not have ever seen, and unfortunately continue to this dictatorial regime, they will die without ever knowing . Mention may be made to the Jose Angel Buesa verses that say "pass through my life without knowing that you spent."
These members of the Mafia family that runs the country, live in better houses, relatively, as they are building more than 50 years, which were stolen from their owners, through the laws said they were for the people , located in neighborhoods well served, in the case of Havana: Miramar, Vedado, Nuevo Vedado, and the provinces occupy the best houses in the municipalities where they direct. They have cars, the first level with white sheet, for which the police did not even look, the other with private tuition and most importantly without rationing gasoline.
This kind of licentiousness, amid the many problems facing the country, not let them even bothering to issues that concern them as leaders, much less deal with. Most people think how to bring new equipment for the home, contribute to their children and grandchildren are in the latest fashions, can attend a few evening activities that are paid in currency, and most importantly being able to manage to a trip out of "terroir", which allows carrying "stuff".
Only one comment made to appreciate that provides rain on wet, are internal controls that are made to state enterprises. They spend years and years of repeating the same accounting "unreliable", which actually is not accounting and figures shown to the world as a result of the economic efficiency of the country, leaving a bag full of inaccuracies.
The comptroller general of the Republic, Gladys Bejerano Portela, have to go to find synonyms for words you use, they are totally worn out, and have not solved the problem of general lack of control that exists in the economy and the country's finances.
It is assumed that managers at different levels, are the guarantors of maximum care and control resources, but always blame the workers, with the tired rhetoric that goods are of the people is perhaps why when the makers do not feel they are robbing the state.
As reported in the official press, this year in the sixth Test of Internal Control in Havana, was a setback, because although, quantitatively, there is a slight growth of acceptable ratings (55%), the qualitative nature is negative, as detected six alleged crimes and certain high economic effects were higher than in 2010.
Who is responsible? First of all can not look up, you have to put their eyes on the lower levels and Danilo Guzman has served as comptroller provincial chief in Havana, defined as causes of these deficiencies: loss of ethical and moral values ​​( without taking into consideration that the meaning of ethics is a set of moral rules that govern human behavior) are also part of this disaster, as the provincial leader: the lack of counseling, supervision and control by higher levels of the entity; not to use the risk prevention plan as a working tool and his measures are ineffective, lack of demand in the implementation of resolutions ministerial misconduct and violation of legal provisions, (which no one knows or has stored in a drawer, as usual to say Raul Castro), administrative and accounting uncontrolled, inefficient planning and lack of analysis with the workers of economic and budget plans, among others.

However, I miss that one commands, much less people obey, which is a real chaos that occurs anywhere in the country can be reviewed. This implies that the authorities lost control, however the country is militarized.

From the above theory can be drawn as to what is going to derail the system is the loss of command, which increasingly becomes more pronounced and more evident to all.

Havana, June 30, 2011.
Last Updated on Saturday, July 2, 2011 10:19