Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LPP First Draft...

Desperately Fleeing Castro's "Reforms"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
From Gizmodo:

Man Dies Trying to Flee Cuba Inside Airplane's Landing Gear

While the Castro Bros. play their We-Are-Relaxing-Our-Dictatorship pantomime, things don't seem to be getting much better in Cuba. Otherwise this man would have never died while trying to flee the island -- inside an Airbus A320's landing gear compartment.

Twenty-three year-old Adonis G.B. -- a Cuban national -- was hiding shirtless inside one of the landing gear compartments of an Airbus A320 plane at José Martí International Airport in Havana. He was found when Iberia flight 6620 landed in Madrid at 13:50 local time, about nine hours later. According to the Spanish police, it seems the body was crushed by the landing gear mechanism shortly after take off.

Spain's El Mundo has the disturbing image.

Dissidents Present Democratic Reform Plan

From AFP:

Cuban dissidents push for opening to democracy
Leading dissidents in Cuba have launched a reform plan seeking a democratic opening in the Americas' only one-party Communist-run state.

More than 40 prominent members of a range of outlawed small parties and movements signed and issued the document calling for new laws and a plebiscite as a transition to democracy after more than five decades of communism.

They called upon their more than 11 million fellow Cubans to carry out a "genuine national dialogue and start the process of legal changes that exclude no one, so that Cubans can keep the positive things they have built, and change however they care to, the things they want to change."
Dubbed the "People's Path," the document was signed by dissidents including Guillermo Farinas, Laura Pollan, Martha Beatriz Roque, Hector Maceda, Elizardo Sanchez and Oswaldo Paya.

It calls for Cubans to be restored their freedom of movement inside and outside Cuba; and for freedoms of the press, association, and religion to be guaranteed; and for all people to be eligible for elective office regardless of party affiliation.

"When there is space in which people can participate that will be created by legal changes, citizens' rights to national dialogue will be respected and free elections will be called for all public posts and an assembly to rewrite the constitution," the plan text adds.

Anniversary of a Crime Against Humanity

"In the early morning hours of July 13, 1994, three boats belonging to the Cuban State and equipped with water hoses attacked an old tugboat that was fleeing Cuba with 72 people on board. The incident occurred seven miles off the Cuban coast, outside the port of Havana. The Cuban State boats attacked the tugboat with their prows, while at the same time spraying everyone on the deck of the boat, including women and children, with pressurized water. The pleas to stop the attack were in vain, and the old boat-named the '13 of March' - sank, with a toll of 41 deaths, including ten children."

-- Ted Koppel, ABC's Nightline.

These were the victims of that brutal massacre by the Castro regime:

Abreu Ruíz, Angel René. Age: 3.
Alcalde Puig, Rosa María. Age: 47.
Almanza Romero, Pilar. Age: 31.
Alvarez Guerra, Lissett María. Age: 24.
Anaya Carrasco, Yaltamira. Age: 22.
Balmaseda Castillo, Jorge Gregorio. Age: 24.
Borges Alvarez, Giselle. Age: 4.
Borges Briel, Lázaro Enrique. Age: 34.
Carrasco Sanabria, Martha Mirilla. Age: 45.
Cayol, Manuel. Age: 56.
Enríquez Carrazana, Luliana. Age: 22.
Fernández Rodríguez, María Miralis. Age: 27.
Feu González Rigoberto. Age: 31
García Suárez, Joel. Age: 20.
Góngora, Leonardo Notario. Age: 28.
González Raices, Amado. Age: 50.
Guerra Martínez, Augusto Guillermo. Age: 45.
Gutiérrez García, Juan Mario. Age: 10.
Levrígido Flores, Jorge Arquímedes. Age: 28.
Leyva Tacoronte, Caridad. Age: 5.
Loureiro, Ernesto Alfonso. Age: 25
Marrero Alamo, Reynaldo Joaquín. Age: 48.
Martínez Enriquez, Hellen. Age: 5 Months.
Méndez Tacoronte, Mayulis. Age: 17.
Muñoz García, Odalys. Age: 21.
Nicle Anaya, José Carlos. Age: 3.
Pérez Tacoronte, Yousell Eugenio. Age: 11.
Perodín Almanza, Yasser. Age: 11.
Prieto Hernández, Fidencio Ramel. Age: 51.
Rodríguez Fernández, Xicdy. Age: 2.
Rodríguez Suárez, Omar. Age: 33.
Ruíz Blanco, Julia Caridad. Age: 35.
Sanabria Leal, Miladys. Age: 19.
Suárez Esquivel, Eduardo. Age: 38.
Suárez Esquivel, Estrella. Age: 48.
Suárez Plasencia, Eliécer. Age: 12.
Tacoronte Vega, Martha Caridad. Age: 35
And 4 more who could not be identified.

Life at GTMO after fleeing Castro's Cuba

10:56 PM, Jul 8, 2011  |

When Noel West landed a job as a stock clerk at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in 1955, he felt like a king on the streets of the military facility.
"My first paycheck was $32.00.  I felt like I could buy the whole city at once.  That was the most money I had in my life," West, now in his early 80's said.
By day, he would enter the base with hundreds of others.  By night, he'd head back to his hometown of Caimonera just a few miles away.
But one day while sitting at his desk, West said he noticed chaos breaking out among the Cuban workers on base.
"They said the base is letting go the Cuban workers that were supposedly in favor of Castro--- they were stealing, whatever," West said.
On the spot, West had to decide: Go home to Fidel Castro's Cuba or wake up on base every day while keeping his job.
"I went back to my boss's office and told him, 'Sir, as of right now I am a base resident," he said.
Several others made the same choice, some of whom watch the relationship  between the United States and Cuba closely.  At GTMO, the gates between the base and Cuba are still locked tight.
Once a month, military leadership from each side meet on alternating sides of the fence to discuss everything from neighbor relations to baseball.
"We talk about things on the perimeter of the installation to make sure that--- you want to be collegial so to speak---with your neighbors," Cpt. Kirk Hibbert, the Commanding Officer of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base said.
You can still see Cuban guard towers dotting that perimeter.  The United States has guard towers as well, manned throughout the day.
Cpt. Hibbert, a Tennessee State University alum said he's no diplomat and can't comment on the countries' relationship but he appreciates the history behind GTMO and the men and women like Noel West.
Hibbert said among the most rewarding points of his job is connecting Cubans who chose the base decades ago with the families they may not have seen for about 40 years.
"They're a very unique part of this installation," Hibbert said.  "There is nothing else like it in the world.  I'm truly honored to have the opportunity to sit down and talk to some of these folks."
Noel West said he has no regrets about his decision and doesn't think he has any family back in Cuba he'd like to see.  In fact, he said he doesn't want to see what Cuba has become under Fidel Castro.
He doesn't pay attention to Cuban politics and doesn't trust Cuban news outlets.
"Can you imagine a government in power for 50 years that hasn't done one thing wrong?" he said.
While he's been away, he's also become an American citizen.  Ensuring, at least in his mind, his body will spend the rest of its like on the right side of that perimeter fence.
"I expect to die and be buried as an American citizen and that's it," he said.

Cuba says 13,000 farmers have received loans ...

HAVANA, Cuba (AP) — Cuba says it has extended more than 13,000 farm credits under an agricultural overhaul launched by President Raul Castro.
Ileana Estevez is president of the Banco de Credito y Comercio. She says state banks have lent "millions" at interest rates ranging from three per cent in the first years to a high of seven per cent.
Cuba began restructuring the agricultural sector in 2008, letting private farmers cultivate fallow state land. The initiative aims to reduce dependence on costly food imports and is part of a wider economic overhaul.
Farmers can work plots as big as 100 acres (40 hectares) in renewable agreements of 10 years for individuals and up to 25 years for co-operatives.
State newspaper Juventud Rebelde published Estevez's comments yesterday.


Cuba’s opposition needs exiles’ support not a litmus test on U.S. embargo


For the better part of my life, Cubans’ struggle against tyranny on and off the island has been unfairly undermined and dismissed by the international community as an appendage of the Cold War battle between Washington and Havana.
Given this association, it has been a struggle to get pop culture icons to back the fight for liberty in Cuba. It was a pleasant surprise, then, to hear that Bono mentioned Cuban opposition leader Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet at the U2 concert recently at Sun Life Stadium.
Cuban resistance to despotic regimes, which dates back to the colonial period when Cubans waged wars to free themselves from Spanish rule, has always been founded on an innate and sovereign desire to be free. It is understandable why Cubans outside the country have hitched their cause for a free country to the U.S. wagon — there weren’t many countries offering to stand against the Cuban dictatorship.
However, this sometimes incestuous association with the United States in an effort to rid Cuba of Fidel and Raúl Castro has mostly been counterproductive.
As someone who sustains a strong conviction that historical precedence supersedes all flowery rhetoric and purple prose in determining the intended goals of future political strategies, here’s my sobering conclusion: The current strategy is not working.

Read More 

The car cage

| By Aleaga Pesant
Las Tunas, Cuba, July (  - Leaning against the side rail of the truck, the man in the sweater  olive green sweat profusely. The metal roof helps to raise the temperature over forty degrees, but it's only eleven morning. Truck route to Puerto Padre, Las Tunas up twenty thirty, fifty, sixty passengers. No matter that the regulations require a lower number. In a country full of rules that are violated constantly, not to violate a transcended more. The truck does not leave until filled.
In the truck bed banks there are four lines, two on the right two to the left of the center are high and allow pick up legs to fit more people standing. The man in the sweater olive green is close to a long slot to fresh air. The trucks have no windows or portholes. In the worst cases a  tropical rain will fall on passengers, their clothes and packages.
Authorities fear the truckers. They are the absolute kings transportation in the east. All or almost all moves through  them and thus allowed the arbitrary action against the passengers. A strike or departure of some of them would cripple the country. Therefore there are no controls.
There are no shippers on the terminals, or inspectors to route. Nor are they made technical inspection to trucks, regularly, do not measure levels of environmental pollution generated. Nor is controlled by the speed limit or abuse alcohol by truckers. Hence they become involved as frequently there are so many accidents and deaths from this cause.
A ticket costs five dollars on routes Puerto Padre-Las Tunas Holguín-San Germán, and Santiago-Palma Soriano. A truck costs about $ 25 000 (625 pesos). Bribes to Transport Ministry officials are frequent. Also Community officials and directors of companies providing transport engines, gearboxes and differentials for Maz-500, Ikarus, Pegasus, Roman, and of course, fuel and  oil.
The driver decides when to leave. Close the metal gate by were. Add the comfortable cab with air conditioning and lights the engine. The black smoke out the exhaust pipe and the truck is put into underway.

"Capitalinos" receive summer blackouts...

Adolfo Pablo Borrazá
Centro Habana, Havana, July 13, 2011 (PD) suffer from the capital return of domestic power outages at the gates of the summer season.
Several power outages in different municipalities in the capital recently led to protests and unrest in the population because of the intense heat that rules over the past days.

Digital Spring collected some statements:

"With the heat that is without electricity for the fan, any day you die" referred Germain Lopez, a resident Cotorro.

"This is very difficult to buy an air conditioner. So we have to make do with fans. But these people off the electricity, no more and that's when the inside, gives the lie to Jose Marti when he said:" The burning sun of Cuba " Yoanka ironically, high school student.

"Apart from the unbearable heat, food rotting in refrigerators for lack of cold. This causes discomfort double, but the government does not care, because they have all their facilities and do not lack light" details Emma Dominguez, a neighbor of Centro Habana.

October 10, Cotorro, Centro Habana, Habana Vieja and Arroyo Naranjo, are curiously, the most populated municipalities and also the most affected by power outages.

Cuba: express opposition and a proposal for the democratic transition...

Infolatam / Efe
Havana, July 13, 2011

  • To date 41 have signed the document and dissidents former prisoners of conscience, including many who are exile in Spain.
  • The group proposes the creation of a National Commission consists of members from government, opposition democratic and other components of civil society.
Members of Cuba's internal opposition and former political prisoners reported a democratic transition proposal includes call for a "national dialogue" and a plebiscite about the changes.
"The journey of the people," the name of the new document sent this Wednesday the foreign press, is signed by leaders dissent as the European Parliament's Sakharov prize Oswaldo Payá and William Farinas, the leader of the Ladies in White Laura PollanThe spokesman for the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) Elizardo Sanchez Arco spokesman and Progressive Manuel CuestaAmong others.
It also supports the proposal of former political prisoners "Group of 75 ", as known dissidents who were convicted in the repression of the Black Spring of 2003 and have been released to  Over the past year.
To date 41 have signed the document and dissidents former prisoners of conscience, including many who are exile in Spain.
The signatories call for a peaceful transition towards a democracy by convening a "national dialogue" that lead to free elections to elect a Constituent Assembly and  appoint to public office in the country.
Also call for new laws to guarantee freedom of speech, press or association and rights to travel freely or to have  business or private companies, among others.
Among the steps to transition this group proposes the creation of a National Committee comprising members of government, democratic opposition and other components of civil society.
They also suggest that promote a referendum to decide the sovereign people of changes.
"Only we Cubans to define and decide on changes our society needs and make our project national, "the statement said.
The Human Rights activist on the island, Elizardo Sanchez one of the signatories of the proposal, told Efe that "The path of people "is an" extensive "which aims to establish a base ideological "convergence" towards a process of transition in Cuba.
The Government of Cuba considers dissidents as "Counterrevolutionaries" and branded as "mercenaries" working for the  United States.