Monday, September 26, 2011

Libyan interim government forces close in on Sirte

SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) - Libyan provisional government forces have closed in on Muammar Gaddafi loyalists holed up in Sirte, one of the last two bastions of the deposed leader.
The advance on Monday from the east to about 2 km (1.2 miles) from the center of Gaddafi's home town raised hopes that the National Transitional Council (NTC) was one step closer to claiming full control of the fractured country.
NATO aircraft launched air strikes against positions of Gaddafi loyalists in Sirte, paving the way for the deep push by the NTC fighters.
Thick black smoke billowed into the air as fighters battled Gaddafi loyalists on Sunday at a roundabout 2 km from the center of the town. The thud of large explosions could be heard as NATO aircraft roared overhead.
The advance could be short-lived, however. Interim government forces have previously retreated from Sirte and the other remaining Gaddafi stronghold, Bani Walid, after poorly organized attacks met fierce resistance.
On the western edges of Sirte on Monday, NTC fighters and Gaddafi loyalists traded heavy machine gun fire, rocket-propelled grenades and artillery rounds. Snipers loyal to Gaddafi could be seen on rooftops.
Sirte lies between Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi, both now held by the NTC whose rebel fighters overran the capital five weeks ago after six months of fighting.
Taking Sirte would be a huge boost for the NTC, which is trying to establish credibility as a government able to unite Libya's fractious tribes and regions, and a blow for Gaddafi, widely believed to be in hiding somewhere in Libya.
Humanitarian organizations have raised the alarm over conditions for civilians cut off in Sirte and in Bani Walid to the south.
Scores of civilians in cars laden down with personal belongings continued to stream out of the town to both the east and west. International aid groups are demanding access.
"We are very concerned about the people inside and near Bani Walid and Sirte," Georges Comninos, who heads the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Libya, said in a statement.
Food and medical supplies were running short, he said.
NTC fighters and people who have fled Sirte have alleged that pro-Gaddafi fighters were trying to prevent civilians from leaving, effectively using them as human shields.
"Gaddafi's forces have surrounded the area, closed it off, by shooting at people," said a man called Youssef, driving away from Sirte with his wife. "There are a lot of people who want to get out but can't."
Gaddafi's fugitive spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said on Monday the ousted leader was in Libya and "very happy that he is doing his part in this great saga of resistance."

LPP First Draft...

Reporting on Castro's Oil Hearsay

Monday, September 26, 2011
From CNN's Fareed Zakaria, to Time's Tim Padgett, to the Castro regime's usual apologists in Washington, D.C., there's been a barrage of articles this week on off-shore exploration plans by Cuba's dictatorship.
So were there any new developments?

As with practically every story on this issue, the latest (re-)interest was due to speculation -- not to any independent verification -- derived from a conversation with Castro regime officials.

Specifically, it was due to comments from Lee Hunt of the International Association of Drilling Contractors, who just returned from a trip to Cuba and is now regurgitating everything Castro regime officials (strategically) told him.

In other words, it's based on hearsay.
If this were a legal case, it be would dismissed. However, journalism doesn't have the same standards.

This is the same modus operandi used by the Castro regime in 2008 -- fueled by media and political speculation -- that the Chinese were drilling off Cuba's coasts.

At that time, the alarm bells were rung and soon thereafter came calls for the immediate and unilateral lifting of U.S. sanctions, so that U.S. companies could provide support to the Castro regime in this endeavour.

Sound familiar?

Well, here we go again.

The current zeal is such that it's even making reporters forget to fact check.
For example, Time's Tim Padgett says:

Repsol, Statoil of Norway and ONGC of India will get the drills diving in six fields near Havana, while five other firms, including Petrobras of Brazil, have signed up for about 20 others.
Padgett obviously failed (or forgot) to verify that Petrobras (the only company, other than Spain's Repsol, that could seriously undertake such an effort) has publicly decided to take a pass on Cuba (due to poor prospects).

Moreover, even the most optimistic "experts" -- those that dream of oil fortunes for the Castro brothers -- admit that even if oil was found off-Cuba's shores, it would take at least 3-5 years before production could actually begin.
But that's still not stopping them from putting the cart before the horse.
The fact remains that U.S. sanctions have made it commercially impractical for the Castro regime or its foreign partners to effectively explore for oil off Cuba's shores and impossible to produce in the future, if (and it's still a big if) oil is ever found -- unless a democratic government prevails before.

That's right -- impossible.

Their current bet is that if oil is found, then overwhelming interest would force U.S. oil companies to lobby Congress to lift sanctions, so that they could produce, refine and market it here -- like Chavez's Venezuela does.

Otherwise, where else are they going to do it? There aren't any other commercially or geographically feasible options.
And then, the U.S. could increase its dependency on yet another petro-dictatorship -- for that's served U.S. interests so well in the last century (sarcasm).

Finally, it's fascinating why those with supposed "environmental concerns" regarding Castro's exploration plans -- such as the usually anti-drilling Environmental Defense Fund -- don't just lobby Congress to pursue the only full proof way to protect the environment -- prevention.

And that's very simple -- if Repsol persists, sanction the billions it currently holds in U.S. oil drilling concessions.

Fidel Attacks Obama

From Politico:

Fidel Castro: President Obama U.N. speech 'gibberish'

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro called President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations last week “gibberish” in a new opinion piece.

Castro, writing his “reflections” on a Cuban government website, slammed Obama’s address in his first column since July, Reuters reported on Monday. Castro said Obama — who he dubbed the “yankee president” — misrepresented the U.N. on many issues, including the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. policy concerning Israel and Palestine and the uprisings in Arab nationals this year.

“Who understands this gibberish of the President of the United States in front of the General Assembly?” Castro wrote.

Steps to Yesterday's Repression

Sunday, September 25, 2011
Yesterday, the Castro regime organized a mob of over 300 people to face down 35 peaceful Ladies in White, who simply wanted to walk together to celebrate Mass on the feast day of Our Lady of Mercy.

Here are the steps to yesterday's repression (in pictures).

They bus in the mob:

Police block off the street:

They assault the Ladies in White:

And then get a fresh snack as a reward:

Capitol Hill Cubans

Cuba seeks normalization with US

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Cuba wants to re-establish relations with the United States with a focus on humanitarian and other issues, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Monday.
Rodriguez also called on President Barack Obama to release five Cubans serving U.S. espionage sentences, telling the opening of the new U.N. General Assembly that the continued imprisonment of the five men convicted of espionage in 2001 is "inhumane." The Cuban government refers to the five men as heroes who were gathering information about terrorist groups in the United States to protect their homeland.
The foreign minister said the two countries had many points of understanding in common.
"The Cuban government reiterates its willingness and interest to move toward the normalization of relations with the United States," Rodriguez said.
"Today I reiterate the proposal of beginning a dialogue aimed at solving bilateral problems, including humanitarian issues, as well as the offer of negotiating several cooperation agreements to combat drug-trafficking, terrorism, human smuggling, prevent natural disasters and protect the environment."
Among the humanitarian issues pending between the two countries is the continued imprisonment of American Alan Gross, who the Cuban government accuses of illegally bringing communications equipment onto the island while on a USAID-funded democracy building program.
In March of this year he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against the state.
Cuban officials including President Raul Castro accused him of spying, but Gross says he was only trying to help the island's tiny Jewish community get Internet access.
The case has harmed any chance of improved relations between Washington and Havana, which briefly seemed to be getting better after Obama assumed the presidency.
In an interview with The New York Times during his current visit to the United States, Rodriguez did not rule out the possibility of Gross being freed for humanitarian reasons. But he indicated Cuba would expect some kind of reciprocal action.
Rodriguez did not mention Gross in his speech to the assembly on Monday, but spoke several times about the five imprisoned Cubans.
Claudia Torrens can be followed at

The jellyfish were the great obstacle of Diana Nyad

Diana Nyad, 62-year swimmer trying to swim from Cuba to Florida, has seen jellyfish hamper their third play to achieve the feat, although it is willing to achieve their goal

The jellyfish were the great obstacle of Diana Nyad
Diana Nyad, the 62-year swimmer trying to swim from Cuba to Florida, Jellyfish have seen how slow his third bid to achieve the feat, although it is willing to achieve their goal
Diana Nyad is closer to retirement age to fight for a medal Olympic, but his desire to excel led her to try things unlikely. American swimmer tries these days, third time, crossing the 165 miles between the coasts Florida  Cuba, but is encountering many problems.

Nyad wants to be the first person to achieve this feat without swimming in a cage to protect sharks, but some animals much small are limiting their physical abilities. Jellyfish have stung  swimmer in the face and had to be attended by his team in full crossing.

Although water Nyad was taken to be medically assisted the representative of the International Federation  Swimming decided that you can continue your adventure and was not released water to rest. However, forces have to go Nyad but just after starting your adventure on the night of Friday and  to be seen whether he can achieve his goal.

This is the Nyad third attempt to cross the Florida straits between Cuba.  The first was in 1978 and the second barely a month ago, when the strong waves, coupled with a severe back pain and asthma prevented  I got it. Will more luck this time?
 Sunday, September 25, 2011


By Armando Valladares-EX Ambassador to the Human Rights Commission of the UN

The UN comprises 187 countries. United States North America paid for with taxpayer money for almost 25% of budget of this organization that is total and absolutely anti-American and anti countries democratic.

The U.S. government -as has denounced Congresswoman Ileana Ross president of the powerful Commission Foreign Relations of Congress is providing funding generous than the UN is used to fund activities and programs terrorist countries with our money maintaining a bureaucratic apparatus, pay travel, hotel and engaged in attack-free countries and very U.S. special.

It is outrageous that the U.S. contributed millions of dollars Human Rights Council by the UN, controlled and dominated by countries terrorism and Cuba where he has held the presidency and countries like Iran, Syria etc. constantly plotting to blow up the foundations of democracy and freedoms in the country truly free.

UN in the countries most receive our help are most often vote against us without of the merits of what is proposed. So channel your hostility against the U.S. and pose as "independent."

For example, Egypt, a country that give away every year About two MIL MILLIONS of dollars (gifts are not provided) when vote, 79% of the time they vote against us.

In India we offer you one hundred forty-five MILLIONS of dollars and vote against us 81% of the time.

Ethiopia, the latest figure gift that he gave AID know CUATROSCIENTOS was seventy-four million in 2007. This country, 68% of the time voted against the USA. Jordan received CUATROSCIENTOS FIFTY EIGHT MILLION dollars, gift from us and 72% of the time voted against the U.S. in the General Assembly.

Pakistan receives about seven MIL MILLIONS OF DOLLARS and 75% of the time voted against us.

But the most amazing of all these gifts is that we've been going to Russia. Reports of the figures appear AID only from 2001 to 2007. There are recent years, and I think intended not to publish this infamy, well, in those years we have given to Russia TWO MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS. Why?!! Be amazed !!!!. These donations listed under the symbol FSA (Former Soviet State Assitance) What does this mean? I could not know that CURRENT means that assistance to the former Soviet Union. Someone told me was to pay the retirement of former officers of the Soviet Union. No doubt we are paying the retirement of former KGB agents. I'm not surprised. The masochistic moral degeneration of American foreign policy is capable that and more ... ..

All this I write here is just the tip the iceberg. Since the UN is not that inspired its creation. It has become a stronghold for the enemies of Democracy and Freedom and working on these objectives. It is outrageous that they do with our money.

Now I remember Lenin's words - "the capitalists we will sell the rope with which we will hang them, " U.S. should leave the UN definitely. Free countries can be found where no other organization fitted with tyrannical governments, terrorists. Staying at the UN or the OAS is an exercise and a contribution immoral knowingly to decline and end of Western civilization.
 (9-25-11-5:30 PM)