Friday, October 7, 2011

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Quote of the Day

Thursday, October 6, 2011
“The institution I need to be protecting is the American workforce, who is having their clock cleaned by a communist dictatorship who cheats.”

-- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), on legislation to crack down on Chinese currency manipulation, The Hill, 10/16/11.

Hezbollah's Presence in Latin America

From the American Enterprise Institute's new report, "The Mounting Hezbollah Threat in Latin America":

• In 2007, one member of the network plotting a terrorist attack at New York’s JFK International Airport met with radical Iranian cleric and Western Hemisphere point man Mohsen Rabbani in Iran; he was subsequently arrested in Trinidad en route to Venezuela, where he planned to board a flight to Tehran.

• In a September 2009 speech, then–District Attorney of New York Robert Morgenthau identified Hugo Chávez’s two principal interlocutors with Hezbollah: Venezuelan Interior Minister Tarik El Aissami, who was suspected of having issued passports to Hezbollah operatives, and Venezuelan Ghazi Nassereddine, who has been sanctioned by the United States as a terrorist financier of Hezbollah.

• In 2010, a sensitive source confirmed that two Iranian Hezbollah operatives were conducting terror training on Venezuela’s Margarita Island for people brought there from other countries in the region.

• In July 2010, Mexican authorities arrested Jameel Nasr in Tijuana, Mexico, for attempting to set up a Hezbollah network in Mexico and throughout the region.

• On August 22, 2010, Hugo Chávez hosted a terror summit of senior leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Caracas.

• In April 2011, Venezuelan drug kingpin Walid Makled confirmed in an interview that Hezbollah operates cocaine labs in Venezuela with the protection of the country’s government.

• In August 2011, the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported that Hezbollah had established a cell in Cuba to expand its terrorist activity and possibly facilitate an attack on Jewish targets in the Western Hemisphere.

'Noah's Ark' to Cuba On Track

 THE donation of Namibian wildlife to Cuba remains shrouded in secrecy even as Environment and Tourism Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, assured this newspaper that the process would be strictly monitored on the home front as well as with the international trade organisation which monitors the trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES). More Info Click Here

New media bring the world closer to Cuba

 Cuban bloggers and dissidents are becoming adept at sending news of protests abroad, but internal communication remains difficult. 
 Reporters Without Borders condemns expulsion of Cuba independent journalist
6a00d8341c54f053ef0134809ec298970c-150wi Calixto Martinez
Reporters Without Borders picks up the story of Cuban independent journalist Calixto Martinez, who is being held as Castro authorities prepared to again expel him from Havana. (Because in Cuba, Cubans don't have the right to travel where they want, even to their capital.)
Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a reporter for the independent news centre Hablemos Press arrested on 30 September and held at the Alternative Penal Centre prison in Havana, is awaiting deportation from the capital for the ninth time in less than two years to his home town of Camagüey.
The move is the latest in a new crackdown on civic groups and dissident organisations in recent months that Reporters Without Borders condemned today as a attempt by the regime to roll back growing social demands the organisation warned would continue to grow in the wake of the release earlier this year of all the country’s remaining imprisoned journalists.
“We had hopes after the last journalists were freed, including those held since the 2003 “Black Spring” wave of arrests, and after the lifting of censorship of several websites and blogs,” the organisation said.
“These gestures of opening-up by the authorities have naturally spurred demands for more civil liberties, including the right to keep people informed and to move around freely. The case of Martínez symbolises the absurdity of the new repression. To deport him yet again from Havana, where he will return to after a while, makes no sense,” it said.
Martínez has been arrested three times before this year – on 23 April, 25 May and 2 June. Hablemos Press has recorded more than 2,500 arrests during the new crackdown for political reasons, along with brief detentions and forced internal exile, including 486 last month alone (the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation puts this figure at 563). The foreign media has also been censored, including withdrawal of accreditation from Mauricio Vicent, Cuba correspondent of the Spanish daily paper El País.
“Before the situation can be called a genuine opening-up, news diversity must be accepted, non-government media allowed, punishment for holding opinions ended and all Cubans allowed to have access to an uncensored Internet,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The government must also ratify the two United Nations civil and political rights agreements it signed in 2008.”
Reporters Without Borders has several times called for an end to the 49-year US embargo that has unjustly isolated Cuba and its people and also for the European Union to review its common policy about human rights in the island.
“These moves should be part of any opening-up,” it said, “but we deplore the fact that the international community, especially Latin American countries, does not speak up more in favour of civil liberties in Cuba and does not remind the authorities there of their obligations.”
This month’s Wired magazine has a great article on the strange Russian numbers station, UVB-76:
From a lonely rusted tower in a forest north of Moscow, a mysterious shortwave radio station transmitted day and night. For at least the decade leading up to 1992, it broadcast almost nothing but beeps; after that, it switched to buzzes, generally between 21 and 34 per minute, each lasting roughly a second—a nasally foghorn blaring through a crackly ether. The signal was said to emanate from the grounds of a voyenni gorodok (mini military city) near the village of Povarovo, and very rarely, perhaps once every few weeks, the monotony was broken by a male voice reciting brief sequences of numbers and words, often strings of Russian names: “Anna, Nikolai, Ivan, Tatyana, Roman.” But the balance of the airtime was filled by a steady, almost maddening, series of inexplicable tones.
Click here to listen to an audio feed of the station.

Condemned to live in the country in which spied

This Friday's agent René González Cuban intelligence out of jail in northern Florida where he has spent the last 13 years serving a sentence for espionage to continue living in a country that does not want to be and in which no one wants it to be, even its most ardent supporters.
Gonzalez is one of the five Cubans who were arrested in 1998 and sentenced to various prison terms for  form a network-known as the Wasp, who worked as agents of government of Cuba.
On the island are known as the "Five Heroes, "while in the U.S. are the" Five Spies "after being convicted in a Miami court for "plotters" and agents aliens without the necessary registration with the U.S. government.
Havana has consistently sought release of the five, whom he describes as "fighters freedom of the Cuban people "who watched the exile groups based in Miami to prevent alleged "terrorist" actions against the island.
Now Gonzales becomes the first group released from prison, but will not return to Cuba, because you must spend three years on "supervised release" somewhere in the U.S.

While some believe that could be a danger to the country and the exile community, others stress that I would be running the risk the Cuban.

Cuban spy’s wife says she worries his life is in danger on eve of parole in United States

True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba's Master SpyHAVANA — The life of a Cuban intelligence officer jailed in the U.S. will be in danger from members of the Cuban exile community if he is forced to serve parole there, his wife said Thursday on the eve of his release.
Rene Gonzalez, a dual U.S.-Cuban citizen, petitioned a judge to let him return to his family in Cuba after he gets out of a federal penitentiary in Marianna, Florida, on Friday. But last month, a judge declined to alter the original sentencing requirement that Gonzalez serve three years of parole in the United States.

To those who labor under the misconception that Fidel Castro’s regime was incapable of maintaining a secret pipeline to a Lee Oswald, or not inclined to authorize and/or condone assassinations, an overview of Castro’s spy agencies might prove instructive. Traditionally, it has been infinitely easier to obtain operational details and internal structural layouts for the offices of America’s secret warriors than for those of its intelligence adversaries. This is especially true for Cuba’s spy apparatus. Given the relative transparency of the US government, thousands of books and monographs have been written on CIA, FBI, NSA, Military Intelligence, etc. But for those seeking to determine if Cuba’s spooks were prone to instigate (or even condone, as in the Kennedy case) foreign assassinations, it has been near impossible to get answers. However, when one pieces together testimony, CIA debriefs, and interviews from Cuba’s spy defectors, some very close to the top of its bureaucracy, a consistent and far different picture emerges of Cuba’s intel modus operandi than most would assume. Read More...
An international diplomatic crisis erupted in May 1960 when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) shot down an American U-2 spy plane in Soviet air space and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers (1929-77). Confronted with the evidence of his nation's espionage, President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) was forced to admit to the Soviets that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had been flying spy missions over the USSR for several years. The Soviets convicted Powers on espionage charges and sentenced him to 10 years in prison. However, after serving less than two years, he was released in exchange for a captured Soviet agent in the first-ever U.S.-USSR "spy swap." Read More...