Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category

Cuba: Victory lap, and more gimme gimme

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Raul Castro is on a roll:
Cuban Dictator Castro Thanks U.S. With Insults And Grievances, since too much is never enough,

“After 56 years in which the Cuban people put up a heroic and selfless resistance, diplomatic relations have been re-established between Cuba and the United States of America,” the military dictator said.

Normalization of relations “will only be achieved with the end of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba; the return to our country of the territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo naval base; the cessation of radio and TV broadcasts and of subversive and destabilizing programs against the island; and when our people are compensated for the human and economic damages they still endure,” he said.

After a speech, there’s always a photo-op:

Capitol Hill Cubans want to know, Which Conditions for Lifting the Cuban Embargo Does Obama Disagree With?

Want to Do Business in Cuba? All Roads Lead to Raúl Castro’s Son-in-Law

[Post corrected to add two final links]

Venezuela: Border trouble with Guyana, too

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

The dust hasn’t settled on the Colombia kerfuffle, but Maduro needs a distraction:
Guyana says Venezuela deployed troops on border area (emphasis added),

Guyana’s President David Granger says Venezuela has deployed troops along their border area.
Mr Granger described the move as a “dangerous escalation” in the long-running dispute between the two South American neighbours.

Venezuela says its troops are conducting exercises in the region.

It lays claim to the vast mineral-rich area of jungle west of the Essequibo river, which accounts for about 40% of Guyana’s territory.

That Bolivarian Revolution sure doesn’t come cheap.

Don’t expect the scapegoating to end, though (h/t VN&V).

Cuba: Francis won’t talk to Congress about embargo

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Today’s headline: Pope Francis Won’t Push for More Cuba Trade Easing in Speech to Congress. He doesn’t plan to raise the question of the U.S. embargo in his Congressional address this week So far, so good, until you read this (emphasis added),

WASHINGTON— Pope Francis doesn’t plan to raise the question of the U.S. embargo against Cuba during his address to Congress this week and said he declined to meet with dissidents during his visit to Cuba as part of a general policy against private meetings during the visit.

Say, again?

As Carlos Eire says, One must admit, this papal circus will go down in history as one of the most significant triumphs of the Castro regime, and as a memorable moment in the annals of American journalism.

Cuba: Papal visit roundup

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Francis’s visit to Cuba went as expected, with plenty of photo-ops validating the Communist regime and perpetuating the Fidel mystique while ignoring dissidents who actually are Catholic.

In a word, disappointing.

But you wouldn’t know it from the media hype, which will continue as the pope travels to the U.S. touting the perils of capitalism and global warming while ignoring the thousands upon thousands of martyred Christians.

First, the photo-ops as Pope Francis appeases the Castros in repressive Cuba; not that Francis was alone in that as Three Popes Make Same Mistake in Cuba. Hardly surprising since the Bishops Agree to Cuban Communist Party Interference in Pope’s Religious Activities (h/t Babalu). Or, as Michael Ledeen put it, he’s The Pope of Montecristo: The story of Cuban cigars is a good metaphor for the failure of Communist tyranny, and I think it’s shameful that the first Jesuit pope in history apparently intends to talk mostly about the weather instead of freedom.

Then there was the dissidents issue:
ABC Hypes ‘Fun’ Moments of Pope Visit as Protester Is Dragged Away.

Pope Francis’s failure to chide Cuba makes his visit there an empty symbol. Cuban Americans are critical of the pope’s role in helping the US and Cuba rekindle ties, because the Castro regime still lacks accountable governance

Francis landed in Washington this afternoon. He was greeted with selection of football chants. Here’s A schedule of his U.S. visit

El Papa’s week: Trans gender activists Yes, Cuban dissidents No

In other papal news, The Independent reports that Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven

In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.

Setting aside the question of why would true non-believers care, the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares The necessity of faith

161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation

As you can see, I disagree with this,

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

Mamita llegó el obispo
llegó el obispo de Roma.
Mamita si tu lo vieras,
que cosa linda
que cosa mona.

[My translation: Mommy the bishop arrived
the bishop of Rome arrived.
Mommy if you could see him
such pretty a thing
so cute a thing

That is not Francis, and that’s not Cuba.

Parting question: Should I file for excommunication?

[Post corrected for HTML]

I’ll take “poor choice of corporate icon” for $500, Alex!

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Luke Mullen tweeted,

Which brings us to this,

Because nothing says “state of the art fintech API ecosystem” like the image of the racist scumbag depraved mass murdering Communist founder of Cuba’s firing squads and labor camps.

Not that Xignite is alone in their choice . . .

Venezuela: Foreign Policy mag and its seven corrections on Leopoldo Lopez

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

You may recall that last July I posted that

By all appearances, Foreign Policy mag has published a sponsored, long-on-words-short-on-evidence piece which struggles to obscure the facts.

Roberto Lovato’s lengthy article in Foreign Policy, The Making of Leopoldo López
A closer look at the democratic bona fides of the rock star of Venezuela’s opposition
 had a number of allegations, which I questioned:

  • I don’t understand Lovato’s point. Is he saying that Leopoldo Lopez is in jail because of the [alleged] actions of members of his party which took place 13 years ago?
  • What do the “fresh government allegations” regarding the emails have to do with the case?
  • What did LL say in Burelli’s tapes? Is he in the conversation at all, since he was in jail? If not, what exactly was said about him that may affect the case? Why, indeed, are Burelli’s tapes pertinent to LL’s prosecution and defense at all ?
  • Of what exactly is LL currently charged? Since the prosecution changed the charges since LL’s detention, will the current charges be changed again?

Two months, seven corrections later. Erik Wemple posts,
Foreign Policy magazine runs seven correction/clarification/update things on piece about Venezuelan politico

Rather than explain how Lovato links López and Burelli, let’s just recite the ways in which Lovato failed to link López and Burelli. They are listed at the bottom of the story:

* Clarification, Aug. 12, 2015: Pedro Burelli was not involved in hiring Leopoldo López at PDVSA.

** Clarification, Sept. 3, 2015: Leopoldo López’s mother was originally hired by a subsidiary of PDVSA in 1980, and transferred to the head office in 1994.

*** Clarification, Aug. 12, 2015: Burelli did not specifically advise López on the 2014 clashes with the Venezuelan government.

And those are only the first three. Burelli didn’t turn the other cheek, either:

In an Aug. 19 e-mail to Stephen Kiehl of the law firm Covington & Burling LLP, Burelli listed 51 bullet points as to why he didn’t belong in the story. A little taste:

11. I have not been accused or mentioned in the 100% political case against Mr. Lopez and his mother related to the above mentioned grant.
12. I have never been a paid advisor to Mr. Lopez.
13. I have never been a formal advisor to Mr. Lopez.
14. I have not been a regular advisor to Mr. Lopez.
15. I have never been a representative of Mr. Lopez.
16. I have never attended an event on Mr. Lopez’s behalf.
17. I have never spoken in Mr. Lopez’s place.
18. I have never pretended to be a representative or a formal advisor of Mr. Lopez.
19. I have never been a member of Primero Justicia or Voluntad Popular.
20. I have never attended an event of Primero Justicia or Voluntad Popular.

And to top it off,

The objections posed by Burelli look narrow alongside the 23-page docket against “The Making of Leopoldo López” written up by Jared Genser, international counsel for the opposition leader. It breaks down Lovato’s story paragraph by paragraph, alleging factual mistakes, omissions and biases of all kinds.

One thing Wemple points out of which I was unaware until now: Lovato’s ties to Telesur, Venezuela’s state-run media outlet.

Objectivity when dealing with rogue regime is a doomed farce.

Lovato is sticking to his guns; Foreign Policy has egg on its face; lawyers are involved; Juan Carlos Gutierrez and Jared Genser published an article in FP, The Other Side of Leopoldo López: Roberto Lovato’s article claiming to be about the bona fides of our client’s democratic credentials wasn’t that at all; Lovato was given space at the bottom of that article to defend himself.

Lopez is in jail.

Venezuela: Lopez sentenced to 13+ years UPDATED

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Not that it comes as a surprise,

Venezuela Court Sentences Leopoldo Lopez to More Than 13 Years in Prison. Court finds Lopez guilty of inciting violence in street protests that roiled the country. (emphasis added)

Throughout his 14-month trial, which was closed to the public and the media, Mr. Lopez’s lawyers repeatedly complained of a partisan judiciary that barred the defense from presenting evidence. The court refused to admit all but one of 65 witnesses for the defense, while allowing the testimony of 108 witnesses for the government.

Let’s go to the dictionary:

kangaroo court
1. a self-appointed or mob-operated tribunal that disregards or parodies existing principles of law or human rights, especially one in a frontier area or among criminals in prison.
2. any crudely or irregularly operated court, especially one so controlled as to render a fair trial impossible.

Yup, that fits.

Statement from Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06), member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs:

“The corrupt and dictatorial government of Nicolás Maduro has crippled the Venezuelan economy and brutally cracked down on dissenting voices. Leopoldo López has been convicted after an embarrassing show trial; Maduro is using the machinery of the state to silence voices of freedom. Maduro may try to silence the cries of his people, but the United States must stand with the people of Venezuela who are fighting against a corrupt government.”

Pedro Pan exhibit and panel coming up

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

The Cuban Children’s Exodus
June 26, 2015 – January 17, 2016

In partnership with Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc., the organization that connects the children of the Pedro Pan exodus and preserves its artifacts and memories, HistoryMiami museum opens its doors to the exhibition documenting the emotional journey these children – and their families – underwent to escape indoctrination.

The exhibition not only displays the artifacts but also tells the story of how these families came to make this life-changing decision and what became of the children. Using video testimonials, private letters, journals and photographs, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey from Cuba to Miami and beyond; giving visitors a glimpse of the children’s past and the camps they lived in once they reached the United States.

I learned from Carlos Eire that he’ll be a panelist:

September 19, 2:00pm


101 West Flagler Street

Miami, FL 33130


Dr. José Azel, senior scholar at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, University of Miami and the author of the book Mañana in Cuba. Arrived to the United States in 1961; age 13.

Elena Muller Garcia, director of Parish Social Ministry in Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach. Arrived to the United States in 1962; age 13.

Dr. Carlos Eire, T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University and author of the award winning books Waiting for Snow in Havana and Learning to Die in Miami. Arrived to the United States in 1962; age 11.

Antonio “Tony” Argiz, chairman and CEO of MBAF, one of the top 40 accounting firms in the nation, and immediate past chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Arrived to the United States in 1961; age 9.

Moderator: Dr. Victor A. Triay, Cuban American historian and author of Fleeing Castro: Operation Pedro Pan and the Cuban Children’s Program and Bay of Pigs: An Oral History of Brigade 2506.

Register online or call 305-375-1492 for more information.


Crisis at the Venezuela-Colombia border

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Deploys Army to Deport ColombiansPresident’s critics say he is seeking scapegoat as he deports more than 1,000 citizens of neighboring country

In recent days, Venezuela deported more than 1,000 Colombian citizens and closed key border crossings in the frontier state of Táchira, where Mr. Maduro declared martial law in several municipalities. The actions were allegedly aimed at cracking down on rampant smuggling of price-controlled Venezuelan goods into Colombia, a flow that aggravates shortages in Venezuela.

Venezuela’s armed forces were also deployed to root out what the government called a host of illegal activity. Mr. Maduro blamed that on what he said was an inflow of more than 10,000 Colombian immigrants a month.

Colombians flee homes in Venezuela amid border crackdown

The Colombians, many of whom have lived in Venezuela for years, said they were abandoning their cinder block homes in a riverside shantytown community known as “La Invasion” — the Invasion — fearing for their safety after they said they were given 72 hours to pack up and leave by Venezuelan security forces.

With makeshift pedestrian bridges between the two countries destroyed as part of a weeklong security offensive, police from Colombia helped migrants, including children and the elderly, ford the 10-meter wide Tachira River with mattresses, TVs and kitchen appliances slung across their backs and shoulders. Left behind were homes spray-painted in blue by security forces with the letter “R,” for reviewed, while those marked with a “D” are believed to be slated for demolition.

Venezuela border closing hurts innocent people: Colombian president, a rather lame reaction.

At the blogs:
Maduro Declares State of Emergency In Parts of Tachira State

Maduro plays the victim

Will it hold?

Video in Spanish,

Press Determined Not to Blame Venezuela’s Social and Economic Calamity on Its Chavista Government

The foreign policy house of lies

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Please read my article, The foreign policy house of lies, on one of the many lies the Obama foreign policy is based.

The title comes from this line,

a highly successful, cutthroat consultant is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary.

Change consultant for community organizer. The dollar signs in the logo fit well with the money the Castros stand to get.