Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category

Panama: Rosa María Payá detained

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Panamanian authorities’ warning shot to anyone not willing to kiss Raul Castro’s ring:

Rosa María Payá, the daughter of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, was briefly detained on Sunday at Panama’s airport and threatened with deportation to Cuba if she caused any public disturbances at the Summit of the Americas, according to an account she gave on Twitter.

Payá was released after being questioned and her personal items were subjected to a careful review by authorities, in what was later described by the Foreign Ministry of Panama as “a bureaucratic error.”

Big Brother’s “bureaucratic error,” that is.

Summits are a waste of time and money for real countries,” as Mary O’Grady stated,

But this one will be useful for Cuba, which will be allowed to join the group for the first time, and on its own terms. It’s hard to put a finger on the lowest point in Obama foreign policy, but its abject submissiveness regarding this meeting in the U.S. backyard is a serious contender.

Back in 2001,

OAS members signed the “Democratic Charter,” requiring the suspension of nondemocratic governments.

That was then. Now, not only is the murderous Communist regime attending, Panama is warning dissidents to keep quiet.

What a disgrace.

Cuba: The next Hotel California? UPDATED

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

In a country where the maximum salary by law is approx. $20/month,
Real-Estate Revolution Hits Cuba
Ordinary Cubans start to buy and sell their homes, and authorities dust off plans to develop a luxury vacation-home market for foreigners

For now, the 54-year-old embargo remains in place, meaning Americans can’t buy property here, or even travel to the island as tourists. And Cuban law bars nonresidents from owning homes outside a few limited experimental developments. But that isn’t stopping some foreigners from trying to wriggle through loopholes to get their hands on real estate now in the hopes of striking it rich.

Loopholes, and deep pockets from which to bribe. Good luck trying to get your money out of the country if you ever sell. Even better luck with preventing the government from seizing your assets.

Never mind the wiring:

Just for caution, remember the Hotel California lyrics, “You can check out any time, but you can never leave.”

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5 Things to Know About Buying Real Estate in Cuba: For instance,
#3 Are there any Cuban laws that could trip up a would-be foreign investor?

Boy are there. It has only been a few years since Cuba started allowing Cuban citizens to buy and sell their own homes, and the government is still trying to keep tight control over the market. Cubans can’t have more than two homes, a primary residence and a vacation house. And in all but a few cases, buyers need to be permanent Cuban residents.

And some will end up in jail.

Cuba Forever, Indiana Never

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)

Cuba Forever, Indiana Never: Cuomo Hypocrisy on Gay Rights Smells Like Politics Liz Mair writes on Dem blindness: Andrew Cuomo bans all non-essential, taxpayer-funded travel to Indiana but is heading to Cuba – at taxpayer expense, of course,

Cuba’s record on LGBT rights has improved over the years. However, it was so dismal to start with that this can hardly be surprising. Shortly after seizing power, the Castro regime sent tens of thousands of gay men to labor camps. It later forced HIV-positive people and those with AIDS into facilities in which they were separated against their will from the public-at-large.

Even after these worst abuses fell by the wayside, LGBT individuals as well as LGBT advocates in Cuba have faced ongoing harassment from government authorities in the form of detention, arrest, and physical assault. Cuba also initially opposed, then abstained from voting on, a 2010 UN proposal to treat “sexual orientation” as an especially objectionable motive for murder—a position it is hard to believe Cuomo would endorse.
. . .
A 2013 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association indicates that in Cuba, not only can people refuse to bake cakes for gay couples if they so desire, there is also no “constitutional prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation.” Only very recently did Cuba ban discrimination in employment against gays and lesbians.

Furthermore, in Cuba, same-sex couples enjoy none of the rights of marriage, let alone the ability to marry. Moreover, joint adoption is not an option for gay couples on the island. Gay couples in Cuba also lack the option of civil unions, domestic partnerships and similar arrangements.

Cuomo, once in Cuba, will likely be chaperoned by the official Communist sexologist and daughter of Raul Castro, Mariela, she who said the United States “must be dreaming” if it thinks easing sanctions would bring about a market economy.

I suggest that Cuomo read Before Night Falls: A Memoir before he lands in Cuba.

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In other Indiana news,
Nets Devote 3x More Time to Indiana Law Than Hillary E-Mail Server Wipe, since one has to do with national security and the other one doesn’t.

Your Questions On Indiana’s Religious Freedom Bill, Answered (h/t Gay Patriot)

Venezuela: Was Iran behind the colectivos?

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

From the [pdf file] WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF
JOSEPH M. HUMIRE
CO-AUTHOR
IRAN’S STRATEGIC PENETRATION OF LATIN AMERICA
BEFORE THE
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE (WHEM)
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA (MENA)
HEARING ON
“IRAN AND HEZBOLLAH IN THE WESTERN
HEMISPHERE”


To most, the Venezuelan government’s ability to brutally stifle student protests, is a capacity developed by the Cuban regime whose intelligence and military direct many aspects of Venezuela’s national security apparatus. While mostly true, this excludes another vital player that has enhanced Venezuela’s foreign internal defense, the Iranian paramilitary force known as the Basij.

In April 2009, the current Iranian commander of the Basij paramilitary force, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, accompanied then-Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar on a high-level visit to Caracas at the invitation of then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his foreign minister (now President) Nicolas Maduro. Gen. Naqdi’s role in these high-level meetings was to serve as an advisor to Venezuela’s Ministries of Defense and Interior to aid in training their civilian militias, known as the infamous colectivos’. Years later, the results of this advisory support are evident on the streets of Venezuela as the colectivos’ tactics are a step-up in its previous capabilities, to include new clandestine communication and infiltration/espionage techniques.

Gen. Naqdi, who previously served as the Iranian Police Force’s counterintelligence chief, has a long list of human rights violations dating back to the 1999 student protests in Iran.

Venezuela healthcare system approaching Cuban levels

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

One of the most tragic consequences of Venezuela’s premeditated Cubanization is the descent of its healthcare:
Venezuelans Suffer Amid Crumbling Health System
As country’s economy struggles, lack of hospital funding and widespread shortages of medicine and surgical supplies put patients at risk

For instance:

In late November, the director of cardiovascular surgery at the University Hospital sent out letters to the cardiology ward’s patients, telling them they were being discharged. The reason cited: a dearth of operating-room supplies—no catheters, no working blood-processing machine, no heart valves.

A comment on the following graph: Any information on Cuba’s spending is provided by the government, and, therefore, dubious,

Read Juan Forero’s article in full, and browse through the comments.

Venezuela headlines today

Friday, March 13th, 2015


BBC:
Muere en prisión Rodolfo González, opositor detenido en manifestaciones en Venezuela, Rodolfo González, opposition member arrested during protests in Venezuela, dies in jail

At the blogs:
That South African feeling…

Chavismo: No Scruples, No Compassion

At Drudge:
Maduro threatens faceoff with Obama…

Latin Americans unite against USA…

Red shirts fading at Venezuela oil giant…

Meanwhile, over in Cuba,

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

following Obama declaring Venezuela a “national security threat”,

More from Noah Rothman.

Venezuela, “national-security threat”

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 09, 2015
FACT SHEET: Venezuela Executive Order

President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela. The targeted sanctions in the E.O. implement the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, which the President signed on December 18, 2014, and also go beyond the requirements of this legislation.

At the WSJ:
U.S. Freezes Assets of Seven Venezuelan Officials
President Obama declares Venezuela a national-security threat

President Barack Obama declared Venezuela a national-security threat and froze the assets of seven senior officials over alleged rights abuses and political repression.

The move puts all seven officials on a U.S. government blacklist that freezes any assets in the U.S. and prohibits American citizens from dealing with them.

Declaring a country a national-security threat is a formality that allow the U.S. government to impose sanctions on individuals or other countries.

Seven Venezuelan officials targeted by US The seven are:
The President imposed sanctions on the following seven individuals listed in the Annex to the E.O.:

1. Antonio José Benavides Torres: Commander of the Strategic Region for the Integral Defense (REDI) of the Central Region of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and former Director of Operations for Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard (GNB).
2. Gustavo Enrique González López: Director General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) and President of Venezuela’s Strategic Center of Security and Protection of the Homeland (CESPPA).
3. Justo José Noguera Pietri: President of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana (CVG), a state-owned entity, and former General Commander of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard (GNB).
4. Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padron: national level prosecutor of the 20th District Office of Venezuela’s Public Ministry.
5. Manuel Eduardo Pérez Urdaneta: Director of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Police.
6. Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martínez : Chief of the 31st Armored Brigade of Caracas of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Army and former Director General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN).
7. Miguel Alcides Vivas Landino: Inspector General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) and former Commander of the Strategic Region for the Integral Defense (REDI) of the Andes Region of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces.

Caracas Chronicles applauds it

In that regard, the language in the Executive Order makes perfect sense. In sidestepping sanctions for ordinary Venezuelans while targeting the actual human rights abusers, the Obama administration is zeroing in on the problem without creating unnecessary controversies regarding “embargoes” or other nonsense.

It has also chosen the perfect time for its offensive, right when the Maduro administration is at its weakest. It is most certainly creating tension and conflict within the ranks of chavismo. After all, it’s probably more difficult to target sanctions against someone like Diosdado Cabello, who has probably prepared for years for something like this, than it is to zero in on the guys in the second-tier of decision making, the ones actually implementing the orders from Miraflores. I doubt poor old Katherine Harrington-Colby has the testaferros that Diosdado has.

Maduro and his cronies are a threat to US national security. Let’s hope the pressure makes Maduro bend a little and free some of the political prisoners. After all, how much worse can things get for them?

VN&V is skeptical: Another day, another US sanction against Venezuelan apparatchicks [sic].

So is Carlos Eire:

Get ready for a wild ride. The current occupant of the White House and his acolytes are slapping Venezuela on the wrist for its human rights violations at exactly the same time that they are rewarding those in Havana who are ultimately responsible for those violations with all sorts of outlandish concessions, including the agreement to never, ever bring up the issue of human rights abuses in the “normalization” talks between the U.S. and the Castro regime.

Heading the race to the bottom, Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Is Now $20 A Month; Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism

Cuba: Tweet of the week

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Related:
Joke and dance about this, Conan: children of jailed Cuban dissidents face rape threats

En español: Las colas en supermercados venezolanos

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Programa de AR logró filmar lo que nadie ha podido en Venezuela. (h/t HACER)

In English:
Chavez’s Legacy: Venezuela in Shambles
Venezuelans are quickly discovering that Chavez’s promised paradise was really a ticket to hell.