Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category

Cuba: The annotated Raul-Pope Francis meeting

Monday, May 11th, 2015

The excellent Carlos Eire translates, annotates, and interprets a report on Raul Castro’s meeting with his new BFF, Pope Francis,
King Raul : “If the pope stays on the same path, I might join the Catholic Church!”

King Raul and the Holy Father exchanged gifts during this “cordial” visit.  The tyrant gave the pope a rare medal commemorating the 200th anniversary of Havana’s cathedral — of which only 25 exist.

The tyrant responsible for driving 20 percent of his subjects into exile also had the audacity to give the pope a contemporary painting by an unnamed Cuban artist that depicts a kneeling migrant praying on a beach, at the foot of a cross made from boats.

(Le Rrrrronca!)

Read the whole thing.

Exit question:
Is Francis granting a private audience to the Ladies in White when he goes to Cuba next September?

“You will not like Cuba”

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Today’s must-read, via Carlos Eire,Luis Ball’s article,
You Will Not Like Cuba
Media Hype Sells Product That Does Not Exist

Maybe those readers who plan to visit this Caribbean paradise would like to know something that Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times have omitted: their phone conversations will be bugged, and possibly they will be secretly filmed in their hotel rooms. Remember, this is not Berlin after the fall of the Wall; this is Berlin before!

Twenty years ago, Fidel Castro began to promote his imprisoned island to foreign tourists. Canadian and Spanish tourists initially poured in. Eventually, however, word got out that Cuba was not much fun.+

Today, they still trickle in, but the boom in tourism that the Castros expected has not materialized. Those who do visit Cuba do so because it is, by far, the cheapest destination in the Caribbean. Those Europeans and Canadians who can pay more ignore Cuba as a destination.

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. My father worked for many years at what then was at one of the top hotels in the Caribbean. I sincerely do not understand why anyone would go to Cuba when you can find, not only in Puerto Rico, but all across the Caribbean, top-rated resorts (where, as a bonus, you are not subsidizing a murderous Communist regime intent on not changing).

As Capitol Hill Cubans point out, business will not bring change to Cuba,

The business community has been a key supporter of some of the worst dictatorships in modern times — all for the sake of stability.

Related:
A brief video of a street in downtown Havana, “in a good part of town,” and keep in mind Cuba received in 2014 US$300 million in trade from the US and 3 million international tourists:

Click on the photo above for more on Cuba travel.

Recommended reading:

NUESTROS AÑOS VERDE OLIVO

Persona Non Grata: A Memoir of Disenchantment with the Cuban Revolution

Just what we need: Ferries to Cuba! UPDATED

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

So we can all go see the misery by boat:
U.S. Permits Ferry Service to CubaThe U.S. has granted licenses to four American firms to operate ferry services to Cuba for the first time in more than a half century

Unclear was how receptive Cuba’s government would be, as it seeks to balance economic benefits with concerns that any sudden change could endanger the island’s one-party rule.

Oh, well, since you brought that up, Obama Appeases Cuba – Castro Demands Reparations And Return Of GITMO.

$5 says Obama will go along with that.

Back in the days when MTV actually played rock videos, David Bowie said in one of their ads, “too much is never enough.” Raul Castro couldn’t agree more.

We talked about this and other topics in today’s podcast,

UPDATE:
MARK FALCOFF: WHY LIBERALS LOVE CASTRO

Cuba: Fidel, druglord

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Inside Fidel Castro’s double life as a drug kingpin

For 17 years, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez served as a bodyguard to Fidel Castro. But when he became disillusioned with the Cuban dictator’s hypocrisy and tried to retire in 1994, Castro had him thrown in prison. Sanchez made 10 attempts to escape the island, finally making it to Mexico by boat, then across the Texas border in 2008. Now he reveals all in his new book, “The Double Life of Fidel Castro.” In this excerpt, Sanchez explains how he lost faith in the revolution — and “El Jefe.”

Read the article here.

Buy the book here.

Cuba: How’s that “easement” going?, part 2

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Forget about improving the conditions in the island-prison, says the ambassador to Germany

Cuba‘s ambassador to Germany Rene Juan Mujica Cantelar Thursday lowered expectations for political change on the Caribbean island after the ongoing historic reconciliation between Washington and Havana.

“This is not an issue that is on the agenda of the Cuban people, of the Cuban society,” he said at an event in Berlin.

He was answering a question about whether new political parties and independent media would be allowed in the future on the socialist island.

Way to go, comrade Rene, way to go! Keep up the good work. Keep defending the blissful merits of communism on behalf of the Cuban people!

Prior post:
Cuba: How’s that “easement” going?

“The Americans” non-values

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Please read my latest article, “The Americans” non-values.

UPDATED:
Alison Gopnik asks, Can loyalty to a country or an idea ever justify deception and murder? It can, if you have no moral compass.

Venezuela: Electricity rationing because of . . . global warming

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The country with (allegedly) highest oil reserves is starting to ration electricity.
Venezuela to Begin Nationwide Power Rationing
Persistent heat wave causes a surge in demand for air conditioning

Shaky power supply is one of many problems facing Venezuela as the resource-rich South American country reels from an economic crisis and a cash crunch partly due to lower oil prices. Frequent blackouts in the interior of the country have stoked accusations of mismanagement and insufficient power grid investment by the government, which nationalized the electricity sector under the late leftist leader, Hugo Chávez.

But authorities in Venezuela, which relies on hydroelectric turbines for two-thirds of its power supply, say climate change is to blame.

“This is, of course, linked to global warming and the excessive industrialization of capitalism, which never stops, nor has ever stopped, for the effects that it can have on the climate, on society and on Mother Earth,” Mr. Arreaza said.

The blackouts have been going on for a couple of years, but the rationing is new.

Talking from both sides of the mouth, they ask that you get a generator, to use up more Venezuelan gasoline that the government insanely subsidizes to a consumer price of $0.002 a gallon, because, capitalism causes global warming or something,

Vice President Arreaza also made a bizarre call for the use of “autogenerated” electricity to reduce demand on the government’s plants. “Both the public sector as well as large [private] consumers should opt for autogeneration,” he said in the statement announcing the new plan. “That is to say, that they use their own equipment and plants to generate electricity, especially in peak hours, and not use the National System.”

Venezuela is probably netting less than US$20/barrel on its heavy, low-quality oil. It needs oil at $151 a barrel to balance its budget.

Another Venezuelan export, cacao, can’t generate revenues because the government cancelled export permits.

Again, Communism doesn’t work.

Cuba: How’s that “easement” going?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Pres. Obama announced on December 17, 2014 an easing of U.S. relations with Cuba

that will engage and empower the Cuban people.

Four months and a few days later, how’s that working out so far?

Castro police arrest more than 100 Ladies In White, other activists as they leave Havana church

The Ladies in White have been attacked continuously every Sunday since Dec. 17.

How about the conditions of political prisoners?

Cuban secret policeman to hunger striker’s mother: ‘If he dies, it’s not our problem’

The Dec. 17 WH website statement was titled A Failed Approach.

Prescience.

Latin America: Why there’s no light at the end of the tunnel

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Vast natural resources, great human capital, and yet, LatAm wallows in corruption and crime. This is not likely to change for the foreseeable future.

Why?

Belen Marty writes about one reason why:
LatAm’s Socialist Countries Rival World’s Worst in Institutional Quality
Zimbabwe, Libya Outrank Venezuela in Dismal Scoresheet for Bolivarian Republics

Latin-American countries with governments that claim to be pursuing a “socialist” agenda come out the worst in the latest Institutional Quality Index published by Argentina’s Freedom and Progress Foundation, with several regional nations ranking alongside countries such as South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, and Gabon.

Argentina, governed between 2003 and 2007 by the late former President Néstor Kirchner, and by his spouse President Cristina Kirchner since 2007, has fallen the most in the rankings over the last 10 years, dropping 50 places to occupy position 137 out of 193 surveyed nations. In 2014 alone, Argentina fell several places to be rated worse than China, Uganda, and Lebanon.

Hugo Chavez’s legacy lives on,

Taking the same long-term view, the index shows how other regional countries have slid dramatically in the quality of their public institutions. Bolivia is down 99 places, Argentina by 33, Ecuador by 81, Venezuela by 75, and Paraguay fell by 61 positions, all since 1996.

Communism doesn’t work: Cuba takes the cake at 192, one notch above bottom-ranked North Korea, even after US$300million and 3 million tourists last year alone. Let’s pause for a Capt. Louis Renault moment.

The report, authored by academic Martín Krause, takes an average of eight indicators used by recognized international organizations. Among them are the Index of Economic Freedom (Compiled by the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation), Doing Business, the Rule of Law (the World Bank), and Corruption Perceptions (Transparency International).

The report, which you can read here in Spanish, concludes,

En definitiva, aquellos países que tienen una buena calidad institucional o aquellos que la han mejorado, en particular en relación a las instituciones de mercado, y dentro de ellas aquellas que protegen la inversión y la actividad emprendedora, muestran un mejor desempeño económico y, con ello, ofrecen más oportunidades de progreso a sus habitantes.

[My translation:]
Definitely, the countries with good institutional quality or those which have improved it, especially in regards to market institutions, and within those, the ones that protect investment and enterprise, show better economic performance, and, along with it, offer their citizens more opportunities for progress.

Venezuela: Maduro negotiated for Hezbollah training camps in Venezuela

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

A new book by Emili Blasco, Bumerán Chávez: Los fraudes que llevaron al colapso de Venezuela claims that Nicolas Maduro negotiated with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah for Hezbollah training camps in Venezuela.

The article, Nicolás Maduro negoció con Hizbolá la presencia de sus milicianos en Venezuela
Se entrevistó con su líder Nasralá para hablar de narcotráfico, blanqueo de dinero, suministro de armas y entrega de pasaportes
(Nicolás Maduro negotiated with Hezbollah its militia’s presence in Venezuela
He discussed with its leader Nasrallah drug trafficking, money laundering, supplying weapons and passports), by Blasco, the book’s author and Washington, D.C. correspondent for Spanish daily ABC, explains that the meeting, orchestrated by Hugo Chavez, took place in Damascus in 2007 when Maduro was Foreign Minister.

La cita en Damasco fue probablemente resultado de las conversaciones mantenidas en enero de 2007 por Chávez y el presidente iraní, Mahmud Ahmadineyad, que significaron un salto en la cooperación de Venezuela con los intereses del radicalismo islámico. En marzo de ese año entró en servicio un vuelo semanal entre Caracas y Teherán, con escala en una base militar de Damasco, lo que puso el Caribe más rápidamente al alcance de Hizbolá.

[my translation] The appointment in Damascus likely came about from January, 2007, conversations between Chavez and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which bounced up cooperation between Venezuela and Islamic state interests. On March that year, direct flights started between Caracas and Teheran, with a stop at a military base in Damascus, which placed the Caribbean at Hezbollah’s closer reach.

(h/t HACER)

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In other Venezuelan news, the government is using posters of opposition leader Henrique Capriles for target practice at the Universidad Nacional Experimental de la Seguridad military college.

UPDATE
Linked to by Frontpage. Thank you!

[Post corrected for misspelling]