Archive for the ‘Fidel Castro’ Category

The post-Thanksgiving weekend Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, December 1st, 2014

LatinAmerYes, I love Thanksgiving Day. No, I don’t go shopping in stores on the weekend.

Now we have that out of the way, let’s look at the week’s stories:

ARGENTINA
Castro Helped the Devil in Argentina

Although they kept it quiet, Argentina’s dictators had a gentlemen’s agreement with Castro. Under the pact, Videla supported Cuba’s bid in 1977 to join the Executive Council of the World Health Organization, a diplomatic feather in Castro’s beret. The quid pro quo was that Havana stump among nonaligned nations to name Argentina to the United Nations prestigious Economic and Social Council. Apparently Cuba’s vote was the 18th and decisive ballot, landing Argentina the coveted UN seat.

Argentina to Snoop Emails from Citizens with Swiss Bank Accounts
Suspected Tax Violators Must Prove Innocence to Authorities

BOLIVIA
ICYMI Beware a Leftist Landslide in Bolivia

BRAZIL
Capping Brazil’s Corruption Gusher

Brazil’s Economy Claws Out of Recession
GDP Expands 0.1% in Third Quarter But Outlook for Latin America’s Biggest Economy Remains Clouded

Drought-hit Sao Paulo may ‘get water from mud': TRFN

CHILE
Chilean Teachers on Strike over Bachelet’s Education Reform
Internal Union Dispute over Benefits May Cause Ruling Party to Reshape Policy

COLOMBIA
Colombia: Farc rebels release two soldiers

CUBA
The Blackest of Fridays Planned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara

Castro’s agents had targeted Macy’s, Gimbels, Bloomingdales, and Manhattan’s Grand Central Station with a dozen incendiary devices and 500 kilos of TNT. The holocaust was set for detonation the following week, on the day after Thanksgiving.

CNN promotes pro-Castro editorials of The New York Times to a wider audience

Silence Enables Violence Against Cuba’s Dissidents

ECUADOR
Ecuador shrimp prices tumble as Chinese buyers hold off

ENTERTAINMENT

Antonio Banderas, Distinguished as Buenos Aires Guest of Honor

IMMIGRATION
White House – Illegal Immigrants Entitled to Social Security and Medicare

Incentivizing the Lawless and Penalizing the Lawful

JAMAICA
Jamaica’s Economy to Show Growth for 2014/15

LATIN AMERICA
The great deceleration
The region’s economies have slowed far more abruptly than anyone expected

Worst off are those countries with populist governments that squandered the windfall from the boom. Forecasters see no let-up in the stagflation afflicting Venezuela and Argentina. Thanks to lack of investment and clumsy macroeconomic management, Brazil’s economy will barely grow this year and faces a fiscal squeeze in 2015. Yet the deceleration goes far wider. The high-flying and well-run economies of Chile, Peru and Colombia are all suffering. The growth rate this year in Chile (2%) and Peru (around 3%) is half that of 2013. Contrast that with sub-Saharan Africa, which is also a big commodity producer and where the IMF expects growth of 5.1% this year and 5.8% next.

MEXICO
As Mexican Border Town Tries to Move On, Some Are Stuck in Limbo

British forensic experts work with Mexican parents to create database of disappeared
As Mexican president announces police revamp following student atrocity outrage, British-funded project aims to identify human remains buried in mass graves across violence-plagued country

NICARAGUA
Andres Oppenheimer: Canal calamity looms in Nicaragua

PANAMA
Alleged Ponzi scammer Quintin Earl Sponagle returned to N.S., to stay behind bars until Tuesday

PERU
Corruption Revives Debate on Peru’s Political Stability

PUERTO RICO
U.S. government warns Puerto Rico of funding loss if transit shuts

URUGUAY
Uruguay’s election
Feeling very mellow
Voters are not in the mood for change

VENEZUELA
Venezuela to charge opposition leader over alleged plot to kill President Maduro
Maria Corina Machado denies any wrongdoing and says the threat is an attempt to silence critics of the government

Venezuela Says 35 Prison Inmates Dead From Overdose
Pressure is building on Venezuela’s government to fully investigate a rising number of deaths at an overcrowded prison, with human-rights activists questioning authorities’ claim of a mass drug overdose by dozens of inmates who stormed an infirmary.

The week’s posts:
Venezuela: AP does Orwell so well

Argentina: Investigate Cristina, get impeached?

En español: Terapia Intensiva 233

Mexico’s failures and immigration

Venezuela: New deal with China

Panama: Legal truble for Carlos Slim

At Da Tech Guy Blog:
The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans

On thankfulness and apple pie



Venezuela: Beyond-the-grave nepotism

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Your country seeks a seat in the UN’s Security Council. Who better than the late dictator’s daughter, who has never held a job?

Security Council-ready!

Chávez Heir Lands First Job: U.N. Envoy
Some say María Gabriela Chávez, a daughter of Venezuela’s late Socialist leader Hugo Chávez, is unprepared to be deputy ambassador to the United Nations, as Venezuela seeks a Security Council seat on the world body.

Ms. Chávez, 34 years old, has never held a formal job and is known as a socialite—the Kardashian of Sabaneta, her father’s hometown—who posts “selfies” on social media, said former diplomats and political analysts. Unlike her older sister, Rosa Virginia Chávez, who studied international relations, the younger Ms. Chávez has demonstrated little inclination for geopolitics.

Rosa Virgina is not to be confused with her other sister, Rosinés Chávez who has demonstrated some, shall we say, unsocialistic tendencies,

while María Gabriela knows all the right people,

She’ll fit right in at the UN.

[Post corrected to add omitted text]


En español: El Foro de Sao Paulo, creación de Castro y da Silva

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Julio M Shilling, escritor y politólogo explica como Fidel Castro y Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva crean y organizan el Foro de Sao Paulo, para destruir la democracia en America a traves del proceso electoral, rescatando e implantando régimenes comunistas.

Mexico: Behind the Peña Nieto-Fidel photo-op

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto attended CELAC last week and sat with Fidel Castro for the cameras. Carlos Puig explains what’s behind the photo-op:
Mexico’s Pena Nieto Is for Reform, Just Not in Cuba

The picture released afterward by the Cuban government — Pena Nieto talking, Fidel listening — didn’t come cheap. Last year, Pena Nieto’s administration erased $340 million of Cuba’s debt to Mexico, or about 70 percent of the total amount. That’s more than the value of trade between the two countries, which reached $297 million over the first nine months of last year; $274 million of that represented Mexico’s surplus. The bilateral relationship is otherwise limited. From the Mexican side, at least, the main issue may be the influx of Cubans who use Mexico as a way station to the U.S.

Puig poses the question,

Yet it isn’t clear what Mexico gains by ignoring the reality that Cuba has no elections, no political parties, no free press or freedom of expression, and that dissidents are harassed and jailed. Certainly, Mexico stands to gain little economic benefit.

Pena Nieto’s choice also raises interesting questions about the character of a government willing to ignore such human-rights violations in a neighboring country. Isn’t such a government more likely to excuse its own human-rights problems, such as the tens of thousands of murders and disappearances during the last decade of drug war?

Meanwhile, in Mexico, there’s a lot going on in Michoacán’s Tierra Caliente. Enrique Krauze describes Mexico’s Vigilantes on the March

The epicenter of the present vigilante confrontation with the Knights Templar is the area known as the Tierra Caliente, a relatively isolated zone that, since colonial times, has been marked by its torrid climate, fertile soil, aggressive animals, poisonous plants, and a tendency toward violence among its inhabitants. Fray Diego Basalenque, who composed chronicles of Michoacán in the 17th century, wrote about the Tierra Caliente: “For someone not born here, it is uninhabitable. For its natives it is unbearable.” It has become a preferred sanctuary for the Knights.

The national government recently sent a substantial federal force (both military and police) to the region. Corrupt municipal police officers have been stripped of their authority and national troops have established a modus vivendi with self-defense groups. The vigilantes have the support of the majority of the population and of respected clerics.

Unverified rumors have it that some of the self-defense units are connected with a narco gang in a neighboring state called Jalisco New Generation Cartel (Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación). Regardless of whether that is true or not, President Enrique Peña Nieto, who came to power in 2012, would be wise to press for the incorporation of the vigilantes into a legal entity, as two powerful presidents in the 19th century, Benito Juárez and Porfirio Díaz, did when they were dealing with crime. They developed a mobile strike force (Los Rurales) that suppressed rampant banditry. The elimination of a gang like the Knights Templar, however, will require much intelligence-gathering and coordination among various law-enforcement agencies. And it will take time.

Joshua Partlow, on the other hand, last week posited that A Mexican militia, battling Michoacan drug cartel, has American roots.


Cuba: Dementor sighting at an art gallery

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Dementor, Harry Potter version:

Dementor, Cuban version:

Details here (h/t Babalu).


Cuba: What Castro knew about Oswald

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Mary O’Grady reports on Brian Latell’s book, Castro’s Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA, and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy
What Castro Knew About Lee Harvey Oswald
The official narrative skips tantalizing signs of a Cuban connection.

The agency [CIA] recruited Rolando Cubela, a revolutionary insider, to do the job.

But Cubela was a double agent. And on Sept. 7, just after Cubela agreed to help the Americans, Castro gave an interview to an AP reporter in which he put the U.S. on notice that “aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders” would mean that “they themselves will not be safe.”

Castro didn’t need to look far for a willing partner to back up those words. It is “known with near certainty,” writes Mr. Latell, that Cuba had “opened a dossier” on Oswald in 1959, while he was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, in Southern California. Oswald was enamored of the Cuban Revolution, and he had made contact with the Cuban consulate in Los Angeles.

On Sept. 27, 1963, Oswald checked into the Hotel Comercio in Mexico City for a five-night stay. He tried to get a visa from the Cuban embassy to travel to Havana. He had a fling with an embassy employee and probably spent time with others who were intelligence agents. When his visa was not forthcoming, witnesses said he went on a rant at the embassy, slammed the door and stormed off.

According to Mr. Latell, during his Mexico City stay Oswald twice visited the Soviet consulate where he met with “an officer of the notorious Department 13, responsible for assassination and sabotage operations.” The KGB was training Cuban intelligence at the time, and “it seems certain that [Oswald’s] intelligence file in Havana was thickening.”

Castro’s claim about Oswald—in a speech 30 hours after Kennedy was shot—that “we never in our life heard of him” was a lie. Indeed, in a 1964 conversation with Jack Childs —an American communist who had secretly been working for the FBI—Castro let it slip that he knew of Oswald’s outburst while at the embassy in Mexico City and said that the ex-Marine had threatened to kill the U.S. president.

Castro’s Secrets is also available on Kindle.

Related:
Prose poetry from (who else!) Carlos Eire, Dispatch From the Balcony of Time Travel

Cuba: A grim anniversary

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Today is the 60th anniversary of Fidel Castro’s attack of the Moncada army barracks. Venezuela’s tinpot dictator Nicolas Maduro, along with Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Uruguay’s Jose Mujica and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega are celebrating in Havana.

Carlos Eire, however, is shedding light on what it really means:
A brief and personal history of 100 years of Cuban history

I cannot possibly cut and paste his heartbreaking post. You must read it in full. Click on the photo for the full article:

While you’re at it, buy his books.

And,
Over the years, I have been asked why do I feel such affinity for the plight of the Cubans. It’s simple: If my Spanish grandparents had decided to move to Cuba instead of Puerto Rico, that would have been my story, too.

image-1

There but for the grace of God, go I.

Cuba: FIDEL CASTRO DEAD?

Friday, October 19th, 2012

10PM
The perfect headline,
Another Day, Another Claim That Castro Is Really Dead
More rumors that Fidel Castro has died are quickly denied by the government and his family.

6PM
No announcement. It is, as it was this morning, the same-old, same-old.

The really interesting story is how these rumors continue to take shape.

4PM
While we wait, a blast from the past,

3:25PM
The Ministry of Foreign Relations tweets, “The Ministry of Foreign Relations denounces false reports from @gobcubaexter account and its messages”

3:20PM Nothing on Radio Habana. 3:15PM Nothing on Granma. I’ll be live-blogging the rumors until 6PM, when supposedly “an official announcement” will be made. 3PM: Nothing in the cable channels. 2:45PM The foreign minister tweeted,

 

 

Formal announcement to follow at 6PM.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Bring out Zombie Fidel, again!

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Last week he was dead, this week he had a stroke; the rumors keep pouring in.

Fidel Castro suffered a stroke, Venezuelan doctor says
A Naples doctor said former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is near ‘a neurovegetative state’ after suffering a stroke.

The reason for the latest round of rumors is that

Castro was last seen in public in March, during the visit to Cuba of Pope Benedict XVI. Since June, he has not written his opinion columns, called “Reflections.” He did not send any message or congratulation to Chávez for his recent election victory.

Which means that the regime forgot to get Fidel’s amanuenses on the job.

Fidel’s physical condition is almost besides the point; as I’ve been saying for years, what’s important is what the Communist regime decides to leak out.

For now, it all amounts to a lot of rumors. Keep the champagne in the fridge for now.

UPDATE,
the Diplomad on Castro and the Nazis: Makes Perfect Sense

Let me repeat some things I have said before to show that no contradiction exists between Castro being a Communist, and Castro dealing with post-WWII Nazis. The Castro brothers inherited a virulent strain of anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism common among certain educated elites in Latin America. A legacy of Spain and old-time Spanish Catholicism, it started as hatred and resentment for upstart Protestant England, and in Latin America morphed into hatred and resentment for upstart “Protestant” USA.

The brothers got a double dose of the virus. Their father was a Spanish-born veteran of the War of 1898 who stayed on in Cuba. We can imagine family conversations when the topic turned to the USA. This household environment combined with that era’s Spanish Jesuit schooling would have turned just about anybody anti-American. As I have noted before, Communism in Latin America is a natural complement to a pre-existing intellectual and emotional strain of anti-Americanism, anti-Protestantism, and anti-capitalism. Once the brothers assumed power, it is not at all surprising that they would throw in with the Soviets; Raul was in all likelihood a KGB informant since the early 1950s.

There can be no doubt that had Nazi Germany been around in the 1950s as the world’s preeminent anti-capitalist, anti-democracy, and anti-USA power, Fidel, Raul, and the racist gangster Che (Note: read what he had to say about Mexicans) would have hitched their wagons to the Hitler train.

There is no real conflict between Communism and Nazism except, of course, of which one takes power. They are both phenomena of the left; both believe in the state over the individual; in the state-control of the economy; and in crushing religion and other independent sources of power and potential rivalry to the state. They do not believe in rule of law, tolerance of diversity, and protection of dissent. The biggest difference is that the Communists were much more successful at bamboozling the “educated elites” and used much smoother words to try to disguise their evil natures. The Nazis were always too bombastic, “in your face,” and made little effort to hide their true aims. All that stylistic and cosmetic nonsense aside, Fidel, Raul, Che, Kim-il Sung, Stalin, etc, would have been perfectly happy to be Nazis and to espouse their anti-capitalist, anti-democracy, anti-religion, and anti-individual line. There should be nothing surprising in the Castros’ efforts to reach out to Nazis to help carry on their mad war against the Cuban people and the United States.

Cuba: If it’s October, the rumors must be flying

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Val Prieto was talking about it last week, and now Mary O’Grady asks, Is Fidel Castro Dead, Again?

It’s not just a Halloween thing; O’Grady is asking since this time Nelson Bocaranda, who has been writing about Hugo Chávez’s health, tweeted,

And in his October 16 article (in Spanish) asserted, as O’Grady points out,

By Monday afternoon there was still no official word from Havana. But Mr. Bocaranda stuck with his story. He tweeted: “I reiterate that we will have news from Cuba in the next few days. The delay is not my fault. I am sorry.”

Bocaranda is taking a huge risk by saying this, because he’s laying his credibility on the line, while the news has very little to do with actual fact but a lot to do with a Communist regime’s hold on power.

Cuba is a totalitarian state where the government has a stranglehold on information.

Five years ago, I wrote in my then-Pajamas Media (now PJMedia), article,

Throughout the past year the world has been treated to a series of videos and photos showing the ailing Castro wearing a jogging suit while entertaining visiting dignitaries, most prominently his disciple Hugo Chavez. Chavez, who is providing Cuba 80,000 barrels of oil daily, always returns from these trips exulting about how well Fidel is recovering.

After each of these, the Cuban government’s newspaper, Granma, repeats the same carefully crafted message the Cuban people have been hearing for nearly fifty years: to continue the struggle, to strive for the impossible. The US is “a decaying empire that threatens us all”. It also reminds Cubans that they too, should endure their sorrows – sorrows inflicted by Castro’s own dictatorship – without complaint. The bottom line of the message is, Nothing is ever going to change.

But the reality is that things will change, and will change rapidly immediately following the news of the death. Everything, from large-scale civil upheaval from a people long-oppressed by a cruel government, to a large number of exiled Cubans seeking to reunite with their relatives by bringing them to the USA, to a total collapse of Cuban society, can not be dismissed as a possibility.

The existing Cuban power structure will collapse.

When Castro dies, will the Cuban government release the information at the time of the death? That is very unlikely. Even with all the behind-the-scenes preparations that may or may not have taken place over the past twelve months, there will be a delay because those in power will try to hold on to power for as long as they possibly can.

So the question is, for how long will the news of Castro’s death be delayed?

I stand by my words.

Related:
New Travel Law Just Another Survival Tactic for Castro

Cross-posted in The Green Room.