Posts Tagged ‘Guillermo Fariñas’

Venezuela: #SOSVenezuela and the war against the Chuckys

Monday, March 17th, 2014

A week ago,

In one of his more bizarre televised speeches, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro compared the opposition to movie villain Chucky from the 1980’s ‘Child’s Play’ slasher series

“The Chuckys of fascism,” according to him.

At least he stayed away from zombies.

He’s gone on to say that “behind ever Chucky there’s a Chuckylina,” an outsider who’s pulling the strings.

During a speech last Saturday where he warned that President Obama “has given orders to assassinate President Maduro” while

he was surrounded by men wearing olive uniforms, Maduro warned the “Chuckys”–he has rechristened the protesters after the bloodthirsty doll from the 1990s–that they had “a few hours” to leave Altamira Plaza in Caracas or they would face the full force of the Venezuelan military. Maduro warned that he was ready “to finish liberating the places still hijacked by the scammers and violent people who have taken them… I will go liberate those spaces with the public forces.”
Maduro also boasted that Venezuelan police had “captured almost 60 Chuckys in Plaza Altamira” and that he would “respect all the human rights,” above all the “right to work and right to health.” He then called opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski, who ran against Maduro in the country’s last election cycle, a “fascist.”

Daniel Duquenal asks, Is Capriles going to negotiate our surrender?

But back to the demonstrators, during yesterday’s “Cubans go home” protest,
Daniel found

not a flag from any political party. None, I have seen none!!!! In the two hours that I walked along, and back home. This is not about politics, about who should represent the opposition. This is about millions of Venezuelans that have had enough of chavismo, that want to reclaim their future.

They have their work cut out for them:

Maduro has been employing the services of armed paramilitary groups on motorcycles commonly known as “motorizados” or “colectivos,” who have wreaked havoc in both the capital of Caracas and outside rebel states like Táchira. Maduro has also employed the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB), the domestic wing of the military, against protesters, many of whom are said to be Cuban nationals and trained in torture and violent repression of political speech.

These groups have engaged in an active torture campaign, disfiguring the faces of protesters, and shot many in the face to prevent an open casket funeral featuring a young protester. They have also flooded apartment buildings known to house college students with teargas at night in an attempt to intimidate the protesters into not coming out the next morning. The current death toll is at 28, all unarmed student protesters.

It’s worth pointing out that the Bolivarian militia, an armed civilian force, is similar to Cuba’s Territorial Militia.

Cuban intelligence runs the Venezuelan state security apparatus, in exchange for 100,000 barrels of oil per day, as John Hinderaker points out. John links to that “Chuckylina” of the vast right wing conspiracy, the NY Times:

For Cuba, a military advisory role abroad is nothing new, even if its activities here differ from the combat brigades sent to Angola and Ethiopia in the 1970s or the advisers in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Cuba’s assistance in Venezuela is much broader, including areas like telecommunications and national identification card systems. The emergence of Cuba as Venezuela’s top ally has led to criticism that the Cubans are helping Mr. Chávez tighten his grip on an array of institutions.

Oscar Montealegre was in Caracas on February 12:

It was not the protesters that we had to worry about; it is more so the thugs that are commissioned by the government. I witnessed many of these thugs standing in the flatbeds of pick-up trucks; one truck had two men with no apparent government uniform with machine guns on their backs. Seeing that reinforced the intimidation tactics used by the government.

The students released this video on Saturday,

Among they protest also against Russia building a military base in Venezuela (3:10 in the video). John Hinderaker, again,

What happens in energy-rich Venezuela is important. Is it too much to hope that the final collapse of socialism in that country will extinguish the appeal of socialism across Latin America? Yes. Even here in the U.S., socialism–the stupidest idea that has ever occurred to a human being–keeps making comebacks. But in the medium term, the collapse of the Russia-Cuba-Venezuela-Nicaragua axis will be of great benefit.

It looks like Maduro called Cuba for reinforcements: Reports claim that Cuba prepares for Venezuela disruptions

two Cuban dissidents who have provided good information in the past said they have received reports that military reservists in six municipalities around the country were contacted this month to be ready for trouble in Venezuela.

Guillermo Fariñas, who served with a commando unit in Angola and underwent military training in the Soviet Union until he suffered a training accident, said three supporters told him about call-ups in his home province of Villa Clara.

The Military Committees in the municipalities of Santa Clara, Ranchuelo, Sagua La Grande and Manicaragua have asked several reservists with combat experience in Africa and Nicaragua and under 50 years of age if they would be willing to deploy to Venezuela.

So far, Maduro has not employed the official armed forces against protesters. Whether he’ll be able to control the military to the point that the Venezuelan military will fire on their fellow citizens remains to be seen.

Related: Busting the myth of freedom of speech in Venezuela


Obama makes campaign stop, meets Coco & Berta

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

after a $32,000/plate dinner, With Charlie Crist as guest, President Obama raises cash in Miami, chats with Cuban dissidents Guillermo “Coco” Fariñas and Berta Soler.

Florida’s newest high-profile Democrat, former Gov. Charlie Crist, was spotted at the Segovia Tower in Coral Gables at a $32,000-a-head fundraiser hosted by personal injury attorney Ralph G. Patino.

Obama moved next to a fundraiser hosted by Jorge Mas Santos, a Cuban American National Foundation leader and CEO of MasTec. There, the president thanked Mas Santos, who stood next to him, and singled out Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

Obama told two of Cuba’s leading dissidents in South Florida that he admires their sacrifices, a rare White House recognition of the peaceful opposition on the communist-ruled island.

“The most important thing here was the recognition by the president of the United States, the most powerful democracy in the world,” dissident Guillermo Farinas said minutes after the meeting.

The other dissident is Berta Soler, of the Ladies in White.

Speaking by the pool of Mas Santos’ house, Obama said his policy of supporting civil society in Cuba is beginning to show results, but that Washington must continue to be “creative and thoughtful” in its policies.

Results, you say? Cuban human rights monitor reports 763 political arrests in October.

Just last week Fariñas was beaten up by a mob in his hometown of Santa Clara, Cuba.

If you like your policy of supporting civil society in Cuba, you can keep it. Period.

Cuba: Dissidents meet exiles in Miami

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Article sent by three friends on how the dissidents that the Communist regime has allowed to travel have been met by their Miami compatriots:
Dissidents Find ‘Cuba Outside Cuba’ in Miami

When Cuban hunger striker Guillermo Farinas arrived in Miami, he said he was prepared to face rejection from radical members of the Cuban-American community who do not believe in pacific opposition.

The reaction has been far different. When he went to the Versailles restaurant, a traditional gathering spot for older exiles in the city’s Little Havana neighborhood, he was embraced. During an event at Miami’s iconic Freedom Tower, he was applauded.

“The love the exiles in Miami have shown us makes us discard what the government, over 54 years, has planted in our minds,” he said.

Read the whole thing.

While you’re at it, if you understand spoken Spanish, listen to Jaime Bayly’s interview with Berta Soler,

Part 1,

Parts 2, 3 with Laura Maria Labrada and Belkis Cantillo (also in the photo above), and 4.

En español: Bayly entrevista a Guillermo Fariñas

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Lloré escuchándolo.

1a parte:

2a parte:

3a parte:

4a parte:

4 items on Cuba: Mariela, Fariñas, Pittsburgh, and Barbara

Monday, May 13th, 2013

1. Last weekend Mariela Castro was in Philadelphia, where she received an award for her gay rights advocacy. Cashing in on the occasion, over in La Habana, the Communist regime allowed a calculated, state-sponsored rally to coincide with Mariela’s award.

2. Guillermo Fariñas is now traveling through the US and Europe to talk about human rights abuses in Cuba.

3. Six-day event in Pittsburgh targets discrimination in Cuba
Fidel Castro declared it nonexistent, but racism is still pervasive in a country known more for its rich culture

A group of Cubans attending AfricAmericas, a six-day event being held here through today, told stories that most U.S. blacks would find familiar, “but it is not like here,” said Manuel Cuesta Morua, who has been a tour guide, history teacher and a museum director whose political activism cost him his job. “In Cuba, we are all equal, but [blacks] can’t be in the media. We have the same education, but we can’t have that job.

“Here there are civic tools” and a justice system that can work, he said. “We have no political or symbolic representation, no access to the emerging economy” and no avenues to leadership positions.

4. Barbara Walters is retiring. Back in 1977 she spent 10 days in Cuba as Fidel Castro’s guest.

She came back with an interview that aired on TV, and a very persistent rumor that she boinked the dictator. Then she went back 25 years later, asked the same questions and got the same BS answers, like “we [Cuban Communists] don’t have the same notion of freedom as you”,

Since Fidel’s not available for interviews, but the regime needs money, expect more dissidents being allowed to travel abroad and that Mariela will get more awards.

The real test comes when the dissidents return to the island-prison. So far, it does not bode well.

Cuba to expel 52 political prisoners: 15 Minutes on Latin America

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Following up on yesterday’s post, I’ll talk about this news in this morning’s podcast at 11AM Eastern.

Church Brokers Deal to Free 52 Cuban Dissidents

WaPo editorial, Cuba’s marginal gesture

Hillary Clinton Welcomes Planned Release of Cuban Political Prisoners

Guillermo Fariñas ends his 134-day hunger strike

Babalu is all over this story. Make sure to check them for updates.

And in other Cuba news,
Venezuela to Extradite Salvadoran Terror Suspect to Cuba


The Russian oil bonus Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 5th, 2010

LatinAmerWelcome to the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. The week’s big story: More Russian oil and weapons deals with Venezuela,
Russia pays Venezuela $600 mln bonus for role in oil project

Russia’s National Oil Consortium on Friday paid Venezuela a bonus of $600 million for participation in the development of the Junin-6 deposit, the head of a company making part of the consortium said.

Vladimir Bogdanov, the head of Surgutneftegaz, added that Friday is to see constituent documents signed and a joint venture registered in which 60% belongs to Venezuela’s state oil and gas corporation Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA), and 40% to the Russian consortium.

The National Oil Consortium (NNK) of Russian companies working in Venezuela includes Russian energy giant Gazprom, state-run crude producer Rosneft, Russian-British joint oil venture TNK-BP, Surgutneftegaz and LUKoil.

Total investment into the Junin-6 block development – a project designed to last 25 years – is estimated to reach $20 billion. The agreement on the joint venture between Russia and Venezuela was signed a month ago in Moscow. The Junin-6 oil field could produce up to 450,000 barrels daily by 2017.

Putin Visits Venezuela to Discuss Oil and Arms


Argentina’s bond swap
Eating their words
The government tries to make peace with international capital markets

Maybe We Can Get The Nation’s Cruise To Stop There?

Brazil’s presidential campaign
Falling in love again with the state
Just rhetoric, or is the government learning the wrong lessons from the country’s economic rebound?

The Baron sent this article, No bishops involved in cases of sex abuse in Brazil, Vatican spokesman clarifies, while Sex abuse in Brazil: abuser priest provides checklist for selecting victims.

Chile’s new government
Running to rebuild a shaken country
Lacking his predecessor’s popular touch, Sebastián Piñera (below) and his team of business technocrats will face pressure from Chileans for quick results

Shakira’s Colombian War
The Latin pop star on why she’s spending millions on schools in her home country and beyond.

Drugs Fade in Colombian Economy

Audio slideshow: Cowgirls in Colombia

Cuba’s true martyrs

Spain extends citizenship application span until December 2011, citing huge demand

Possession of Spanish citizenship and a Spanish passport presumably makes it easier for Cubans to travel outside the island.

It also gives you access to better healthcare, too. Speaking of which, Commie love week in Brunswick, ME

Cuba policy

From Guillermo Fariñas

Mindful travel tourism to Cuba.

Somewhere near Salinas

Ecuador and financial crime
The Andean laundry
Worries that organised crime is tightening its grip

Chevron Suit Data Questioned
U.S. Scientist Says He Didn’t Write Reports Attributed to Him on Pollution in the Rain Forest

Plaintiffs’ Expert Reveals Fraud by Lawyers in Ecuador Lawsuit
In Sworn Deposition, Expert Denies Authoring Reports Submitted in His Name

Guatemala and organised crime
Reaching the untouchables
Attempts to stop drugs money corrupting public life in Guatemala are making some progress. In Jamaica (see
article) the worries are growing

Haiti relief efforts a mess

Donors and Haiti
Promises, promises
Donors pledge $5.3 billion for Haiti and talk bravely of fixing more than earthquake damage

US interventionism in Honduras continues

Jamaica and organised crime
Seeking Mr Coke
American anger at Jamaica’s slowness in handing over an alleged gang boss

An American Family’s Cancun Horror
Zeke Rucker is in a coma, and the Mexican government isn’t answering his family’s questions.

Suspect: Sheriff’s officer was killed in retaliation for alleged mistreatment

Mexico, the United States and drug gangs
Turning to the gringos for help
As drug-related violence continues to rise, Mexican and American officials unveil plans for unprecedented security co-operation. But will they work?

Severed Mexican Heads

Ortega ha realizado cambios en su gabinete sin aprobación del Congreso

Raw: Peru Traffic Cam Captures Auto Crash:

Peru’s Machu Picchu reopens to tourists

Shell refineries agree to install $6M of equipment

The settlement also affects a refinery in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, which was closed for business reasons in July 2008. Shell Chemical Yabucoa’s existing terminal operation in Puerto Rico will upgrade its operations, the Justice Department said.

Russia, Venezuela Strengthen Ties

Hugo plays at being rich, while beggars and strangers bearing gifts visit Venezuela

Freedom’s Enemies Emboldened

Increasing Numbers of Venezuelans Trying to Get to Europe:

Looks like Chavez has a potential friend in Afghanistan

Criticism of Chávez Is Stifled by Arrests

Cuba: Fariñas asks Chilean president to intervene at the UN for Cuban political prisoners

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas has requested that Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to officially request that the United Nations convene a Security Council meeting to discuss Cuba’s human rights violations, and the plight of political prisoners.

President Fernando Lugo of Paraguay has volunteered his services to mediate with the Communist regime, as if there was any middle ground.

Fariñas is currently on hunger strike to call international attention to his cause. As you may recall, Osvaldo Zapata Tamayo died earlier this month from his hunger strike, after being tortured by the regime “excellent medical care” by being denied hydration.

Cuban artist Geandy Pavon protests by projecting the image of Orlando Zapata Tamayo upon the facade of the Cuban Mission to the UN building in NYC,

Via Babalu

Babalu wants you to put your freedom to work, and you should UPDATED with VIDEO

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Val Prieto’s got an excellent post today,
Put your freedom to work, and this is why,






Go read the rest of the post. Stay involved. The more all of us stress the truth, the better the odds of saving lives.

Video, also via Babalu,

March 18, 2010 — 7 years after the Cuban ‘black spring’

EU condemns Cuba: 15 Minutes on Latin America

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern,
The European Parliament’s resolution, Cuba: MEPs condemn “avoidable” death of Orlando Zapata

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday strongly condemning the “avoidable and cruel” death of Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata and voicing its concern at the “alarming state” of another prisoner, Guillermo Fariñas. MEPs also repeat their call to the Cuban government for the “immediate and unconditional” release of all political prisoners and urge the EU to begin a “structured dialogue” with Cuban civil society.

Related reading:
Latin American Herald Tribune Euro Parliament Condemns Death of Cuban Dissident
Monsters and Critics Cuba denies role in dissident death, detains more dissidents
Babalu Andy Garcia slams Willy Toledo, and One moment, two men
Penultimos dias Óscar Arias alza la voz por Fariñas