Archives for October 2011
a week after she was admitted to a Havana hospital suffering from a respiratory infection and complications of her diabetes. While hospitalized, she also was diagnosed as suffering from dengue fever, a too common illness on the island.
Marc Masferrer renders homage,
For eight years, Pollan was kept apart from her husband Hector Maseda, one of the Group of 75 dissidents arrested and imprisoned during the “black spring” of 2003.
For eight years, Pollan and other Damas De Blanco — made up of the wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and other family members of the Group of 75 — marched peacefully through the streets of Havana, bearing witness on behalf of their loved ones and against their captors. They braved the worse the dictatorship could throw against , up to and including outright assaults and arrests, but they persisted, motivated by their love for their imprisoned men and as time passed, by the support of many of their fellow Cubans and of admirers overseas inspired by their example.
The Damas, with Pollan at the forefront, were among the brave Cubans who after the murder of prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo eventually convinced the regime last year that the continued imprisonment of the Group of 75 was no longer tenable. The Spanish government and the Catholic Church claimed the credit for the eventual release of those prisoners still in jail, but it was the Damas and other Cubans — like Zapata and Guillermo Farinas — with the courage to take on the Castros, who made it happen.
Even after Maseda and others were released, Pollan remained a leader, expanding the Damas’ efforts to demand the release of other political prisoners and to other parts of Cuba
Recently she was violently attacked by the Communist regime’s thugs, yet she never gave up the daily struggle for freedom.
Here she is, in her own words,
Mexico’s National Migration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración de México – INM) has released a study showing that illegal immigration from Central American countries through Mexico heading to the USA has decreased by 70% (h/t Silvio) due to organized crime.
Beltrán also stated that Mexican immigration to the USA has decreased by one third since its peak of 450,000 in the years from 2000 to 2005.
INM Commissioner Salvador Beltrán del Río explained that the decrease is due to the increased risks of human trafficking, extorsion and kidnapping faced by the immigrants from organized crime’s larger role in immigration.
The worst incident so far was in August 2010, when the Zetas kidnapped and murdered 72 immigrants in the northern state of Tamaulipas, which borders Texas.
Los Zetas, according to the US Justice Department, are involved in the aborted plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US which
also included plans to pay the cartel, Los Zetas, to bomb the Israeli Embassy in Washington and the Saudi and Israeli Embassies in Argentina, according to a law enforcement official.
The national security threats from drug cartels are not limited to drugs alone.
Two headlines today,
Republicans increasingly see Mitt Romney as the ‘inevitable candidate’
“He’s viewed as an almost inevitable candidate,” said longtime strategist Ed Rollins, who until last month managed the campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), one of Romney’s opponents. “He’s the heavy favorite.”
“Many American people are saying, ‘You know what? This longshot may not be such a long shot.’”
As Taranto says, “Two Papers in One!”
The European Space Agency’s launching from French Guiana a Galileo satellite for the EU’s first own GPS,
They’re using a Russian Soyuz, which shows you how much things have changed from when our generation was growing up: A Russian rocket launched from our hemisphere, for the purpose of providing navigation information to Europe.
After more than six years being held up by the Senate Democrats, the Colombia FTA has been approved by the House:
House approves South Korea, Panama, Colombia trade deals
In a long-awaited move, the House on Wednesday approved three trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, as well as the renewal of an aid program for workers who have lost their jobs because of outsourcing, sending the pacts to the Senate for final approval Wednesday evening.
The three trade deals, which would boost U.S. exports by $13 billion, were originally negotiated by the Bush administration but have been stalled for years as the parties wrangled over renewing the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, as well as over anti-union violence in Colombia.
It was about time.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the guy who had a bomb in his underpants, plead guilty,
A Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound plane with a bomb in his underwear two years ago pleaded guilty on the second day of his trial Wednesday.
He now faces a possible life sentence.
From the Department of Justice’s statement,
Two Men Charged in Alleged Plot to Assassinate Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States
The Alleged Plot
The criminal complaint alleges that, from the spring of 2011 to October 2011, Arbabsiar and his Iran-based co-conspirators, including Shakuri of the Qods Force, have been plotting the murder of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. In furtherance of this conspiracy, Arbabsiar allegedly met on a number of occasions in Mexico with a DEA confidential source (CS-1) who has posed as an associate of a violent international drug trafficking cartel. According to the complaint, Arbabsiar arranged to hire CS-1 and CS-1’s purported accomplices to murder the Ambassador, and Shakuri and other Iran-based co-conspirators were aware of and approved the plan. With Shakuri’s approval, Arbabsiar has allegedly caused approximately $100,000 to be wired into a bank account in the United States as a down payment to CS-1 for the anticipated killing of the Ambassador, which was to take place in the United States.
According to the criminal complaint, the IRCG is an arm of the Iranian military that is composed of a number of branches, one of which is the Qods Force. The Qods Force conducts sensitive covert operations abroad, including terrorist attacks, assassinations and kidnappings, and is believed to sponsor attacks against Coalition Forces in Iraq. In October 2007, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Qods Force for providing material support to the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.
The complaint alleges that Arbabsiar met with CS-1 in Mexico on May 24, 2011, where Arbabsiar inquired as to CS-1’s knowledge with respect to explosives and explained that he was interested in, among other things, attacking an embassy of Saudi Arabia. In response, CS-1 allegedly indicated that he was knowledgeable with respect to C-4 explosives. In June and July 2011, the complaint alleges, Arbabsiar returned to Mexico and held additional meetings with CS-1, where Arbabsiar explained that his associates in Iran had discussed a number of violent missions for CS-1 and his associates to perform, including the murder of the Ambassador.
Shakuri remains at large. Arbabsiar was arrested on Sept. 29, 2011, at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, as a result from the cooperation of the Mexican government, which the Justice Department specifically acknowledges.
In Latin America, drugs, criminality and terrorism are threads of one fabric.
Additionally, this case illustrates the issue that border security is national security.
The good news in this planned act of war from Iran is that the Mexican government and the DEA have deeply infiltrated at least one of the cartels.