Tag Archives: Cuba

Spies Who Came In From The Heat

During the past half century of American policy towards Cuba the goals of forcing Fidel Castro from power have gone nowhere except to spread hysteria and fear concerning alleged threats from the southern isle. Last week, Walter Myers and his wife Gwendolyn, were arrested on charges of spying for the Cuban government. Mr. Myers has been under suspicion since 1995 and under an FBI investigation since 2006. Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, posed the logical question of “why were they not arrested before” and added “doesn’t the story of Cuban spying seem really ridiculous to everyone?” Castro raised the logical question of why if someone was suspected in 1995 of being a spy wasn’t action taken a might bit earlier or does the FBI and other agencies ordinarily wait a decade before taking action?

This story smells to high heaven of an attempt to block attempts for an American-Cuban reconciliation. Or, is it simply another example of inept lack of action on the part of our “security” agencies?

Latin America Wants Obama To Welcome Cuba

Latin American leaders made clear to President Obama the policies over the past half century of isolating Cuba have failed and it was time to explore new roads. “There is no more Cold War,” shouted Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in urging the American president to put aside old anger and deal with life in the 21st century. Prior to the meeting Obama lifted restrictions on visiting Cuba and will allow relatives to send money back to their old home. Even as the discussions progressed Raul Castro insisted his country was ready to discuss “everything” in an open dialogue with Washington. He even got specific concerning what he would discuss with the United States. “We’ve told the North American government that we are prepared to discuss everything– human rights, freedom of the press political prisoners–everything, everything.”

Which approach will lead to freedom in Cuba– isolation and anger or discussion and openness?

About Time -Cuba Travel Restrictions Reduced

For nearly half a century, American foreign policy towards Cuba has been dictated by a small group of angry Cuban exiles who believe hatred is the basis of policy. Finally, President Obama has announced a change in policy that would lift some travel restrictions. “Restrictions on the families will be lifted” said an official which in effect means Cuban families can be united and the ridiculous policy of banning any interaction with the Cuban nation will end. The bottom line is there is no evidence pretending the Cuban government does not exist has benefited either the United States or the Cuban people. The only prior time Cubans could travel to their native land was during the Carter administration.

Castro remains in power despite American foreign policy. The people of Cuba suffer and there is no evidence boycotting their leaders leads to improved conditions.

American Sanity Toward Cuba?

During the past half century, one American president after the other has allowed a small group of Cuban exiles to dictate policy toward that nation. A Democrat and a Republican have decided to introduce a bill to end the decades old ban on travel to Cuba and restore a semblance of reality to the world of Latin America and the United States. There are an estimated 118 other co-sponsors of the bill which now stands an excellent chance of being adopted. It is estimated about 75,000 Americans either legally or illegally visit Cuba despite efforts by former president Bush to enforce the ban.

Common sense would allow travel to Cuba given there is now legal travel to such communist dictatorships as China and Vietnam. Mel Martinez who represents hard-core Cubans opposing lifting the ban promises to fight against it. The old world is dying and it is now the 21st century. Let’s shine some light of reality on Cuba.

Cuba–The Dream That Failed!

Fifty years ago, I sat glued to a television screen in January, 1959 watching the bearded heroes of Cuba swing joyously down the streets of liberated Havana and felt pride in the efforts of these young Cuban men and women who had driven out the hated dictator, Batista. Today, the dream of a free Cuba has long since died under the stifling control of the Castro brothers and all they represent of ancient rhetoric about freedom that exists in their minds, but not in the reality of the everyday lives of Cubans. Hundreds of dissident voices are locked in jails and gays and lesbians are persecuted by a regime that ostensibly represented the new world of freedom. Each week, the Dames de Blanco (Ladies in White) march together to St.Rita’s church in protest in protest against the imprisonment of their husbands who dared to speak out for freedom in Cuba.

The “Revolution” has brought excellent free medical care to the population and its schools produce excellent graduates in many areas such as medicine. People have sufficient, if boring, food and there are no outward differences between people as exist in capitalist nations. Hopefully, the Obama administration will restore relations with Cuba and open the door for more freedom and a better standard of living. Fortunately, the old anti-Castro crowd in Miami is now old and their children may be more receptive to dialogue.

UN Urges US End Boycott Of Cuba

Nearly a half century has gone by with the United States refusing to allow normal economic, social and political contacts to occur between the government of Cuba and America. The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution asking the United States to repeal its embargo against trade with the Cuban communist government. It was the seventeenth straight year nations of the world have made clear their distaste with the American policy which makes no sense and simply reflects the power of Cubans in Florida to use their political power to block trade with their former mother country. The UN vote was 184 to 4 which reflects how broad is consensus around the world about the incomprehensible American policy.

The United States initiated contact with Communist China over thirty years ago, and had relations with Saddam Hussein for years, but, contacts with Cuba remain off limits. America insists there is justification because Cuba has an undemocratic government and restricts political and economic freedom. If that is the reason, why did the United States for years have relations with the Soviet Union, Communist China, Iraq, etc….?

Russia To USA- How About Cuba Bases For Us!

The imperial presidency of George Bush and his heir apparent, John McCain believes it has the right to impose American will anywhere in the world at anytime and if a nation dares question a US presence near their territory, so much the worse for them. Russia has begun discussions with communist Cuba regarding the possibility of establishing a military base on its soil. According to Cuba expert, Ph il Peters of the Lexington Institute, “Russia is clearly irritated at what it perceives as US meddling in its neighborhood. It seems to be sending a message that if you play on our periphery, we will play in yours.” The Bush decision to establish a missile base in Poland was a provocative action that not only was regarded by Russian authorities as a challenge, but as an insult.

During the Cold War, Cuba received billions of dollars in aid from the Soviet Union, and depended upon such money to maintain its economic vibrancy. Perhaps, Putin talk about bases is merely bluster since Cuba itself might not enjoy becoming caught in a fight between Russia and the United States, but it high lights the danger of a Bush foreign policy that enjoys threatening other nations. We can assume John McCain will soon be shouting, “we are all Cubans!”

Cuba, 1962 Redeux Or Much Ado About Nothing?

Conflicting reports out of Russia and Cuba have added to confusion surrounding rumors Cuba will become a refueling stop for Russian nuclear military bombers. Monday’s Isvestiya, cited a “highly placed military source” as the basis for its report the Kremlin wanted to use Cuba as a base for its long range Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic nuclear bombers. According to this anonymous source, “While they are deploying the anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic, our long-range strategic aircraft already will be landing in Cuba.” Isvestiya is regarded as an unofficial conduit of what the Kremlin is thinking.

However, Russia’s Defense Ministry poured cold water on the report yesterday. Ilshat Baichurin, acting head of the defense ministry’s information department said: “Russia, guided by its peaceful policy, is not creating military bases at the borders of other states.”

The real question is why President Bush once again created a problem where none existed. There is no rational defense for building anti-missile systems in Poland or the Czech Republic if the goal is preventing an Iranian or North Korean attack. North Korea is cooperating with the UN and other nations to halt its nuclear program. Iran lacks capability to send missiles to Europe. The more obvious question is why would Iran fire missiles at Europe knowing full well their own nation would be blasted by nuclear weapons which are in the possession of France and Great Britain?

Bush Blunders Create New World Problem

President Bush pushed through his ill-advised idea to construct anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic which supposedly would protect Europe against unnamed enemies. Russia offered to cooperate in the dispute and even invited construction of the anti-missile bases on their own territory, but Bush, with his usual aggressive mentality insisted the bases would be built. A Moscow newspaper now reports the possibility of Russian nuclear armed bombers being stationed in Cuba. Once again, Bush has created a problem where none existed. Instead of WMD, he now fantasizes that somehow Iran or North Korea will be sending missiles in the direction of Europe. Fidel Castro, neither confirming nor denying the proposed bomber stationing, praised his brother Raul, for maintaining a “dignified silence” about the matter. The Cuban leader made clear his nation did not have to offer explanations to the United States about anything.

How did the world get into this new mess? Why did European nations allow themselves to get talked into building missile defenses on the border of Russia which were bound to arouse the ire of that nation? We live in Bushmania, a world in which George Bush sees enemies where none exist and then proceeds to create turmoil.

Cuban Socialist Medicine System Outdoes US In Cancer

American conservatives constantly denounce any effort to create a government sponsored health system and invariably claim socialized medicine systems lag behind the United States in medical care. The first ever global study of cancer, which was conducted by cancer epidemiologist Professor Michel Coleman of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine, examined cancer data from 31 nations. The study focused on the number of people who survive for at least five years after being treated for cancer. “On the numbers alone Cuba beats the US with the best survival rates in all but prostrate cancer” although there is still not complete evidence on all Cuban deaths. The United States takes the lead in breast and prostrate cancer overall and is in second place in colorectal cancer for both men and women.

The United Kingdom ranks lower than most European Union nations in cancer survival. In an interesting aside, Coleman points out in some countries patients appear to get good care wherever they are– which is not the case in the US despite its apparently good performance. The study suggests survival from cancer depends on access to diagnostic and treatment services, how much a nation spends on cancer care.