Feb 25, 2010

Orlando Zapata Tamayo - condolences and updates

Last minute add-on:

I'd like to point out at comments that I've seen today that Orlando Zapata Tamayo was operated last year to remove a brain tumor. Obviously, this comment is being popped out by the cyberbrigade that wants to attribute his death to us, the evil empire and the exiles, instead of the communist regimen that murdered him.

I will try to get more info on this, but one commenter at Guamá explained the surgery had to be done to removed a blood clot caused by a beating he received in jail, and that a physician publicly talked about.

Myself, having had a close relative doing her med school practices in the Kilo 7 prison in Camaguey, I learned first hand countless of stories like this one, so it could be, potentially, true that they had to operate him after a beating.

First Clue: from this report, in Spanish, at the Argentinian newspaper La Prensa.

Second: Carlos Alberto Montaner also mentions it while talking with ABC.

Third: it makes totally sense, since Zapata Tamayo started the hunger strike to protest agains the beatings and abuses he was subjected to this seven years in prison.

Now, for all those trolls in Twitter with their commie "get in your face" operative: suck it up.

* * * * * 
Uncommon Sense:
Reyna Luisa Tamayo remembers her son

Radio Marti covered the visitation and funeral in Banes, Holguín, Cuba.

Las Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) have opened a condolences book in their website.
Go there and pay your respects to a man that never bend over the tyrant.
Do it in any language. Freedom and solidarity do not know of nationalities...

Capitol Hills Cubans got these pics from the entrance of the Cuba's Interest Section in Washington DC and the crappy office they use for consular paperwork and "services", if that could ever be called service.

Penúltimos Días (in Spanish) also has a round up of the coverage in Spain and Europe's crappy response to this murder. They, indeed, are in loved with the tyrant, so they don't want to mess their dating fantasies. Cubans? Who the hell cares about a that noisy Black Cuban? Whatever...

Reynaldo, at Crossing the Barbed Wire, summarizes the seven steps that lead to Zapata Tamayo's death.


Feb 24, 2010

RIP, Orlando Zapata Tamayo

Since yesterday afternoon, when the buzz on Twitter alerted me of the death of Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo - after eighty something days on hunger strike - I've been trying to come up with a post up to the height of this brave young man.

But I am sooooooo mad (to use a PG audience language) , that it's been really hard to come up with a decent post to honor him. Twitter has been my best scapegoat since the news broke up.

Right there I saw the coverage of his death going viral, right there I received the request of followers that do not read Spanish trying to support us, right there we were able to uncover the communist cyberbrigade that castro's thugs call in full mode to discredit the independent reports from the island.

(Those that, hiding in Havana's IT college server, call us "worms" and try to put the blame on us, when they are twittering wearing masks in their avatars.)

It is also throught Twitter that we have been able to follow the transit of his body from the Forensic Institute in Havana to his hometown of Banes, Holguín, East of Cuba. And, trust me, we have seen (or read) it all.

The Cuban government got into a full mode operative, including the interruption of the cell phone signals because they know they can not block Twitter, and they needed to block the information within Cubans in the island. They also surrounded Zapata's house in Banes, in a effort to avoid a massive protest. And several dissidents were arrested also to prevent them from attending Zapata's funeral and visitation.

Zapata Tamayo was 42 years old. Single and without children. He was arrested before the Black Spring of 2003, merely for advocating for human rights for all Cubans. A peaceful dissident - no terrorrism or weapons were ever involved. A Christian and religious man. Recognized by Amnesty International as prisoner of conscience... during his hunger strike to protest the mistreatments he consistenly recived in the Kilo 7 prison in Camaguey, he was denied water for 18 consecutive days. Then they took him to the hospital when they knew he was gonna die.

They did with Pedro Luis Boitel in the late sixties.
They did with Zapata Tamayo yesterday.
They have blood in their hands, as Pong cleary puts it, right in the eve of the second year anniversary of the change of crown.

I can't help to repeat myself over, and over, and over:

Mandela, OEA, UN, EU, Obama, Black Congressional Caucus, singers of "We are the World", Juanes and so many other useful idiots that have been coddling with the communist tiranny for years: WE ARE YOU?!

For an entire recap:

Marc, at Uncommon Sense, has it all in English.

Babalú Blog posted the lousy statement from Obama's State Department.

Penúltimos Días has constant updates in Spanish.

Aguaya has also been covering the news in Spanish, in her blog and Twitter.

You can follow the news in Twitter:
#Orlando Zapata Tamayo
I changed my Twitter avatar to use his picture. We did it for Neda.
We can do it again.

Several Cuban exiles tried to honor him with flowers in front of the Cuban Embassy in Madrid, Spain. Libertad Digital has this video:

I'm royally pissed off.
I don't know what to write.
I've tried several times now to see the videos smuggled out of Cuba with Orlando's mother comments. But I haven't been able to finish. I just can't.

What can one write about such a criminal assasination?

There are only two sure things:
First, mothers are not meant to bury their children. We are not meant to do that. WE ARE NOT!
Second, justice might be slow, but she always shows up. And payback is a damned b%$#&.

Feb 22, 2010

Next target locked: your 401 (k)

Brace yourself for the worse impact, because Obama's socialist take over of this country does not end with the health care power grab reloaded edition. That is, actually, just the beginning.

His next target to ameliorate the unpreccedent deficit and debt?

Your 401 (k)! - Via Investors Business Daily. Welcome to the next USA power grab, á la Argentina circa 2008.

Burning points:
  • First, this shouldn't be news or take us by surprise. Actually, Joe "late for the Malcom Baldridge Award Ceremony" Biden spelled it out during the campaign trail.
  • The topic was already on the table during last fall hearing in the House Education and Labor Committee. MSM, where were you?! 
  • The "conversion" may start out as an optional choice, but with this administration, one should by now that their options usually leaves you with no option.
  • You've got to love the lady: As former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, "The trouble with socialism is you run out of other people's money to spend." And now they want to spend our retirement savings.
Exit question: when the crisis exploded in Argentina, our South American neighborgs fled in masses to South Florida. Once we're left without healthcare, seniors without Medicare and working Americans without retirement savings, where do we escape to?

Love the title: "Keep Your Hands Off My 401(k) Act of 2010."
Who's to lead the resistance?

WH being acussed of federal crime in Michael Bennet's race

The bombshell exploded - via The American Spectator and it seems than thanks to Democrats. 

And the crap is hitting Michael Bennet's fan in Colorado due to the bribe the White House tried to give Andrew Romanoff, in the form of a job at the Department of the Interior, so that he wouldn’t run against doomed Democrat Michael Bennett in the Colorado primary. 

The Denver Post covered the story back in September 2009.

Gosh, how I miss the Rocky Mountain News!

For the Philadelphia BOGO offer, read here
Double gulp.

Weren't you dying for the lack of hopeandchange and got a Chicago thug in the White House to later hand him all branches of power?

Miguelito, maybe the Tea Party won't even need to go after you in 2010 after all!


Modern slavery: Cuban doctors sue Venezuelan & Cuban governments

Seven Cuban doctors and a nurse have sued both Cuba's and Venezuela's government, and the stated-run company PDVSA over charges of "modern slavery" with the mission "Barrio Adentro".

Flashback: last year, three Cuban workers who managed to escape sued a Curacao shipyard business for conspiring with the Cuban government and forcing them into virtual slave labor. And they won.

This trend is not news. Castro has been doing this with Cuban professionals since he started sending people all over the world in the early sixties.

It's just that world has chosen to look the other way.

Case point: my own family experience.

My parents and I went to Libya in the 80's. My father was the second in charge of a project to build a highway from a tiny village in the middle of nowhere (Araneb) to Al-gatrum, a town near the border with Chad.

Actually, because he was the second in charge of the project, he was able to pressure the Construction Ministry to be allowed to travel with my mother and I; otherwise, he would have had to spent those five years there, separated from us.

We were, literally, in the middle of the dessert, in living quarters (campamentos)  built only for us, Cubans. We were given everything you need to live: food, shelter, clothes, medical attention and the recreational activities tied up to "revolutionary celebrations".

The salaries were paid, in Cuban pesos, to an authorized relative in Cuba. The individual monthly-allowance paid right there, per person, was 10 dinares - no idea what was the equivalent in dollars back then.

But we could not leave those quarters without previous authorization from the communist party committee. To go shopping to a nearby village, we had to go in groups, always led by a member of the PCC.

Once, we visited a Chilean couple that had a daugther more or less my age, in another town called Seba -Ubahri. It was like a six hours drive.

We had dinner really late and a malelé (sand storm; we were in the middle of the dessert, remember?)  formed at dawn, so my parents decided to stay overnight to avoid driving in such conditions. However, our authorization to travel didn't include the overnight stay.

Next morning, when we arrived to the campamento, the entire PCC committe was waiting for us and my parents had already been reported as dessertors to the Cuban embassy in Trípoli - up there, surrounded by persian rugs, air conditioner and private teachers for their children, the embassy's representatives were all worried about us.

There was a huge mess of meetings and explanations for them to believe what my parents were saying.

And we considered ourselves lucky.
Back home, we were seen as privileged.

We were able to travel, we were eating all the beef we wanted (the cows were slaugthered right there to feed us), we could buy lots of stuff to bring back to the family in Cuba, and it was an adventure for me as a kid: I was able to eat all the chocolate (provided by Hassan, the only Libyan we were allowed to freely visit, because he was the head of the Libyan state security in charge of our campamento)  and have all the talking-dolls that my cousins back in Cuba never had.

My father agreed to the mission in order to get some extra money and the government's authorization to buy a car, a Russian Lada or a Polish Mockvich.

Go figure: my father's first car, of his entire property, was bought to him by this gusana Cubanita a month ago. An used Chevy Blazer to be more exact, to follow the lead of being all Coca Cola, apple pie and Chevrolet ;-)

Despite the need every Cuban have to support their family and to have some financial relief, which is part of the moving forced behind agreeing to go in those missions, when you look back in time, whether it is Libya, Venezuela or East Timor, the question remains the same: Is it worth it?

But, who cares? No Cuban still living in the island has a clue of what freedom is, or how modern slavery looks like. You are just thinking in a way to relief your short term objective needs.

Freedom can not be eaten, nor will take you from point A to point B in a country that has not had public transportation system for the past five decades. Neither will become, magically, a modest house for you to raise your family.

That's the worst damage the castro tiranny has done to my homeland.

Farmers' militia in Venecuba... or Cubazuela?

You thought what castro did with Cuba was never gonna happen in Venezuela with the Monkey Chávez?

Well, think again.

The next step wiill be the -mandatory - military preparedness classes in all high schools. Had to attended those suckers-time-wasters for six years: three in middle school and three in high school. If you didn't, you couldn't graduate.

My high school class were all girls. I graduated from la Lenin, a high school specialized in extended academics, focused in sciences. Sciences. Our group focus was Chemistry and Biology.

Can you imagine 28 girls forced to attend military preparedness classes when we had to meet top of the line grades requirements, independent studies and truckloads of homework not only to graduate but in order not to be expelled from that school?

Twenty eight of them. And the militar instructor was a poor soul of sargent that I don't think even finished 9th grade. We tortured him like there was no tomorrow with a simple girly fact: I can't pull apart that stupid and greasy AKM-42 because it will stain my hands and mess up my manicure.

"Students! You have to be prepare for the yankees' invasion!," he would yell.
Yeah. Sure. Where are the blond Americanos? Bring them on, stat!

Feb 19, 2010

Sexy Cuban Protest

It's been over the media in Spanish since yesterday: a Cuba exile protested against the lack of freedom of speech in Cuba and against Europe's coddling with the (c)astro regimen, at the main entrance of the EU building in Madrid, Spain.

He claimed for democracy for Cuba wearing handcuffs, gagged and... naked. And  with that "hottie-McAwesome-body", pleeeeease...

Now, seriously...

Facing the morning cold in Madrid, César Alexander Cozar Rivera, a Cuban activist from the organization Cuba Democracia Ya, performed the singular protest while the fourth forum on Hispanic-Cuban human rights was taking place at the building. This forum was created back in 2007, when Miguel Angel Moratinos visited Havana.

According to the AFP report in Spanish -in my own free translation - Cozar Rivera said he was there representing all dissidents and Cuban exiles that havent received "'neither any answer nor an adequate human treatment during the past 50 years."

He criticized the Spanish government, saying they are "not interested in human rights or democracy for Cuba." During his performance, he stood on the Cuban flag to demonstrate "the extreme deterioration" suffered by the island, "due to the economic interests concealed under laws to promote development."

And whoever out there is the taking the sideways to criticize the use of the Cuban flag, simply put, has no clue.

We have reached a point where everything one can do to protest the (c)astro dictatorship and his enablers and useful idiots, WILL COUNT.

"Both the Spanish socialist government and the Cuban tiranny are dragging my country's flag" and their collaboration is a "theater" and a "circus," added Cozar, saying that Cuba keeps killing people in the firing squad while forcing (us) to exile,"which is destroying Cuban families and obstructing the education of young people." "Cuba is the only country where human rights are not violated simply because they don't exist."

El Mundo (Spanish newspaper) also covered it.

Penúltimos Días (in Spanish) has more on Moratinos' position, which basically means to continue coddling and enabling the Cuban regimen, and who cares about democracy and freedom of speech for those Cubans...

Feb 18, 2010

Marco Rubio opening speech at CPAC 2010

"2010 is a referendum on the very identity of our own country"
Marco Rubio, 02/18/2010

Now, the take home question is:
What country do you want to inherit to your children and grandchildren?

Feb 16, 2010

CO Dems kills transparency & want me to pay more?

Yeah, sure.
Today, Colorado Democrats killed a bill aimed at transparency: nothing more and nothing less than requiring school districts to post their expenses online for voters to see them.

School districts like the failed School District 6 that last november pushed really hard a measure to increase our property taxes in order to receive more funding.

That measure was defeated by voters, but we're talking about the same school district that have huge administrative expenses and higher-ups perks, while teachers and students are barely scrapping by. The district spends 87% of its budget in personnel costs, for Christ's sake!

We also have to say that recently, the school district 6 put its expenses online, but so out of context that anyone will need to file FOIA's request in order to learn the details. What was posted, however, is scary nonetheless.

And this is just the local example I use because it is the one that affects me the most. What about the rest of the districts in the state? Who knows what's happening in those checkbooks?

In issues of common sense, like this one, I have to resort to my (Cuban) mother simple logic:
If they don't want the school districts budgets open to the public, what on earth are they trying to hide?

Babalú Blog - Blogging from CPAC

Freedom lover and Cubiche blogger for Cuba's freedom Val Prieto, from Babalú Blog, is in Washington DC to live-blog the CPAC conference that starts Thursday.

Our very own Marco Rubio, born from Cubans and made in the USA, candidate for Florida's Senate seat, will be a keynote speaker at the conference. And Val is already in action! Gosh, I wish I could be a fly in any of those laptops...

My 2010 self-proclaimed karma

It has taken me about a month to rise from the bumpy road that I had to travel through end of last year and the begining of 2010 - oh!,and there is so much promise for this year!

But I have finally come up with a "get-in-your-face" reminder list to bang my head against on those really tought days one can have. And I just posted it in my office.

(Thank you, Marta, for the timely reminder ;-)

I guess I just have to remember one single detail:
There is another year ahead, full of surprises, challenges and hapiness.
You just need to ... smile again :-D
(Yeah, I know, I'm Leo, with some traces of OCD)

Why America is (still) the greastest country

For those of out there who enjoy bashing this great country that we still have.
Yes, America is an exceptional nation.
Have at it.

H/T to Babalú Blog

Feb 4, 2010

Obama keeps biting more than he can (or know how to) chew

This POTUS of ours never ceases to surprise me.

It seems that it is not enought that, in the middle of sinking approval rates and countless voters with buyer's remorse, he is pushing backroom deals to grab 1/6 of the US economy with his Obamacare, he is seriously risking the national security of this country, he's pushing for a cap & trade scam that will be a coup de grace to our economy, he's taking deficit, national debt and goverment power to extreme limits never seen before, and there is the effort to irreversibly damage our Constution and our God given rights of free speech and bear arms... but it seems that all that is not enought to keep him entertained.

On top of being the Messiah that constantly tell us we're too stupid to really understand his Obamacare, he now wants to be The Translator in Chief.


As someone with a totally vested interest in the topic, because I am a professional in the translation and interpretation field - and totally biased with the disaster Mr. Obowama is inflicting in this great nation - one thing is clear for me: the man must be going nuts.

Someone needs to ration his TOTUS hours.
Use duct tape if necessary but please, make it stop.

Memo to Obama:

“Are we against technology? Certainly not,” continued Stejskal. “Most translators use computer tools to speed up their work.” However, “both translation software and qualified human translators are vital to language security,” he noted. “Today all the leading proponents of computer translation recognize that human beings will always be essential, no matter how sophisticated translation programs become.”

Mr. President, for your information, a mistaken and lousy translation or interpretation goes beyond the ridicule nonsense of a business document or marketing website.

In some fields, like in the justice and court system, it could mean ruining the life of a innocent forever, or viceversa. In the medical field - where I work - it translates (no pun intended) into a safety issue.
And that means that a human life could be at stake.

Will you get it now? - don't think so.

But, anyway, what will be next?!
Him telling me how many times a week I should... oops, never mind.

BTW, there has been a 15% increase in the demand for language translators and interpreters in the US.

Oh! Wait... maybe POTUS is planning a plan B to get a job as translator when he gets kick out of the WH in three years? Dunno...