Dec 14, 2010

From the WTH?! Department

A New Civil Right.

No comments.

H/T Ace of Spades.

We've been calling off this red flags...

... for a long, long time. Regardless, I still feel that nobody is listening.

Then, I can't help thinking: do Americans really need to live like I lived in Cuba or like this writer did in Russia to learn their lesson the hard way.

Are you, my fellow Americans, willing to pay the highest price for your lifetime lesson?

If so, please read before you keep commiting mass suicide:

The Modern Left (Unmasked)

 "... the names are unimportant.  The Lefts true believers will likely scream bloody murder at comparisons between their philosophy and Socialism, even though birds of a feather have been shown to flock together in London, Pittsburgh, and Toronto..."

"...To be sure, they all share and wish to perpetuate a basic misunderstanding of two Constitutions -- a Soviet one that promised what a government would do for its citizenry, and an American one that guarantees what a government will not do to its people..."

(Via  American Thinker)

Dec 10, 2010

Love, Freedom and Human Rights --UPDATE

Welcome, Babalu Blog, Capitol Hill Cubans, Uncommon Sense and other fellow Cuban bloggers' readers.
Pasen, estan en su casa. ;)
Thank you all for spreading the word about Cuban political prisoners!

“¡A mí no me llevan preso por delincuente, ni por drogas ni por asesino! ¡Yo soy un hombre pacífico, defensor de los derechos humanos que Fidel le viola al pueblo cubano! ¡Vivan los derechos humanos! ¡Libertad para los presos políticos! ¡Abajo la dictadura!”
Ángel Moya Acosta, Alamar, Habana, Cuba
19 de marzo del 2003

“I am not being arrested for being a criminal, a drug dealer or a murderer! I am a peaceful man, a defender of the Cuban people human rights that Fidel violates! Long live Human Rights! Freedom for the political prisoners! Down with the dictatorship!”
Ángel Moya Acosta, Alamar, Havana, Cuba
March 19th, 2003

It was 4:40 pm on a breeze afternoon in the Eastern point of Alamar, the worker’s suburban neighborhood filled with Eastern-Germany block style buildings, East of Havana. Right in front of the ocean, it is during this month when the coldest temperatures are felt in the Caribbean’s island.

Luis Angel, 7, is coming home from the nearby school where he is in second grade, to the modest 1.5 bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor. As usual, Angel is waiting for the rambunctious kid to get home before heading to the old street near the shoreline for his daily jog, while the boy takes care of going to buy the daily ration of bread.

Berta Soler, Angel’s wife for 28 years, stays at home tackling the daily struggle of fixing dinner for the family of five. Angel and Bertica share the small apartment with their two children, Luis Angel and Lienys Caridad, 19.Maria Elena, Bertica’s sister, also lives with them.

Ten minutes later, Bertica sees Angel coming back from his jog. Too soon, she thought. And he is not alone; he is being escorted by five agents of the government’s state security.

“When I asked what was going on, another four agents entered the house like if it was their own, hauling huge video cameras and recording everything they wanted,” remembers Bertica. I asked again what was going on and they told me they have a search order and that they were coming with two witnesses from the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR).

“I asked what they were looking for”, she says, “and they replied ‘subversive materials.’”

Walking down the hill from the supermarket, with his family ration of bread, the seven year old boy sees a crowd gathering in the corner of his building. Quickly, a couple of neighbors stopped him, preventing him from getting closer to the scene. They convinced him to stay with them, sitting, in the water tank of the building right across from his, where he could see from the distance…

“From that distance [my son] couldn’t realized what was happening and all of the sudden, the only thing he sees is how is father is being arrested, handcuffed and dragged down the stairs by the state security agents, while shouting to the top of his lungs ‘I am not being arrested for being a criminal, a drug dealer or a murderer! I am a peaceful man, a defender of the Cuban people human rights that Fidel violates! Long live Human Rights! Freedom for the political prisoners! Down with the dictatorship!’”

Bertica remembers that Angel was taken away immediately, that he was not present while their house was being searched. “They told me to shut up because they had other two police cars ready and waiting for me,” she says, “and I told them that we had to scream and shout because there were near 300 people outside watching and they needed to know that all that was not related to drugs.”

Around those months of what is now called the Black Spring of 2003, Cuban authorities were also conducting anti drug operatives to halt the increasing drug traffic in Havana.

“We don’t want any confusion and I want them to know who (Angel) is. Besides, I am not afraid of you, if you want to arrest me, go ahead, but will have to take me away with my children.”

The search process in the tiny apartment started at 5:45 pm and ended at 1:45 am. They took a radio, a charger, books, manuscripts and a tape with some sort of war movie.

They left everything all messed up. They even searched the garbage cans. The children ate dinner that night thanks to some neighbors that fed them. They were allowed to enter the house again at 2 am, took quick bath and went to sleep some before getting ready for school in matter of hours. Then, Bertica started the long journey of being the wife of a political prisoner in Cuba, by trying to find out where Angel was jailed, to bring him some basic items.

It was the holiday’s season, December 1992, in Pedro Betancourt, a small town in the Matanzas province, East of Havana, Cuba. Berta Soler Fernandez, 19, was a Microbiology technician when she met Angel Moya Acosta, 18, at a popular party in their hometown. Angel was a cadet starting in the Armed Revolutionary Forces (FAR).

After six years on a long distance relationship (Berta got a job in Havana and had to move to the capital, while Angel was still stationed in Matanzas) they got married on October 16th, 1988. Angel was being sent on a mission to the war in Angola. They wanted to formalize their relationship before his deployment.

“Our relationship was like that since the beginning, long distance,” says Berta. “But it was the distance what gave us the strength to keep going and our love grew more each day we were apart.”

She remembers his family was very “communist” and blindly supporters of the regime. “I was the one that was always teasing him and making him uncomfortable criticizing the government while he was trying to justify it.”

That changed when Angel was deployed to Angola, fulfilled his mission and came back home. “He came back completely changed. He was not replying to my comments the same thing he used to say before. Angola changed his life.”

The couple bore two children, Lienys Caridad, born in 1991, and Luis Angel, born in 1995. A couple of years after Lienys was born, Angel was discharged from the military, (his sworn commitment was for five years) and got a job at a welding facility in his hometown, in the Matanzas province.

According to his wife, when Angel returned from his military mission in Angola, he started to meet people involved with the human rights movement in the island. . By 1995, he started visiting churches and develops relationships with members of a movement called “Pedro Luis Boitel”. Later on, Angel created the movement “Alternative Option” / Opcion Alternativa, filling the duties as hair of the movement in 1997. By then, he is a human rights activist and a supporter of civil and human rights for all Cubans.

“It was June 1999 when he first told me about what he has been doing,” says Berta. “He knew what was coming after him was not gonna be easy and he decided to tell me.”

She confesses she didn’t have the best of the reactions to the news. “I told him: ‘don’t get in trouble with the government, they have all the power and you are not going to solve the problems of the Cuban’s people.” “It was a shock for me. I told him he didn’t ask for my opinion before the fact and that now, our entire family would suffer the consequences.”

“To do this, I don’t need anybody’s permission,” said Angel. “My decision and my determination are important, and [I’m doing it also] thinking in my family. I am doing this for the well being of all of us, for the freedom of my people and that’s why I am telling you.”

He told her he wouldn’t pressure her to support him, nor did he ask her to continue to be married to him. “I love you and I love my children, but your [position] is not going to change my decision to fight…”

Berta says her love for him was so strong that she was able to overcome that initial shock and their relationship continue like it was since the first day they met. “I was not directly involved with any activity, but at least I was mentally prepared for whatever could come after us.” 

“I remember Angel as a decent and quiet man, sometimes borderline shy. Tall, athletic and with bright ebony skin, he didn’t talk much, but was always smiling. He and I would stomp into each other at the local gym, or jogging by the coastline. I would have never ever imagined he was having such courage…” --Cubanita, writer on this site and former neighbor of Angel and Berta.

“He used to tell me all Cubans sufferings were being caused by a horrible government that didn’t care about its people,” says Berta.

His wife describes him as a quiet man, respectful, who enjoys working out, reading, writing and someone who has never allowed anybody to violate his rights. “Even in the middle of the Special Period, he never complained in public places where he could cause trouble to bystanders. He protested in his workplace, in the face of the big bosses and where any government official could hear him.”

She said as a father, he is very good and caring. “A little strict, I would add, but he is the best father.” When Lienys was born, he was afraid to even hold her, but little by little he started to lose his fears and when the baby was five months old and Bertha had to return to work, he basically became a stay-at-home Dad. “When the boy was born, he was already a pro.”

“My children had suffered the separation from their father, but thanks God, they have not been traumatized [by these circumstances]. I talk to them a lot, so in the future, they can be good woman and man, and thanks to this suffering, they won’t be easily fooled.”

"Our Mom has been a Lady in White since the government jailed our Dad, when they decided to get together and walk the streets to ask the government to release their relatives. Little by little, the people have learned about the Ladies in White and our classmates and their parents are starting to show more respect towards them. They say ‘that’s a right they have to protest’ and they congratulate us for standing up for our father. We’re not saying they are better off, but they are indeed more recognized and respected." "We are both very proud of having the mother and the father we have, with the courage to raise their voices against the injustices this government is doing against our people."  --Luis Angel & Lienys, Angel Moya Acosta and Berta Soler Fernandez's children.

* * *
Angel Moya Acosta is jailed in the Combinado del Este prison in Havana, serving a 20 years sentence. He was arrested on March 19th, 2003 –during the Black Spring where the Cuban government arrested and jailed 75 peaceful dissidents, independent journalists, librarians and human rights activists. He has served 7 years and 8 months of his sentence, enjoying a relative good health, considering the conditions where the government keeps political prisoners.

He is one of the 11 prisoners of conscience who didn’t accept the government’s offer to be released if they accepted exile in Spain, which they consider a deportation scam. According to his wife, Lady in White Berta Soler Fernandez, Angel says he respects other political prisoner’s decision to accept the government’s deal, in order to have every body else respecting his. “He says no one can force him to leave his homeland and if he decides to do at some point in the future, it will be on his own terms, and to the country of his choice.”

PS-This interview, originally in Spanish, was obtained, electronically, from a direct conversation between the blogger an Berta Soler Fernandez.

Dec 9, 2010

Are your feeling the chills going down you back? should.

USA's New Missile Crisis; gracefully brought to you by Barack Obama, dictator-in-the-making Hugo "Monkey" Chavez and the latter's Iranian pal.

Have at it.

Wikileaks a-la-Cuban --UPDATE

Oh, my!!! I SO need to get back on track!
Penultimos Dias has great compilation on the WikiLeaks and the Cuban Conexion, both in English and Spanish. Here.

I couldn't help the urge to share! Masterfully brought to us by Alfredo Pong:

 Yeah, I feel sorry for those flies...

"Let's talk once and for ever, you exiles!"
"The it for Halloween or for Wikileaks?"

Dec 6, 2010

My not that short answer...

Welcome reader Casey!

I tried to answer your question in the comments section with no success; even my shortest version wouldn't fit in the box, oops! Thanks for stopping by... I'm glad to read you are not clueless about castro and che; that, per se, leaves a huge room for political debate.

You question is the million dollars quest. I'll try to give you my view: the opinion of a simple girl that was born and raised under castro's communist dictatorship and who has been living in freedom for merely ten years. (If you dig back in some of my posts, you'll be able to get into more details).

First, in my own experience, I have seen that most Americans are uninformed/ill informed (thanks, MSM!)about the embargo being a legal consequence to castro's decision to unlawfully confiscate (and not properly pay for) American property. That's a legal/judicial process by international laws where you have two choices: either pay for those properties (which never is gonna happen with castro) or face the legal consequences (the embargo in this case.)

I'd say almost the entire world, including Cubans inside and outside the island know the embargo is the one-size-fits-all excuse the commies has been using for 51 years to blame their own failures; from a dengue epidemic to the their socialistoid economic disaster.

Many people --and I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe, well intentioned-- argue that if we remove the excuse, castro will be exposed. Really? Do we really need to expose him more? Because whoever have not seen in the past 51 years the atrocities of castro and his thugs is, well, because they don't want to...

And how that is going to change the life of your regular average Cuban?

See... you'd have to understand that there are two parallel realities in Cuba: the one for communists, government, military and tourists elites, and a whole different hell hole of life for the average Cuban citizen that has no access to hard currency.

The embargo being in place or not WILL not affect the life of those privileged elites at all. They have always lived --and believe me, will continue to live-- like royalty in the land of slaves. Nor will change the life of the poor souls on the darker side of Cuba's society. More money will end up in the commies' pockets. Period.

Nowadays, one also have to keep in mind that the embargo is more cosmetic that anything else. It has been weakened substantially during the past US administrations and there are only two measures in place: Cuban govt has to pay in cash, and Americans are restricted to travel (directly) to the island.

From a Libertarian point of view, I agree that no government should restrict the free movement of its citizens. But also, from real life experience, I can tell you Americans traveling there will not bring substancial change either; unless they have supernatural powers I haven't seen yet ;)

Cuba has been receiving tourists from all over the world (not only Canadians) for years. Sadly, the biggest majority of them are only interested in the PR-ready Cuba, where they can get drunk and have sex with cheap underage young men and woman, then post their videos/pics online and pretend they are bringing democracy to the island, one mojito at a time...that is.

From the American taxpayer's point of view (because that is what I am now, an American that works her back off and pay her fair -an unfair--share of taxes), extending credit to a communist government that has one of the worst credit/payment records in the world, according to recent stats from the Paris Club, I think that is a terrible mistake.

Who can guarantee me that castro's debts are not gonna be paid by my hard-earned money in the next bailouts craze, when the next US administration happily decides to use the Constitution as their deluxe toilet paper?

Errr...thanks, but no thanks.

Will lifting the embargo bring change and democracy to Cuba?
IMHO, I highly doubt so... Cuba's mess can only be solved by Cubans themselves.

Had the US government been really interested in helping, it would have done it years ago, by simply don't betraying Bay of Pigs. That was the moment. If it didn't happen back then, it won't happen now.

But... where is the hope?! Can something be done now?! --you may ask...

Yes, of course. I think in the this moment, the US can make the difference by supporting that incipient dissident and civil movement that has been growing in the island in the past 10 years, with all those independent bloggers, journalists and peaceful dissidents battling inside the monster and needing basic technology to weaken censorship and repression from within.

Even if we have to do it one tweet at a time. That will help to bring down the wall the regimen has built since 1951.

On the other hand, I don't have a very promising diagnosis for the useful idiots on this side of the ocean, drooling over everything castro. They only cure would be to GO THERE and SUCK IT UP 'till they die.

(I bet you my relatives there will trade places with all the Maxine Waters, Barbara Boxers, Sean Penns and et al of this world in a New York minute)