Smoky Mountains Sunrise
Showing posts with label Cuba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cuba. Show all posts

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pat Buchanan: Obama Throws Fidel a Rope

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The celebrations in Havana and the sullen silence in Miami tell you all you need to know about who won this round with Castro’s Cuba.

In JFK’s metaphor, Obama traded a horse for a rabbit.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Elian Gonzalez, 16, Dons Military-Style Uniform

Boy was at center of custody battle between U.S., Cuba in 2000

Image: Elian Gonzalez
Elian Gonzalez attends the Union of Young Communists congress in Havana, Cuba, last Sunday.

Cuba has released photos of one-time exile cause celebre Elian Gonzalez wearing an olive-green military school uniform and attending a Young Communist Union congress.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Friday, April 17, 2009

U.S. Religious Freedom Body Denied Entry into Cuba

From The Christian Post
By Michelle A. Vu

A U.S. religious freedom body was denied visas to enter Cuba for a fact-finding mission that included meetings with the island’s religious communities and government officials, the group said on Monday.

The U.S. Commission on International Freedom (USCIRF), a bipartisan group created to monitor religious freedom in the world, was forced to cancel a planned trip to Cuba when visas were withheld for members of the delegation. The Cuban government did not give any explanation for withholding the visas, the Commission said.

“We are very disappointed by the Cuban government’s refusal to allow an official U.S. delegation to investigate first-hand Cuban citizens’ freedom to believe and practice their faith on the island,” said Felice D. Gaer, chair of USCIRF. “Our Commission has visited China, Vietnam, Laos, Saudi Arabia and other countries. Does the Cuban government have something to hide?”

Cuba has been on USCIRF’s “Watch List” of countries that require close monitoring due to the violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the governments.

USCIRF noted that it had planned the trip weeks in advance and had received the support of the U.S. State Department for the official visit.

The Commission’s announcement of its visa denial came the same day the Obama administration lifted the travel ban on Cuban-Americans who want to visit their homeland. Cuban-Americans are also now allowed to send money back to their island nation.

Easing of some Cuba-related restrictions marks a break with the nearly half century U.S. policy toward the communist state. Cuba is the only country in the world that most Americans are still barred from visiting.

But there have reportedly been slight improvements in Cuba since Raul Castro, the brother of Fidel Castro, became president last year. Under Raul Castro, Cuba signed two international human rights treaties that his brother Fidel Castro had opposed for 30 years. Raul Castro has also called for public debate about Cuba’s future without fear of reprisal, as long as participants do not challenge the socialist system.

Cuban churches have also reported growth despite the communist government’s restrictions on religion. The number of house churches on the island has soared to anywhere from 3,000 to more than 16,000, according to different sources, up from only 1,100 churches and house churches in 1991 – the year when the Congressional Communist party voted to change Cuba’s constitution status from an atheist to a secular state.

“The Commission has received reports that there are improvements in some sectors in Cuba. As with other countries, we seek to ascertain how much and where,” Gaer acknowledged in a statement. “If everything is so normal in Cuba, then the Cuban government should welcome a USCIRF visit. Not allowing USCIRF’s bipartisan delegation to visit is a very disturbing sign.”

But Cuban President Castro seems to be open to improving U.S.-Cuba relations and has said he is prepared to negotiate with the Obama administration, provided there are no preconditions.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus Smitten With Castro

From American Thinker
By Humberto Fontova

Cuba's atrocious record on race was somehow overlooked by the Congressional Black Caucus. Last week the Stalinist regime that jailed and tortured the longest suffering black political prisoner in modern history (Eusebio Penalver) rolled out the red carpet for 6 smitten members of the CBC. All of these U.S. legislators met with "President" Raul Castro while a lucky three secured back-stage passes to meet Fidel himself.

Not since Ann Margaret's reaction to Conrad Birdie's kiss has anything been recorded to match these U.S. legislators' reaction to these meetings.

"He looked directly into my eyes!" gasped Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Ca.) "and then he asked: how can we help President Obama? Fidel Castro really wants President Obama to succeed." (no doubt!)

"It was quite a moment to behold!" hyperventilated Rep. Barbara Lee. (D-CA) "Fidel Castro was very engaging and very energetic."

"He's one of the most amazing human beings I've ever met!" gushed Emanuel Cleaver(D-Mo)

"Raul Castro was a very engaging, down-to-earth and kind man," according to Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) "someone who I would favor as a neighbor. It was almost like visiting an old friend," (a Freudian slip, perhaps? Bobby Rush, after all, was a card-carrying Black Panther who did prison time)

Lest we forget: these Black U.S. legislators were raving about a regime that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin, and executed more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler executed (out of a population of 70 million) in the Reich's first six.
"The Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent... We're going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the Cuban revolution. By which I mean: NOTHING!"
- (Ernesto "Che" Guevara.)
Che was much too modest. "Nothing" is not exactly accurate for Castroite treatment of Cuba's blacks. In fact, these lily-white European soldier's sons (Fidel and Raul) forcibly overthrew a Cuban government where Cuban Blacks served as President of the Senate, Minister of Agriculture, Chief of Army, and Head of State (Fulgencio Batista), a grandson of slaves who was born in a palm-roofed shack. Not that you'll learn any of this from the liberals' exclusive educational source on pre-Castro Cuba: Godfather II.

Today the prison population in Stalinist/Apartheid Cuba is 90 percent black while only 9 percent of the ruling Stalinist party is black.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Joe Biden Warned Us!

"Mark my words, It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America.

Watch. We're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

nyone have any confidence in "the mettle"?
Anyone expect the Obama Administration will lift a finger to do anything about the direct threat to national security reported below?

Interfax: Cuba, Venezuela May Host Russian Bombers

From The Washington Times

A Russian Air Force chief said Saturday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers, the Interfax news agency reported.

The chief of staff of Russia's long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, also said Cuba could be used to base the aircraft, Interfax reported.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Monday, July 21, 2008

Help A Persecuted Christian in Cuba

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, on Sunday, July 20, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet celebrated his 47th birthday in the Combinado del Este Prison in Guanabacoa, Cuba.

Dr. Biscet is now in his fifth year of a 25 year prison sentence, handed down during a massive crackdown on human rights and democracy activists in Cuba during what is now referred to as Cuba’s Black Spring. He had previously served a three-year prison sentence and was free for only a month before his detention, which took place when he tried to organise a human rights discussion group.

Through his imprisonments, Dr. Biscet has suffered from ill health and has repeatedly been denied medical treatment. He has also, on occasion, had his Bible and other religious materials confiscated. At the moment, however it appears that he is able to keep them with him.

Prison conditions, particularly for political prisoners, are generally very bad in Cuba and Dr. Biscet has frequently been forced to share a cell with prisoners convicted of committing violent crimes or has been sent to solidarity confinement in cells with no light or running water. He has also regularly been denied the right to pastoral and family visits. However, his faith, according to his wife, Elsa Morejon, remains strong.

Many of you have prayed for and written to Dr. Biscet and his family for many years. We would encourage you to consider sending him a birthday card or letter to remind him, and those responsible for his imprisonment, that although physically he may have celebrated his birthday alone, there were and are, in spirit, many people around the world celebrating another year of his life.
Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet
Prisión Combinado del Este
Carretera Monumental
del Cotorro, Guanabacoa CUBA
For additional guidance on letter writing do consult Connect & Encourage our address book for the persecuted church at

Thank you,

CSW Advocacy Team

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

An Urgent Request from Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Dear Friends,

This week marks the fifth anniversary of Cuba’s “Black Spring” when 75 civil society activists, including independent journalists, human rights defenders, pro-democracy activists, and independent librarians were arrested. Today, human rights groups inside Cuba put the total number of prisoners of conscience at around 230. Many of these men and women are Christians.

CSW is particularly concerned by reports that prison authorities consistently violate the religious rights of political prisoners across the country. Political prisoners and their families have reported the repeated confiscation of bibles and other religious literature, the denial of the right to receive visits from a pastor or priest, and a refusal to allow Christian prisoners to meet together for prayer, worship or study, even in the presence of a member of the clergy. This is in violation of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the United Nations in 1955, which guarantees all of the above rights. The fact that these violations are repeatedly reported as occurring in prisons across the country also indicates that this is not a matter of local prison authorities abusing the rights of their prisoners, but a general policy instigated at government levels.

Interestingly, according to information received by CSW, prisoners who do not consider themselves to be religious report that they are able to exercise most of the rights listed above. This suggests that prison authorities recognise the importance of their faith to the Christian prisoners and that they are specifically targeting their faith in an effort to break them down psychologically.

For Christian prisoners, their faith is often the one thing they can cling to in an otherwise hopeless situation. Many former prisoners have told CSW how their faith encouraged and strengthened them in the darkest of moments. It is also vital for their families, as we were reminded by Elsa Gonzalez, the wife of political prisoner, Victor Roland Arroyo, who said,. “Faith is what has made all of this possible. If it were not for my faith in God and the strength He gives me, I would not have been able to endure any of this. Faith is also of the utmost importance for Victor,”

The following represent just a few of these cases:

• Dr Oscar Elias Biscet is a human rights defender who is serving a 25-year sentence. He had already served a three-year sentence and was free for less than a month between his release and his second detention. He is a devout Christian and has frequently had his Bible confiscated and has been arbitrarily denied the right to meet with a priest. He is in very bad health.

• Alfredo Rodolfo Dominguez Batista is a member of the Christian Liberation Movement, a pro-democracy organisation, and is serving a 14-year sentence. His Bible and other religious books were confiscated last summer and they have not been returned to him. He has been visited by a priest in the past but he and his wife have had to ask for this repeatedly, the last time they were refused. Generally, Alfredo has been allowed to meet a priest only once every four or five months. The priest also visits other prisoners but cannot hold services. According to his wife, Melba, although the prisoners cannot meet together for worship, Alfredo meets with them individually to share his faith.

• Normando Hernandez Gonzalez is 38-years old, an independent journalist, serving a 25-year sentence. He is in extremely poor health and Costa Rica has offered to grant him a visa if the Cuban government will release him for humanitarian reasons but thus far this offer has been refused. According to his wife, Yarai Amparo, he is a very strong believer and he has been allowed to keep his Bible but he cannot receive the visit of a priest and is kept in isolation, away from the other prisoners.

• Victor Rolando Arroyo is an independent journalist and a devout Christian. His prison sentence, 26 years, is one of the longest stemming from the 2003 crackdown. He is allowed to keep his Bible but the prison officials confiscated the other religious books brought by his wife for him. He is allowed a visit every three months from a priest chosen by the government. He is not allowed any type of spiritual fellowship with other prisoners and they do not allow the priest to hold a group mass for the prisoners to attend.

• Alexander Aguilar Sosa is serving a six-year sentence for “disrespect.” On January 22, 2008, a Cuban human rights organisation reported that the prison authorities at the Agüica Prison in Matanzas would not allow him to meet with other prisoners to pray or read the Bible. Alexander told the group that the prison “Chief of Interior Order,” a man named “Aramis”, had broken up the small worship service that he was celebrating on a regular basis with other prisoners.

• Dr Jose Luis Garcia Paneque is a medical doctor and independent journalist serving a 24-year sentence. His wife, Yamile told CSW that the doctor takes great comfort from his Bible which he has been allowed to keep with him in prison and which he reads every day. For some time, the prison authorities refused to allow him to meet with a priest, but have now changed the policy and are allowing a meeting once every two months. He is not allowed to meet with other prisoners for worship and prayer. He is in extremely poor health.


Please remember these men and their families in your prayers. Pray that their religious rights will be respected and that God will give them strength and comfort.


Please also consider writing to the Cuban embassy in London (address below) to ask that the religious rights of all prisoners, regardless of the reason for their imprisonment, be respected in accordance with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners. In your letter you may mention these prisoners by name but please refrain from criticising the Cuban political system or Fidel or Raul Castro.

His Excellency Rene Mujica Cantelar
Embassy of the Republic of Cuba167 High Holborn
WC1V 6BA, Fax: (020) 7836 2602