Category Archives: Cuba

Financial Times: Cuban tourism boom to harm rest of Caribbean

cuba_beach

What a surprise!

The sight of the Stars and Stripes being hoisted over the newly opened US embassy in Cuba last week, was one of the most visible signs yet of the diplomatic rapprochement between the long-term foes.

If President Barack Obama gets his way, the US Congress will soon go further still and lift its 55-year-old trade embargo on the island.

Such a move would be a major boon to the Cuban economy, not least by unleashing a torrent of big-spending American tourists on the island, which has largely been starved of such arrivals for more than half a century.

This, however, could prove disastrous for some of the small islands elsewhere in the Caribbean which are heavily dependent on tourism. They could see much of the US tourism trade they have come to reply on decamping to the large, and quite possibly cheaper, new competitor in their midst.

… continue reading the Financial Times Cuban thaw poses tourism threat to Caribbean neighbours

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cuba, Economy

Cubana Flight 455 – How the USA excused, ignored and covered up the terrorist bombing of an airliner

Cubana bomb Kissinger

It has been 38 years since the CIA terror bombing of Cubana Flight 455 on October 6, 2975 just a few minutes after takeoff from Barbados Seawell Airport. The ex-Air Canada Douglas DC8 was crippled and set on fire by the first bomb, but the second bomb in one of the washrooms brought it down in the Atlantic – killing all 78 people on board.

What did the CIA and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger know about it? Lots, according to recently released documents.

See BFP’s earlier article What Henry Kissenger and the FBI knew about Cubana Flight 455 Bombing

Barbados Today: Remembering victims of Cubana Airline crash

 

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Cuba, Disaster

Cuban journalist jailed for reporting Cholera Epidemic in Cuba

cuba journalist prison

Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias still in prison

Rumours of changes to the iron fisted ‘peoples’ government of Cuba are greatly exaggerated as we learn that a Cuban journalist languishes in prison for (gasp) reporting about cholera and dengue epidemics in Cuba.

Martinez’s ‘mistake’ was that he reported in June 2012 that Manzanillo officials were hiding a cholera epidemic from the public. (Hey… wouldn’t want to hurt the tourist business, would we?)

Every once in a while you think things are improving, but then you are dragged back to reality. The Cuban people must be free: and that doesn’t mean back to being a puppet of the USA or Russia or China. Freedom means: freedom for individuals and freedom for the country to determine their own paths. And for journalists to report on matters of public interest.

Feliz Navidad to Calixto Ramón Martínez Aria. We’ll say a prayer for you and your friend Alexander Roberto Fernández Rico.

Reprinted from wefightcensorship.org. Please go to their website to read the full article Radio Silence on Cholera Epidemic?

Radio Silence on Cholera Epidemic?

Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, a journalist who works for Hablemos Press, a Havana-based independent information centre, was arrested on 16 September 2012 after writing about cholera and dengue epidemics in Cuba. Two months later, he managed to call Hablemos Press from Havana’s Combinado del Este prison, defying an order by the prison authorities forbidding him to use the phone. During the call, which Hablemos Press recorded, he talked about the degrading conditions inside the prison. After the call, the Hablemos Press phone line was temporarily disconnected and Martínez was placed in solitary confinement. But the Combinado del Este’s political prisoners have managed to keep the outside world informed about his plight. Continue reading

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Filed under Cuba, Freedom Of The Press, Human Rights

Barbados Nation newspaper reports Cuban election as if it is free and democratic

Above: Prime Minister Owen Arthur holds hands with a ruthless dictator and friend

by Cliverton

Barbados Nation news organisation today reported the current Cuban election without any context or reference to the dictatorship of the Communist Party, or to the increasing Cuban government sponsored terrorism against dissidents and their families. The Nation did not mention that hundreds if not thousands of opposition activists have been arrested, beaten and imprisoned in the last few years or that the Cuban military controls over 60% of Cuba’s economy and actively backs a group of ‘official’ candidates. The Nation did not mention that Cuba jails more journalists per captia than any country outside of China. (Then again, North Korea doesn’t have any journalists to jail.)

But hey… what’s a few details like truth and accuracy mean to The Nation when ‘first world’ Barbados is still begging Cuba for medical care handouts?

Cuba: One big island plantation

…Make no bones about it: Cuba is an island of slaves. What else does one call a place where the people eat what one man feeds them; work at what one man decides that they work on; march when one man tells them to march; say what one man tells them to say and think only what one man tells them to think. What else do you call a place where the people are kept from progressing as individuals, where the people are kept away from information, where people are isolated from the rest of the world?

Cuba is just one big island plantation.

… Val Prieto

Yes, I know that Cuba was raped in the first half of the 20th century by American corporations. Yes, I know that the American blockade has been a terrible burden for the ordinary Cuban and that the USA has a double standard with other Communist regimes vs Cuba, especially Red China. And that it is all unjust and Cuba’s history is a prime example of the worst in American hegemony and the politics of starvation. I know all about the plight of the ordinary Cuban.

None of that excuses the Cuban Communist thugs. None of that excuses The Nation Newspaper when it ignores the murders, torture and abuse of ordinary Cubans who want true democracy and individual rights and freedoms.

Here’s the news of the Cuban election according to The Nation. You should read it at The Nation here, but we have to reprint the whole thing because The Nation often changes or deletes articles…

Cubans go to the polls

HAVANA Cuba,Oct. 21, CMC – Cubans go to the polls on Sunday in the first of several votes leading up to the expected re-election of President Raúl Castro in February next year. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Cuba, Human Rights

Barbados Government should obey previous Supreme Court judgment and free Raul Garcia

“The applicant has been held in detention at H.M.P Dodds pending deportation for in excess of 17 months. Counsel for the Respondents conceded that as the applicant is a ‘stateless person’, his deportation and expulsion from Barbados could not now be achieved having regard to Barbados’ obligations under the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.”

“In the circumstances, as the Minister Responsible for Immigration is unable to say when the applicant is likely to be deported from Barbados and as no evidence has been provided that his continued detention is necessary on ground of national security or public order, the Court holds that the applicant’s continued detention under the Immigration Act, is no longer reasonable or lawful and the applicant should be released from detention at HMP Dodds.”

Honourable Madam Justice Maureen Crane-Scott, Q.C., August 31, 2009

Barbados High Court decided the law on cases like Mr. Garcia two years ago!

Barbados Free Press has received a copy of an unreported Barbados court decision that is exactly on point in the Raul Garcia case.

Bajans can now state with certainty that Mr. Garcia is being illegally held at Dodds Prison by the Barbados Government – and that is according to the Barbados Supreme Court. Mr. Garcia’s sentence ended almost two years ago but he is still being held in a maximum security prison because he is stateless. (Main Raul Garcia article here)

Please read this previous court decision (below or at the link above) and you’ll understand that it is Prime Minister Stuart and his government who are the lawbreakers now, not Raul Garcia. Laws and court orders: do they mean anything to our Barbados government? DLP or BLP doesn’t seem to matter – our governments do what they want regardless of court orders.

BARBADOS

[Unreported]

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE

HIGH COURT

Civil Division

Suit No: 117 of 2009

Consolidated with Suit No: 14 of 2009

BETWEEN

“ORSC”                                                                               APPLICANT

AND

THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS                               1st RESPONDENT

THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE

FOR IMMIGRATION                                                             2nd RESPONDENT

ATTORNEY GENERAL OF BARBADOS                            3rd RESPONDENT

Before The Honourable Madam Justice Maureen Crane-Scott, Q.C. Judge of the High Court

(In Chambers)

2009: August 31

Mr. Douglas Trotman in association with Miss. Veronica McFarlane for the Applicant

Ms. Irene Stephney, instructed by the Solicitor General for the Respondents

DECISION

[1]        This is an urgent application to secure the applicant’s release from Her Majesty’s Prison at Dodds (HMP Dodds) where he is detained pursuant to orders made by the Minister Responsible for Immigration under the Immigration Act, Cap. 190 of the Laws of Barbados.

[2]        The applicant was born in Cuba on the 29th day of August, 1974. He entered Barbados as a visitor on August 24th, 2006 for a period of 1 month. On expiration of his 1 month entry permit, he applied for and was granted an extension of 15 days. Thereafter he illegally resided and worked in Barbados until January 22, 2008 when he was arrested by police and handed over to the immigration authorities.

[3]            Following his arrest, the applicant was detained at the Grantley Adams International Airport for an initial period of 2 months. On March 18th, 2008 the Minister Responsible for Immigration signed orders for his deportation and detention pending deportation from Barbados. He was served with the Deportation Order on March 18, 2008 and thereafter transported from the airport to HMP Dodds where he still remains under detention pending his deportation. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Cuba, Human Rights

Attorney General challenges David Comissiong: You don’t really care about Raul Garcia

Adriel Brathwaite - Attorney General

“Just sign for the prisoner here, Mr. Comissiong”

In the language of poker Barbados Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite just told David Comissiong and the Peoples Empowerment Party to “Put up or shut up.”

Responding to Comissiong’s criticism about the government continuing to hold Raul Garcia in prison for two years after he finished his 17 year sentence for drug offences, Mr. Brathwaite offered to release Garcia into Comissiong’s custody and care.

The only condition is that lawyer David Comissiong must take Raul Garcia into his home, guarantee Garcia’s behaviour and that he will not leave the home until the matter is settled… which could take years at the current rate of non-progress.

Aside from the political grandstanding by both Brathwaite and Comissiong, the Attorney General has a point about the practical considerations of the Raul Garcia situation: What do we do with him? Garcia’s son Frank has said that there are Bajans who are willing to sign for his father and take him into their homes. How serious are these offers?

Barbados will release Raul Garcia to David Comissiong’s care – if Comissiong agrees

President of the Peoples Empowerment Party, David Comissiong held informal discussions with Brathwaite in Parliament Buildings yard this afternoon, pleading for the release from prison of Garcia.

“He should not be in prison,” Comissiong told the minister.

But Brathwaite informed Comissiong, who is an attorney-at-law, that if he could put him up at his residence and guarantee to him, Brathwaite, that there was where the ex-convict would remain, then he would permit his release. No final decision was taken on that issue.

From Barbados Today story Not ’bout here!

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Cuba, Human Rights

Che Guevara as the Easter Messiah: His opinion of lowly Negros and Mexicans

Some might think this article to be a strange way of commemorating Easter, Christ and his sacrifice, but others will I’m sure will appreciate the juxtaposition of Jesus and Che. Hell… the atheists do it all the time, so why can’t this Christian? And yes, this failed Christian has had a rum or four, but why should that stop him from firing up the old Dell and talking about false Messiahs?

As Easter is upon us, we’ve republished a 2007 article We Know What Jesus Didn’t Look Like… Don’t We?

To be “fair” we will now publish quotes from another religious leader: Che Guevara. (“Fairness” is the enemy of “Justice”, but we’ll leave that for another day.)

“Che? A religious leader?” you say. Yes, Che was a religious leader. His religion was Communist atheism and he was as good a proponent of that religion as any. He was willing to die for it and he did. He was willing to put aside all his humanity for his religion. If thousands had to die for this new religion, so be it. Che was willing to pull the trigger – and often he did personally. (Sounds a whole lot like the Catholic Inquisition or the current Muslim jihad, doesn’t it?)

Seven months pregnant and condemned to death for the crime of being a “counter-revolutionary”? No problem for Che. He pulled the trigger. Even the most barbaric societies allow a condemned pregnant woman to give birth before execution, but not Che.

To this day Communists often punish entire generations for the misdeeds – real or imagined – of one of the family. I’m sure that Che would have simply loved North Korea.

Just so you know my opinion of the icon Che, who also founded the CDR – Committees for the Defense of the Revolution.

Here are a few quotes from Che that for some strange reason don’t appear in the new Apple iPod application of Che quotes.

Just remember folks: don’t believe me, BFP, Reuters, the New York Times or the Barbados Advocate. When you read something, do your own research and seek out original sources of information.

Do that for Che and let me know what you think.

Here are a few quotes from “Che” – otherwise known as He who walks the behind the rows (as Stephen King would say)…

“The Negro is indolent and spends his money on frivolities and booze, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent.”

“The negro has maintained his racial purity by his well known habit of avoiding baths”

“Mexicans are a rabble of illiterate Indians.”

… Che

Happy Easter to our Bajan and Cuban communists.

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Filed under Barbados, Cuba, Religion