Sex, money, desperation
Why do so many ugly, beer-bellied sixtysomething European men love visiting Cuba?As Reuters reporter Catherine Bremer has found out, it's not the sunshine. Or the historic sites. Or the sandy beaches. Or even the cigars ...Ms Bremer's report is not pretty. In fact, it's a terrible story. And unfortunately, it carries the totally misleading, totally stupid heading, "Dollars can still buy love in Cuba". No, they don't. Dollars buy sex in Cuba. Cheap sex.One other point: the article makes the astonishing claim that "Cuban leader Fidel Castro hates sex tourism", referring to how Castro closed down brothels in Havana during the first few months of the Revolution.Well, that may have been the case in 1959. But the fact is that 48 years later, Castro is quite comfortable with "sex tourism" - and the dollars (and Euros) that flow directly or otherwise into his regime's coffers.
HERE IS THAT TERRIBLE STORY:
WITNESS: Dollars can still buy love in Cuba Fri Apr 27 18:56:47 UTC 2007
Catherine Bremer is a Reuters correspondent based in Mexico City since 2004 with occasional reporting trips elsewhere in Latin America, covering everything from elections to mudslides. She previously worked for Reuters in Paris, Brussels and London.
By Catherine Bremer
ISLE OF YOUTH, Cuba (Reuters) - Grease dribbling through his fingers, the Italian gobbles up two fried lobsters while the girl, young enough to be his granddaughter, picks at some rice and waits.
Facing them, I picture his chubby hands on this pretty 20-year-old mulatta and think about the thin wall between their bedroom and the one I've just rented in this Cuban family home.
I know this goes on everywhere from Brazil to Thailand, but I still feel like telling this leathery old man, with his big gold chain, vest and shorts, that he's a creep, and finding a hotel.
I bite my tongue though, and while the girl watches a Brazilian soap opera, I pour some rum. On the terrace, the man tells me he's a retired Sicilian executive who spends half the year here enjoying the young women.
"Is that so?" I say, trying to look as if I find this an admirable way to spend one's golden years. "That must be quite a few girls."
"Eighty," he smirks. "Well. At least 40 or 50.
"Cuban girls are different from you Europeans. They aren't prudish. In bed, they do everything. If she's not interested, I kick her out and get another one."
When I remark on his age, somewhere over 60, he springs to his feet, beats his chest and flexes his arms.
"I'm a lion! I have the body of a 40-year-old. In bed, I'm 25," he cries. "I don't even need Viagra."
Foreigners have come to Cuba for years seeking escorts for nights out and sex in exchange for gifts or cash to help the family. Cubans dub them "yumas", a term adopted for Americans after a 1957 western set in the town of Yuma on the U.S. border with Mexico.
Traveling here a decade ago, when Cubans were going hungry from the loss of Soviet aid, I saw countless beer-bellied foreign men smooching young women, and mid-forties women with hot young Cuban guys.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro hates sex tourism. After the 1959 revolution, he razed the brothels that had flourished under strongman Fulgencio Batista and he outlawed underage sex and pornography.
The government has also cracked down on hustlers, known here as "jineteros", in recent years, and the trade is now less visible.
But tourists are still like walking bank vaults in the two-tiered economy of Cuban and convertible pesos. The dollars I brought for a three-week stay equate to eight years' of state peso wages -- hence the torrent of romantic propositions.
On the sleepy Isle of Youth off Cuba's south coast, the Italian calls his girlfriend. She flounces out, a cinnamon-hued goddess in a tight "Italia" T-shirt and tiny pink shorts, and flashes me a smile.
Draped in gold jewelry, she is halfway through a law degree, but her yuma has brought her family more wealth in a few visits than several years on a Cuban lawyer's wage would.
"In my country you'd have a boyfriend like Brad Pitt," I joke. She giggles. The Italian slaps her thigh.
"She does not have the head of a European," he says. "She has the T-shirt of Italy but in the head she is Cuban. Right, sweetie?"
With everything from clothes to CD players out of reach of most Cubans, a wealthy tourist is still a tempting prospect for many.
Our hostess appears and fawns over the Italian. "He is one of the family," she coos. "The whole neighborhood loves him."
Rent-paying foreigners have made a palace of her house, with a paved garden, garish china ornaments and a stereo player.
Neighbors share the leftovers from our dinner. One asks the Italian for some coins. Like a Godfather, he's driving a mini-economy and loving it.
While the lovebirds head for bed my hostess shows me photographs of her daughter's "quinceanera", or 15th birthday, which marks a coming of age for girls in many Spanish-speaking countries.
"She's pretty," I say, admiring the showy ball gowns and skimpy outfits in the photos. "Will she get a yuma one day?"
"A yuma?" the mother snaps. "I would kill her."
"Nobody is in agreement…It’s that, no one says it and no one takes the risk to say it, to speak the truth. That’s what is happening. In other words, one of the foundations, of what are the regimes in the entire world, in all of history, has been fear and lies. In other words, once you are in fear that's when you don’t take a risk, where you collect yourself and don’t unite…understood? To be in fear is not to offer help to anyone because that signifies risk." -Gorki Águila Carrasco, lead singer, guitarist of the music group Porno Para Ricardo and political prisoner
"Socialist ideology, like so many others, has two main dangers. One stems from confused and incomplete readings of foreign texts, and the other from the arrogance and hidden rage of those who, in order to climb up in the world, pretend to be frantic defenders of the helpless so as to have shoulders on which to stand." --Jose Marti
View Che Guevara's Forgotten Victims on Scribd
Monday, April 30, 2007
Sex, money, desperation
Monday, April 23, 2007
Phone Call that Threatened the life of the Opposition Leader Martha Beatriz Roque
I would like to divulge this information.On April 17, 2007, I received a phone call that threatened my life, so that I would no longer speak on Radio Marti, and so that I would not meet with Portuguese reporters in my home.At 3:00 in the afternoon, I had taped a program with Maria Marquez of Radio Marti, about the third document of the series that I write titled “The Two Faces of One Coin”. The Reporters of RTP (Radio and Television Portuguese) named Sandra Filgueiras and Bruno de Jesus, called me at 10 minutes to 4:00 pm, just minutes before we were to meet, to inform me that the “Center for International Press” had informed them that they are to meet with a Vice Minister of Foreign Relations, which impeded my interview.I took a call that was holding for me on the telephone, and a man began to threaten me, then I reacted and turned on my recorder and was able to pick up this conversation.
Voice: Martha, you are putting your life in danger, you are going to prison again.
Martha Beatriz: Yes, no, no problem, if I have to go to jail again, I will. You know this is how the Cuban Government wants it to be, so it’s all the same to me.
Voice: It’s all the same to you, no, Martha?
Martha Beatriz: Exactly the same, what else?
Voice: Would you like me to put you in an enclosed cell, Martha?
Martha Beatriz: Enclosed cell? Also. No problem.
Voice: Yes Martha, you will fall into that. No?
Martha Beatriz: You have that ability?
Voice: Of course.
Martha Beatriz: Oh, good!!!
Voice: The one who is speaking to you is from the State Security.
Martha Beatriz: Oh! One from the State Security is speaking to me, then you have no problems.
Voice: You heard Martha, be careful, take care of yourself.
Martha Beatriz: Afterwards, you will hear your voice on Radio Marti.
Voice: Yes, Martha?
Martha Beatriz: You heard?
Voice: Yes, ah, you taped it?
Martha Beatriz: Of course, aren’t you threatening me even with death, I have to tape this, so people will hear you.
Voice: Ah, that is fine Martha, well.
Martha Beatriz: Well, has been a pleasure.
Voice: One of these days you will spend it very badly, Martha.
Martha Beatriz: Well, whenever you would like.
Today, April 18, 2007, I heard that the Portuguese reporters were detained twice even though they are accredited as such, with their corresponding permits to be in this country. Because my telephone is intercepted by the Political Police, and the proof I have for this is that the regime has placed parts of my private conversations on television, on the program Mesa Redonda, the level of knowledge of the person who spoke to me leaves no doubt that they were well informed.The tape with the recording is available to all who wish to hear it.Martha Beatriz RoqueHavana, CubaApril 18th, 2007Translation from Spanish to English was made by Fundacion Civica Martiana
FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT CUBANS SUPPORT FIDEL CASTRO, LET US REMEMBER THOSE WHO VALIANTLY FIGHT THE MURDEROUS REGIME
Cuba frees dissident imprisoned 17 years
AP, April 23, 2007.
HAVANA - A veteran dissident leader who wrote a book about Cuban prison conditions while behind bars was freed over the weekend after serving his entire 17-year sentence, rights groups said Monday.
Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, widely known by the nickname "Antunez," was released Sunday morning from prison in the central province of Villa Clara, the opposition group Bitacora Cubana said in a statement.
Originally arrested on charges of engaging in enemy propaganda and attempted sabotage in 1990, Garcia Perez was among the prisoners Pope John Paul II had asked the government to release. But he was not among the 14 people the Cuban government said it had freed in conjunction with the January 1998 papal visit.
From Miami, the Cuban American National Foundation, a powerful political lobby, sent a message Monday congratulating Garcia Perez upon his release and praising him for his "consistency of principles."
In Havana, another rights group confirmed Garcia Perez's release even as it reported a new case of a dissident attorney sentenced after a secret trial to 12 years in prison for painting graffiti and distributing pamphlets with an anti-government message.
Rolando Jimenez Posada was charged with disrespect for authority and revealing state secrets. He was tried in Havana over the weekend without a defense attorney or family members present, said Elizardo Sanchez, spokesman for the independent Cuban Commission for Human Rights and Reconciliation.
Sanchez said Jimenez Posada was transported to Havana for the proceeding from Isla de la Juventud, where he has been jailed since his arrest in early 2003.
It was unclear whether the time already spent in jail would count toward the 12-year sentence.
According to Sanchez, Jimenez Posada's relatives say authorities denied the defendant's request to represent himself in court and he was not allowed to attend his own trial when he protested.
"The biggest worry for the commission is that in two weeks, we have seen two similar secret trials behind closed doors, without relatives or defense attorneys present," Sanchez said.
Earlier this month, the rights commission criticized what it said was the secret trial of independent journalist Oscar Sanchez Madan.
Sanchez Madan, who wrote about dissident groups and the hardships of Cuban life, was arrested April 13 and tried in a secret hearing later that day, the rights commission said. He was convicted of the vaguely worded charge of "social dangerousness," and sentenced to four years in prison.
The Cuban government has not commented on either case.
Cuban dissident sentenced to 12 years
AP, April 23, 2007.
HAVANA (AP) -- A dissident attorney was sentenced to 12 years in prison in a secret trial for painting graffiti and distributing pamphlets with an anti-government message, a human rights group said Monday.
Rolando Jimenez Posada was tried in Havana over the weekend without a defense attorney or family members present, said Elizardo Sanchez, spokesman for the independent Cuban Commission for Human Rights and Reconciliation.
Sanchez said Jimenez Posada was transported to Havana for the proceeding from Isla de la Juventud, where he has been jailed since his arrest in early 2003.
It was unclear if the time already spent in jail would count toward the 12-year sentence on charges of disrespect for authority and revealing state secrets.
According to Sanchez, Jimenez Posada's relatives say authorities denied the defendant's request to represent himself in court and that he was not allowed to attend his own trial when he protested.
''The biggest worry for the commission is that in two weeks we have seen two similar secret trials behind closed doors, without relatives or defense attorneys present,'' Sanchez said.
Earlier this month, the rights commission criticized what it said was the secret trial of independent journalist Oscar Sanchez Madan.
Sanchez Madan, who wrote about dissident groups and the hardships of island life, was arrested April 13 and tried in a secret hearing later that day, the rights commission said. Found guilty of the vaguely worded charge of ''social dangerousness,'' he was sentenced to four years in prison.
As is customary, the Cuban government has not commented on either case.
N. of Ed.
Rolando Jimenez Posada was detained on the repressive wave on March 2003 along 75 other dissidents, and was declared prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.
THE 'OTHER' TUGBOAT MASSACRE
THIS WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 25, 2006 IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Letter to the Editor
February 25, 2006; Page A11
The Bahamian government has caved in to Castro's bullying before. On May 11, 1980, four members of the Royal Bahamian Defense Force were assassinated by the Castro regime in Bahamian territorial waters. Two Cuban MIGs fired rockets and sank the Royal Defense patrol boat "Flamingo" as it towed a Cuban fishing boat seized for poaching stone crab and conch in Bahamian waters. They then proceeded to strafe the survivors in the water, killing four of the 19 crewmen -- Fenrick Sturrup, Austin Smith, David Tucker and Edward Williams. An unarmed U.S. Coast Guard helicopter called in for help had to terminate a low-level search for survivors after it was thrown into violent turbulence by a Cuban MIG.
Brig. Gen. Rafael del Pino, who defected from Cuba, has recounted how Fidel Castro gave the orders to teach those "lackeys of imperialism" a lesson. Cuba's vice president soon traveled to Nassau to buy a way out of the mess. As if the silence of the Bahamian government were not outrageous and ironic enough, the four victims are honored in a cenotaph behind the Supreme Court in Nassau.
Maria C. WerlauExecutive Director, Cuba Archive and President, Free Society ProjectSummit, N.J.
THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 7, 2002.
"Cuban prisoners' minds still free" by Raul Rivero
|By Raul Rivero|
Rivero honors Chaviano
An officer sat on my chest, wrapped my head in my sweater and asked me if I knew him.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The Cuba Truth Project will be adding a section on its website with a list of internet links to things concerning Cuba. WUB will not publish websites which it deems communist regime-friendly. This includes websites of interest, even to the researcher and this website, such as www.granma.cu. Soon we'll also be adding links to www.amazon.com.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
For Cardinal Ortega there is complete "peace and tranquility" in Cuba
This week, Cuba's Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino erased the permanent smile from his face, at least for a little while, in order to be interviewed by the Spanish newspaper "El País" about the situation in the island.
"At this delicate moment, Cuba needs dialogue, not pressure," Ortega told El País. The good cardinal didn't say how was it possible for "Cuba" to dialogue, when Cubans have been forced to keep their mouths shut for almost 50 years, or face the consequences.
During his interview with El País, Ortega emphasized three words" "build bridges," "dialogue" and "reconciliation." Not a word about freedom, about human rights, about those languishing in Castro's Gulag, or about the fascist mobs that attacked the Ladies in White and dissidents like Gullermo Fariñas, Marta Beatriz Roque and others.
"The road is the dialogue, with pressure you don't get anywhere," said Ortega, who has been "dialoguing" with the dictatorship for years without getting anywhere.
More than nine years after the visit by the Pope and after a number of very expensive dinners where the dictator and his puppets have "dialogued" with Ortega and several envoys from the Vatican, the repression being suffered by the Cuban people has gotten worse.
This is due to the fact that Cardinal Ortega has not been dialoguing with Castro, because the dictator only allows a "monologue" not a "dialogue." Castro talks and talks, the cardinal smiles and smiles and the Cuban people suffer and suffer.
"We should be pleased that in this new situation we have been able to have complete tranquility," Ortega told El País. I guess that Ortega has been too busy preparing for his next "dialogue" session with Raul, to hear about the fascist mobs that attacked the Ladies in White for marching, after attending Mass in a Catholic church, to ask for the release of their relatives who are languishing in Castro's jails. And no one can expect the cardinal to know about the beating suffered by Guillermo Fariñas for the only crime of asking to have access to the Internet.
Or maybe Ortega knows about these incidents, but simply doesn't care. It seems that as long as Castro and his thugs are in absolute control, there is "tranquility" in Cuba as far as the cardinal is concerned.
"At the beginning, when the Cuban president got sick, many people believed in the possibility of an internal crisis that could have placed our country in a difficult position. The bishops made public then our wishes that no foreign interference and no kind of internal crisis should alter the peace and tranquility of our people. That is what has happened and it is the best," Ortega told El País. However, the cardinal didn't say when it was that Castro was elected "president" of Cuba or what "peace and tranquility" have Cubans enjoyed since one dictator was replaced by another.
Referring to the recent trip by a group of American lawmakers who favor the end of the sanctions against the Castro regime, Ortega called them "a group of very pragmatic politicians, with a very realistic vision." According to him, eliminating the sanctions will help those Cubans who want to send aid to their families and those in Cuba who are expecting such aid. And what about freedom, human rights, political prisoners, right to choose the type of government and a real president for Cuba? Not a word, because that would upset Ortega's vision of "tranquility." ---FROM www.therealcuba.com/index.htm
Jorge Aluar, 37, of Cuba, talks to a reporter in Miami, Thursday, April 12, 2007. Aluar and 14 others left Cuba in March on a homemade boat. They spent 10 days at the currents' mercy before they were picked by a smuggler's boat and taken to Cancun, Mexico. Aluar lost his arms while imprisoned in Cuba. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) READ MORE HERE
As usual one of the points of contention with the immigration issue and the Cuban embargo issue is government subsidization. Many Americans object to immigration or so called "illegal immigration" because they object to the subsidization of those immigrants' budgets with the welfare handouts. With the Cuban embargo many Cuban exiles also have the same objection--they don't want Havana to have the bail out system of government subsidization from the US for failed industries or nationalized industries in Cuba; in essence they object to taxpayers (especially Cuban exile money) paying to bail out the out and give lines of credit to Fidel Castro and his henchman. Maybe if one day we could have a government that doesn't support socialism for the rich as for the poor, they would not have to worry about maintaining an embargo.
HAVANA (Reuters) - Idaho Gov. Butch Otter arrived in Cuba on Tuesday looking to get his state's farmers a share of U.S. food sales to the communist-run island.
"We are going to continue to build good relationships with the folks in Cuba," Otter said on arrival, heading a group of 35 state officials and representatives of dairy, grain and potato producers.
"They are all looking forward to the opportunity to negotiate and do business with Cuba," he said.
Otter has visited Havana three times before as a U.S. congressman, winning in 2004 a Cuban commitment to buy Idaho products. But few sales came through.
Last year, Cuba imported $340 million of U.S. farm products such as chicken, wheat, corn, rice and soybeans, making the Caribbean nation's ideological foe the biggest foreign supplier of food on Cuban plates.
As an exception to the 45-year-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, the U.S. Congress approved food sales on a cash-only basis in 2000. Cuba has since shot up to become the 34th largest market for U.S. agricultural exports out of 227 countries.
Cuban imports from the United States slipped slightly over the past two years, however, due to tougher payment procedures introduced by the Bush administration as Cuba enjoyed subsidies and credits from Venezuela and China.
Various bills have been introduced in the U.S. Congress this year with the support of farm state legislators to loosen restrictions on trade and travel to Cuba by Americans One proposal would allow direct banking with Cuba to pay for U.S. agricultural shipments. Experts on Cuban trade say this would greatly facilitate sales.
Another bill, prompted by Cuban oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, would exempt U.S. oil companies from the embargo like the food industry. The energy bill, sponsored by two senators from farm states, Idaho Republican Larry Craig and North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan, would allow U.S. companies to explore for oil in Cuba and sell drilling equipment there.
Cuba discovered a noncommercial reservoir of light crude in its Gulf waters three years ago and a Spanish-Indian-Norwegian venture plans to drill there again in 2008.
"This isn't mayonnaise we're talking about here, this is hundreds of millions of dollars," said Kirby Jones, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association, a Washington-based group that promotes trade with Cuba.
Kirby believes the U.S. oil industry's interest in Cuba signals the end of the embargo enforced against Cuba since the Kennedy administration.
For the first time since the embargo was imposed "Cuba has something we need," he said.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Notice the black male in blue shirt; he is armed with a weapon.
Cuban Embassy In France
Employee of Cuban embassy in Paris was armed when facing Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders announced today that it is supporting a complaint filed on 14 October by news photographer Ricardo Vega against an unidentified employee of the Cuban embassy. The complaint alleges "threat with a firearm" and "complicity" in the use of violence by embassy staff to break up a protest outside the embassy by Reporters Without Borders activists on 24 April.
Vega took this step after discovering that the employee can be seen loading a revolver outside the embassy perimeter in the video that Vega recorded during the incident. Vega was badly beaten in the face by a member of the embassy in the course of the incident, and he was re-examining the videotape in an attempt to identify his assailant when he spotted the armed employee.
He previously registered a complaint at the headquarters of the investigative police in Paris alleging "deliberate violence resulting in eight days of disability." He included this accusation in the new complaint he filed on 14 October with a senior investigating judge.
"Not only did members of the embassy come out with iron bars to hit us, but one of them was carrying a firearm, which he loaded while outside the embassy," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said today. "This new element is extremely serious - it is unacceptable that persons linked to a foreign embassy commit such offences on French territory," he added.
In the 24 April protest, some 15 Reporters Without Borders activists together with a number of leading literary and artistic figures went to the Cuban embassy in Paris to hand in a letter to the ambassador calling for the release of 26 journalists who had been arrested three weeks earlier and sentenced to up to 27 years in prison.
When the ambassador refused to receive the letter, the activists put chains around the embassy’s entrance in a symbolic protest, and handcuffed themselves to its railing together with the personalities present. Members of the embassy came out and punched and beat them with iron bars. The ambassador himself, Eumelio Caballero Rodríguez, accompanied his employees, giving them instructions.
Several journalists present were also hit, including Vega, a photographer with the French daily 20 Minutes, and a cameraman with the Spanish television station TVE. Vega’s lawyer, Serge Lewisch, said doctors have told him that some of the symptoms resulting from the blows he received will never go away, that he will have to receive constant medical follow-up care.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The Lives of CubansBy MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADYApril 2, 2007; Page A16Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's 2007 Academy Award winning film, "The Lives of Others," recalls the bitterness of East German life under the Stasi. But it is also a reminder of the evils totalitarianism inflicts wherever it lands. When I watched it in a New York cinema recently, I saw Fidel Castro's ruthless Ministry of the Interior -- the Cuban equivalent of the Stasi -- in every frame.Take, for example, the moment when Stasi police rifle playwright Georg Dreyman's apartment in search of an "illegal" typewriter, after they have broken his fearful girlfriend in a skillful interrogation.That heart-pounding scene evokes images of Cuba's "black spring," only four years ago, when the ministry's secret police descended on the homes of scores of writers, journalists, peaceful activists and poets, seizing their typewriters, fax machines, paper and ink. Seventy-five were arrested, run through summary trials and handed sentences averaging 20 years.Today almost all those judged guilty are still rotting in rodent-infested dungeons, largely forgotten by the outside world, while Western audiences recoil in horror at the police state depicted by Mr. Henckel von Donnersmarck. My guess, based on the little we already know, is that when the long tropical totalitarian nightmare finally ends, the cruelty unveiled will make the East Germans look like amateurs.A report released over the weekend by the Web site Cuba Archive on the murder of 37 civilians who tried to flee the island aboard a tugboat in 1994 suggests just how horrid the the truth is likely to be.The story of how the "March 13th" was attacked by the Cuban government seven miles offshore has been told in Spanish by Jorge A. García -- who lost his son, grandson and 12 other relatives in the tragedy -- in a 2001 book called "The Sinking of the March 13th Tugboat." But until now the full account, as told by survivors, has not reached English-speakers.Cuba Archive is an independent research project working to document the deaths of innocents under both the Batista and Castro dictatorships. As part of this work, the project has published an account of that fateful day, drawing heavily from Mr. García's book. Cuba Archive Executive Director Maria Werlau says that she used other sources as well and cross referenced witness claims in order to produce a verifiable document that summarizes the events as they happened.The tragedy of the March 13th begins at 3 a.m. on July 13, 1994, when 68 civilians boarded the vessel for the final stages of an escape plot that had been hatched months before and promised to land them in freedom 90 miles away. Among the passengers were 15 children, including a 5-month-old infant and five toddlers. Fifty-one-year-old Fidencio Ramel Prieto, the head of operations at the Port of Havana, may have been the most important player in the plan.According to survivors, the tugboat had only just left the port when another tug began to pursue it, suggesting that the group had been infiltrated. Near the mouth of the harbor the boat giving chase tried to push the March 13th onto the reefs. That effort failed but two other tugs joined the chase and began flooding the March 13th with water cannons. Once out of sight from the shore, the tugs in pursuit began to ram the fleeing vessel and aimed the water cannons at the passengers. Survivors say that from the deck of the boat they signaled that they had children on board and they made their intentions to surrender clear. But the attack continued. Soon a Soviet-built Cuban Coast Guard cutter arrived on the scene.Many passengers took refuge from the high-pressure water jets by going below deck, a decision that left them trapped when the ramming eventually took its toll and the boat began to sink. Some managed to swim free. But even after the tug sank, government boats made no effort to rescue the survivors who were in the water, clinging to debris and calling for help. When a merchant vessel with Greek flags approached, the Cuban crews finally pulled 31 survivors out of the water, perhaps because foreign witnesses to further deaths were likely to embarrass the regime.According to Mr. Garcia, all but one of the suvivors have since escaped Cuba. But for the island's brave dissident movement, the event remains a symbol of the hateful system. On July 13, 2005 four activists held a public commemoration in Havana for the victims of the massacre. They were promptly assaulted by Castro's Rapid Response Brigades and later arrested. On Feb. 27 of this year, the four finally went to trial, were found guilty of public disorder and are serving sentences of up to two years.The intentional sinking of the "March 13th" reveals a government policy of murdering refugees, not unlike the East German practice of shooting those who tried to make it over the Berlin Wall. The only difference is that the Cuban government seems to be running up the score. While there are 227 documented cases of East Germans killed for trying to clear the Wall, Cuba Archive has already documented the deaths of 233 Cubans executed for trying to flee the island. According to Ms. Werlau, there are likely many more. Without a central place to report lost loved ones, there is no way of knowing how many Cubans are missing, let alone killed. Should family members one day be free to come forward, Ms. Werlau says, the total of disappeared will almost certainly climb, even if their fates may never be known. For now that number is Fidel's dirty little secret.In opening East German archives, researchers have found that the Castro regime worked closely with the Stasi in the 1970s to perfect surveillance and interrogation techniques and on other methods of enhancing fear. Let's remember that the fall of the Wall was not the end of all that. The Stasi's ideals, so grimly portrayed in Mr. Henckel von Donnersmarck's film, live on in Cuba today.
This video is in Spanish. Dr. Eduardo Vidal Franco protests the Cuban government. He reminds in addition to other things that that government of Cuba has 6 jails filled with AIDS patients who receive absolutely no medical attention for their disease. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Eduardo+Vidal+Franco
The question concerning who is a terrorist or what is terrorism is a question that will likely continue in the debate concering Cuba. There is no doubt that King George III referred to Washington and Franklin as atheistic criminals (you can substitute I guess that for "terrorist"). The real debate seems to be whether goverment can impose the money of its subjects or citizens in its pursuits of violence against other governments or individuals or can an individual use violence against another individual or organization (government) in the name of self defense or liberation from oppression. For matters concerning Posada Carriles see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posada_Carriles He was acquitted by two Venezuelan courts. However that is contested by some see the article concerning Posada Carriles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Luis_Posada_Carriles (see  '"acquitted twice" correction'
Judge sets Cuban militant free on bail
By Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press Writer, April 6, 2007.
EL PASO, Texas - A federal judge on Friday ordered Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles set free on bail pending trial on charges he lied in a bid to become a U.S. citizen, and the government immediately asked that he remain jailed.
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone didn't immediately rule on federal prosecutors' request. They wanted him to remain in custody while they determine if they can appeal the judge's decision.
Posada, 79, is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela on charges that he was in Caracas when he plotted the deadly 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner. He also has been ordered deported by a federal immigration judge, though U.S. authorities have been unable to find a country willing to accept the former CIA operative.
Felipe D.J. Millan, Posada's attorney, said Posada remained jailed in Otero County, N.M. Friday afternoon. Millan said he did not know when Posada could be released, but said it would likely not happen over the holiday weekend.
"He deserves to go home and live in peace and enjoy his family," Millan said. "Obviously we'll do whatever we need to do to post bond. We'll try to get him as soon as possible."
Cardone ordered that Posada post a $250,000 cash or corporate surety bond. His wife and two adult children must post a $100,000 appearance and compliance signature bond and agree to take responsibility of him when he is released.
The judge also ordered that Posada, a former CIA operative who had a role in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, live with his wife in Miami under 24-hour home confinement and submit to electronic monitoring.
The government argued that because of the timing of the order, about 2 p.m. Eastern time on Good Friday, Posada could be released before government lawyers had time to decide and get permission to file an appeal.
"The United States needs time to consider the adequacy of these conditions and whether to appeal this court's ruling," the prosecutors wrote.
Posada has been jailed since May 2005, when he was arrested on an immigration violation after telling authorities that he sneaked across the Mexican border into Texas. An immigration judge later ordered that he be deported, but ruled that Posada could not be sent to Cuba, where he was born, or Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen, because of fears that he could be tortured.
His trial is set for May 11.