Tuesday, January 31, 2006
This photo of the flagpoles was posted on Real Cuba, Babalu, and Killcastro. That's it? This is going to block the ticker? The photographer is trying to give you the impression that these flagpoles will most certainly block the ticker.
Let's ticker away...
Boycott of Citgo launchedPro-family group leads effort to shun firm run by Venezuela's Chavez
Posted: January 31, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
A pro-family group has launched a boycott of the Citgo oil company because it is run by the Venezuelan government, which is led by U.S.-bashing President Hugo Chavez.
"Sales of products at Citgo stations send money back to Chavez to help him in his vow to bring down our government," said American Family Association founder Don Wildmon in a statement.
AFA notes Chavez told a television audience recently: "Enough of imperialist aggression; we must tell the world: down with the U.S. empire. We have to bury imperialism this century."
On the TV program, Chavez was hosting anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan. The socialist dictator, who is close to Cuban leader Fidel Castro, recently met with American entertainer Harry Belafonte, who called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" while in Venezuela.
"Regardless of your feelings about the war in Iraq, the issue here is that we have a socialist dictator vowing to bring down the government of the U.S. And he is using our money to achieve his goal!" warned Wildmon.
According to Citgo's website, the company is "owned by PDV America Inc., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela."
On his website, Wildmon urges supporters to e-mail both Chavez and Citgo to announce their intention to boycott the company
Monday, January 30, 2006
Can you believe this? Not only is she french kissing mini-me, now she wants to set up a tent with min-me in Crawford, and the lowest of the lows calling Bush a "terrorist." One word comes to mind: "Traitor"
Quotes from the anti-American:
"George W. Bush is responsible for killing tens of thousands of innocent people and his definition of a terrorist is someone who kills innocent women, men and children,"
"By his own definition, he is a terrorist,"
Here is a speech delivered by the dictator on January 17th, 2006:
Speech delivered by Fidel Castro Ruz, President of the Republic of Cuba, on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of his entry into the province of Pinar del Río at the ceremony held in celebration of the successful installation of electric power generators in this province. Pinar del Río, 17 January 2006, “Year of the Energy Revolution in Cuba”
Dear fellow Cubans:
I will not intend to explain to you how life in Pinar del Río was once like. Peasants forced to pay a rent equivalent to more than 30 percent the value of their produce, large and privately owned estates, precarious social conditions, unemployment, the merciless exploitation of the people, illiteracy, high infant mortality rates, the almost complete absence of medical and educational services, the absence of drinking water and basic public services. Until the triumph of the Revolution, it was known as Cuba’s Cinderella.
Whenever I visit this, our country’s westernmost province on a January 17th, I cannot but recall the passionate words I spoke that day in Artemisa and Pinar del Río 47 years ago today. No sooner had I arrived than I was making my first speech there, saying verbatim:
“I know there are many people in need”, I said then, ”I know there are many who are ill who have no hospital to go to, that there are many children who have no schools to attend, that there are many families who go hungry, but we will not help one or two people, we will help everyone”.
“I will not promise you anything, I will only say that we will do everything in our power, that we will do more than what we will promise to do. And changes won’t happen overnight, they won’t arrive immediately”.
“That is why I ask you to have faith in us, that is why I say to all of you who are in need that we won’t be helping one, two, three or four people, that the aim of the revolution is to help everyone, because there are hundreds of thousands of Cubans who are in need and to help but ten or twenty people is really to do nothing at all, what we must do is help hundreds of thousands of Cubans”. I should have said millions of Cubans.
“I have faith in the Cuban people, I know the Revolution will continue to make progress, I know that our country’s sovereignty will be respected and I know that Cuba will one day be one of the world’s most prosperous, just and happy nations”.
Back then, Artemisa, whence came most of the revolutionaries who participated in the attack on Moncada and who accepted the highest of sacrifices and gave their lives, was part of the province of Pinar del Río. Today, it is part of Pinar del Río, of La Habana and of Cuba. Today, Pinar del Río, I dare say, is also a part of the world. (APPLAUSE)
I cannot but marvel at what Pinar del Río means to the world today when I go over its history in my mind, after 47 years of a criminal, imperialist blockade, perfidious acts of aggression, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the October Missile Crisis, thousands of terrorist actions against our people, the disintegration of our former socialist allies, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the advent of Cuba’s Special Period.
Let us look at some figures, to begin with the most evident achievements:
Pinar del Río’s current unemployment rate is only 1.1 percent, what, around the world, is considered full employment.
There are 31 dams and 65 mini-dams in the province which hold over a billion cubic meters of water, all of them constructed by the Revolution.
Pipelines carry this vital substance to nearly all towns in the province, whether they face many or few difficulties.
Rare are the homes —save in isolated places that are difficult to reach—that have no electricity.
In 2005, infant mortality was of 5.4 per 1 000 live births, one of the lowest ever reported in the province’s revolutionary history, a far more encouraging figure than that reported by the capital of the United States.
The population’s average level of schooling is upwards ninth grade. There are now 44,591 university graduates in a province that, before 1959, had only 541, of whom only 33 were women; that is to say, there are now 80 times the number of people who have completed higher level education than there were then.
The province has a rich cultural life, especially in the visual arts and in literature. More and more people are involved in sporting activities, and a significant number of athletes who are in national teams and participate in international events come from the province.
Pinar del Río’s natural beauty, especially its mountains and its westernmost region, makes it an attractive tourist destination indeed.
Two of the world’s biosphere reserves are found in the province: the Guanahacabibes Peninsula and the Sierra del Rosario. Viñales has been declared a part of humanity’s natural heritage.
On 21 August, President Hugo Chávez attended the inauguration of “Villa Bolívar”, a facility constructed in cooperation with Venezuela.
On the historical Aló Presidente broadcast from Villa Bolívar, the people of Pinar del Río expressed the Cuban people’s profound love towards that sister nation and their determination to make the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas victorious.
As part of an investment program and the victorious Battle of Ideas that our people are involved in, important programs in educational, health, cultural, sport and other spheres have been undertaken in Pinar del Río.
Four thousand nine hundred and eighty five students have completed the Comprehensive Continuing Education Program for Young People which began in 2001, all of whom have entered university. Today, 7 158 students are enrolled and pursuing the course in 37 different locations.
One thousand seven hundred and forty eight students are enrolled in the Ministry of Sugar’s Continuing Education Course for Workers, which began in 2002 and is offered at eight locations: 2 in Bahía Honda, 5 in San Cristóbal and 1 in La Palma, where the province’s former sugar mills are located.
One thousand and eighty seven young people, 794 of whom are women and 936 members of the Young Communists League, have graduated as social workers. The seventh academic year has seen an enrollment of 454 students, who pursue studies in 138 different study groups based in residential houses.
One thousand seven hundred and seventy one students have graduated from the General Comprehensive Secondary School Teacher Course. The current enrollment is of 761.
Six hundred and eighty seven outstanding students from all of Pinar del Río’s boroughs are enrolled in the National University of Information Sciences, an institution which is enjoying growing international prestige.
Five hundred and thirty four members of the José Martí Brigade have graduated as art instructors: 143 have specialized in music, 177 in theatre and 96 in dance. Currently, 1 357 students are enrolled in the art instructors program.
One thousand five hundred and twenty four students are enrolled in the specialties of Optometry and Optics of the Health Technology Course which began in 2004.
Thirty three Video Clubs have been created. On an average day, 5 282 children and 4 325 adults (a total of 9 607 people) attend these clubs.
Thirty six Computer and Electronics Youth Clubs, a Computer Center and a Traveling Computer Module, a total of 344 computers, exist in the province. Six thousand four hundred and eighty nine students are enrolled in different courses offered at these facilities. Thirty seven five hundred and forty eight students have graduated from such courses during the last five years.
Six thousand three hundred and sixty four television sets and 2 526 VCRs, distributed across 942 schools (163 of which are fitted with solar panels), are used in the Audiovisual Program.
The Introductory Computer Sciences Course is offered in the province’s 689 primary schools, to a total of 66 719 students who have access to a total of 1 540 computers. The student to computer ratio in primary schools is 43.3:1; at the junior secondary level, it is of 36.7:1, at the senior secondary level 23.1:1 and at the technical-polytechnic level 25.3:1.
One thousand one hundred and seventy two students have graduated from the National Institute for Sports and Recreation Qualification Course which began in 2004; currently, 640 students are enrolled in this course.
The universalization of higher education has reached all of the province’s boroughs and sees an enrollment of 21 502 students. Five thousand five hundred and thirty six students are enrolled in regular daytime courses offered in the province’s four universities, for a total enrollment in higher education of 27 038 students, more than twice the number of students who were enrolled in higher education, in the entire country, before the triumph of the Revolution.
The Libertad Publishing House Program has made 122 253 copies of 15 different books used as course material and 22 418 copies of books on Cuba’s history available to students who complete different levels of education.
Three hundred and thirty nine students from 44 different countries are enrolled in the specialties of General Practice, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation offered by the Latin American School of Medicine.
The programs undertaken as part of the Revolution in the Battle of Ideas have created 42 429 new jobs in recent years.
Three hundred and fifteen computers have been installed in libraries, genetic centers and blood banks as part of the Public Health Computerization Program.
Eight thousand seven hundred and ninety six patients have been treated in Municipal Intensive Care Units, for a general survival rate of 97.9 percent. Six thousand and twenty three patients with low survival probabilities (97.1 percent) are saved.
Twelve dentistry units operate in the province’s polyclinics and 38 new dentistry clinics have been set up.
Fourteen opticians’, 8 of which have been repaired as part of this program and 4 of which are new, offer services to the public.
Of the province’s 132 community pharmacies, 106 have been repaired and 26 have been newly constructed. The fourteen main municipal pharmacies are equipped computers which are interconnected.
Thirty five radiology units are in operation.
Whereas before there were just 4 ultrasound units working only in provincial hospitals, today there are as many as 31, plus 43 such equipment offering full coverage in polyclinics and hospitals. Eighty two students have completed ultrasonography training programs (56 graduating as specialists and 26 as technicians) and now attend to a total of 33 523 patients, successfully treating these in primary care centers.
Endoscopy services have been expanded and now are offered in five polyclinics. These services will eventually be offered at all polyclinics, without exception. Three thousand one hundred and twenty one patients benefit from these new polyclinic services, which before were offered only in provincial hospitals. Thirty six general comprehensive medicine specialists and 24 nurses have completed diploma programs in this specialty.
Allergy laboratories have gone from 5 to 8 in number. Ten thousand nine hundred and thirty three patients have been treated in these.
There are now 14 minor surgery rooms in the province: 10 in polyclinics and 4 in hospitals; 13 293 surgeries were performed in polyclinics this past year (2 040 as many as those performed in 2004).
Twelve comprehensive services, in which 167 000 patients have been treated to date, are offered in the 25 new rehabilitation rooms distributed across the province’s municipalities.
Twenty nine thousand five hundred and two patients needing ophthalmologic services and 7 985 in need of optometry services benefited from this program which offers a total of 23 services. The province has a total of 17 interns specializing in ophthalmology (2 in third and 15 in first year). Thousands of others are being trained.
Two new hemodialysis units have been set up in the Comandante Pinares Hospital in San Cristóbal and the Augusto César Sandino Hospital.
The unit in the Abel Santamaria Hospital was expanded, receiving 23 new artificial kidneys. One hundred and thirty patients from across the province receive quality care in these hospitals, and the patient to artificial kidney ratio has dropped from 9:1 to 5.2:1. Whereas the province’s mortality rate was of 29 percent before the start of the program, it is now 7.2 percent. Two Homes for Nephropathy Patients have been created, making the care of those affected by chronic kidney problems tangibly and considerably more humane.
One thousand six hundred and sixty five patients have been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for Heart Conditions; of these, 672 suffered acute myocardial infarctions and reported a mortality rate of 9.6 percent. Between 1995 and 2000, the mortality rate associated to acute myocardial infarctions was of 17.8 percent. For patients who underwent thrombolysis and were administered streptokinase —a Cuban product, developed in our research institutions— the mortality rate was of 6.6 percent, that is, one third the number of people who died as a result of this condition at the end of the 1990s.
There are 43 electrocardiographs in operation across the province.
Three hundred and ninety patients have undergone mammography, for which a recently installed unit was used. For the past seven years, the province had no such unit.
A Nuclear Magnetic Resonance unit was assigned to the Abel Santamaria hospital. The projecting stage has been completed, and the construction brigade is now ready to begin work.
The construction of the facility which is to house the Excimer laser, a unit used in eye operations, has been completed and its climatization system is now being set up.
Studies in five important health specialties are pursued: medicine, dentistry, BSc’s in Nursing, health technology and psychology. These programs are offered in five different sub-centers in the municipalities of Sandino, Consolación, San Cristóbal and Pinar del Río. There are university campuses in all parts of the province, in which a total of 7 490 students are enrolled in medicine or health-related specialties.
Nine university polyclinics operate in 7 different municipalities; 165 medical students —participating in a new program—and 116 teaching assistants are trained in these.
Two thousand eight hundred and forty four training courses, in which
46 098 workers in this sector have improved their skills, have been offered in Pinar del Rio as part of a program aimed at the development of human resources.
Eleven schools in the countryside that had been closed (in the municipality of Sandino) are currently being repaired. Today, given the age of the young people and the adolescents, the number of students at these levels of schooling is less than half the number of those who attended these schools in the past. In Sandino, there were only 34 such schools, a number of which will be used to train Latin American doctors. According to estimates, by the end of this year 20 000 Latin American medical students will come to Cuba to study. In short, 3 479 young Venezuelan senior high graduates will be arriving in Cuba. We hope to be receiving as many as 10 000 this year, plus another 10 000 Latin American students, in addition to those who study at the Latin American School of Medicine.
Since 2000, the Risso digital press has published 170 books by 198 different authors (a total of 106 959 copies) for the territorial publications program. In any municipality, any talented young people will have the opportunity to write. They won’t need to wait for 40 years or death for their works to be published.
All municipal cultural divisions have computers, which have allowed them to implement this program.
These are the most important tasks that social workers have undertaken in the province as part of Cuba’s energy-saving measures:
Checking of electrical appliances used in Cuban homes. The whole people cooperate, of course, because they know how beneficial is this energy Revolution for the whole people. Nine hundred and eighty five social workers visited 208 127 homes.
Checking of electrical appliances used in the province’s 8 120 workplaces, a task which involved 756 social workers.
Replacement of incandescent bulbs with 18-watt lamps, in which 785 social workers participated; they replaced 610 000 incandescent bulbs with energy-saving bulbs, a service which was free of charge.
Seminars on the use of the multi-purpose pressure cooker and the use of electricity as a domestic energy source. Six hundred and twenty five social workers participated in these seminars.
A study on the movement and use of fuel by the tobacco factory in Consolación del Sur, in which 16 social workers participated. These social workers visited 46 production units, met with 22 managers and 846 peasants, and measured the energy-consumption of 92 irrigation pumps, 39 tractors and 36 freight vehicles.
Distribution of electrical appliances to family households (rice cookers to families who used LPG or kerosene to cook with; multipurpose pressure cookers, electric hot plates, water heaters). Old television sets were also replaced with new ones in the Sandino municipality, and fans were distributed in all parts of the province. Two thousand four hundred and twenty six social workers and 2 342 university students participated in these efforts.
Socially important tasks, such as services for people with disabilities, undernourished children, and other tasks assigned as part of this program.
The extension, into Pinar del Río, of an extraordinary nationwide campaign, headed by social workers, against the squandering, diversion and illicit sale of fuel.
Completion of the “Talking to Tractors and Trucks” campaign and keep track of the itinerary of tankers that distribute fuel.
As part of a campaign that university students have now joined, social workers have replaced or distributed the following appliances to Cuban households. The conditions in which this is being done are well known by the whole people. In some cases these appliances are being sold at half their price in hard currency, and according to the present exchange rate. In other cases, the price of those home appliances will be equivalent to their cost in hard currency, depending on each and every case, the credit conditions, etc., of which I will not speak right now, for I don’t have any of these in writing.
240 308 conventional pressure cookers, the traditional non-electric type, which are very useful because they save energy.
233 297 rice cookers
228 017 electric pressure cookers, which the people call “the Queen”; a multipurpose cooker, of miraculous energy-saving effects.
227 567 electric hot plates
96 455 water heaters, and within some days we will be receiving around 137 000 more.
43 532 fans and 1 757 television sets were replaced with new units
The gaskets for 85 986 fridges and 8 380 thermostats were replaced
646 160 incandescent bulbs (627 593 in the residential and 18 567 in the state sector) were replaced with energy-saving bulbs. Some specific cases which may still be pending are currently under review, mainly those houses which were close at the time of the inspection.
Other articles which do not consume electricity and contribute to energy-saving measures were also distributed:
236 141 gaskets for pressure cookers
318 744 gaskets for coffee makers
84 074 fuses for pressure cookers
The following numbers of makeshift appliances, previously used in the households visited, have been collected:
43 532 fans
8 556 makeshift cookers
1 192 hot plates
4 000 water heaters
A total of 57 289 makeshift and electricity-guzzling appliances have been collected throughout the province.
A series of measures aimed at consolidating this work are now underway; these include the repair and improvement of electrical lines; at the present time, 520 line-men are at work on this task in 6 municipalities (290 of them come from other provinces).
We are monitoring the hourly demand and the total consumption at the end of each day. This allows us to have data on the province as a whole and to obtain precise information on the municipalities of Pinar del Río, Consolación del Sur and Candelaria. This allows political leaders to better guide discussions in those areas that show the greatest energy consumption.
This task demands that mass organizations work systematically on a household to household level that the primary student organization (Pioneers) and the media work on educating the public to read their meters as well as to make a maximum effort to free up peak hours of electrical use.
The Energy Revolution in Pinar del Rio and the Changes to the Cuban National Electrical System.
The serious difficulties faced by the National Electrical System in 2004, analyzed in detail during the Round Table Discussions held in September of that year and in successive meetings, resulted in the implementation of new concepts aimed at the development of a safer and more efficient national electrical energy system, after the situation was closely studied and after the experiences we had in dealing with a series of strong hurricanes.
The main measures that were adopted to transform our system were:
Acquisition and installation of safer and more efficient generating equipment with power generators and motors conveniently placed in different locations in the country.
Accelerated intensification of a program to increase the use of the national oil accompanying gas in order to generate electricity using a combined cycle.
Complete repair of the out-dated and inefficient distribution networks that were affecting the cost and quality of the flow of electrical power.
Prioritizing minimum necessary resources for an improved availability and conservation of electric power generators.
An intensive research and development program in the use of wind and solar energy in Cuba.
As of January 15, we have installed 205 power generators with a capacity to generate 253 500 Kw/hour.
This new concept of energy generation has the following advantages:
minimum amounts of fuel per Kw/hour generated consumed: 210 gr./Kw/hour, on average, for Diesel or Fuel Oil, depending on the motor type and its purpose.
Unit power values whose capacity, in the case of breakdown, has no significant impact on the functioning of the system.
Adequate geographic distribution, which helps protect the electrical service for the population and economically and socially important facilities against hurricanes and breakdown.
Availability greater than 90% and much greater than 60% of the thermo-electrical plants functioning in our system at the present time.
When oil is extracted, large quantities of gas are released. In recent years, approximately 1 million tons of oil equivalent in gas have been consumed.
The generation of electricity using gas is already at 235 000 Kw/ hour. Additional amounts of gas are used to cook in part of Havana and to produce electricity in two of the units of the thermoelectric plant in Santa Cruz del Norte, designed to simultaneously burn gas and crude.
Soon, through the use of this technology, an additional 90 000 Kw will be generated, as well as a projected 70 000 Kw, to be generated by two new gas turbines and a combined cycle that will contribute more than 200 000 Kw, for a total of almost half a million kilowatts using this source of clean, economical energy.
A process aimed at repairing electrical networks has begun to reduce losses due to poor distribution and low voltage.
To carry out these plans, it has been necessary to increase the production of cables and posts in the country and to triple the production of distribution transformers, so that we can reach the number of 15 000 per year.
In order to carry out this work, regiments of line-men have been mobilized throughout the country, especially in the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Holguin. At this time, additional transportation and equipment is being acquired to guarantee the fulfillment of this mission and to substitute the old fuel-guzzling equipment that are currently used in these activities.
In our country, thermoelectric plants, many of which have been in use for more than 25 years, account for 2 940 000 Kw of installed power, have an average availability, as we have already mentioned, of 60% and consume large amounts of fuel per Kw/hour generated.
This thermoelectric plants system which I mentioned will be gradually replaced by the new generation of motors, including the combined cycle motors, and for this the minimum necessary resources are apportioned in order to maintain the most efficient units functioning. Other units will be kept and will be ready to work when the system requires them, while the first phase of the transformation of the present system is under way.
It is well-known that, in recent years, wind-power has become the most widely-used type of renewable energy in the world. Its installation costs are already competitive when compared to traditional sources of energy.
As a strategic development in this field –-the development of wind energy-- different technologies, including those designed to withstand the frequent hurricanes which lash our country.
Areas with wind power potential have been identified in the country and include:
The westernmost part of Pinar del Rio
Isla de la Juventud
The northern coast between Holguin and Villa Clara
The north-east of Cuba’s eastern end
Pinar del Río is among the places under study. We already know how wind power is like at the Cabo San Antonio. Tests are being made there and elsewhere.
Measurements of wind speeds are being taken at altitudes of 50 meters at selected sites within these macro locations. This will allow us to determine the precise location of the most ideal sites and steps will be taken to discover the potential for wind energy in the entire country.
In addition to this, the nation has purchased a total of 4 158 emergency power generators, representing a total potential of 711 811 Kw.
To date, the country has received 3 003 of these emergency power generators, representing 72.2 per cent of the total number purchased.
The emergency power generators can be switched on after an order. They can release the energy they are consuming without starting up. If there is a deficit of 100 000 and the installed capacity is of 100 000, they will start up with the 100 000 at that peak consumption time. So these are there as part of the reserve, but they have a role to play in hospitals, at cold stores, areas were foodstuff must be preserved, areas where there are key industries which can not dispense with electricity not even for a single moment. All of these equipment are brand new.
As part of Cuban medical assistance to Pakistan, in response to the earthquake in that country, 54 emergency power generators were sent there, so that they could be installed in field hospitals.
The installed potential to date guarantees the protection of the following basic centers and institutions, among others:
241 other health centers, such as: 17 blood banks, 1 hospital hospice, 2 Retinitis Pigmentosa centers, 89 dental clinics, 101 homes for the elderly, 17 homes for the mentally and physically challenged, etc.
128 educational centers
89 centers for graphic, radio and television communication
54 meteorological stations, they can not run out of power ever, even if a tree falls down on them. A power generator plant must stand by there, otherwise we would be left without the information we so much need about what is going on at Turquino, La Bajada, Escambray, or La Gran Piedra.
51 tourism facilities
37 centers for the production, storage and elaboration of food products
188 water supply units (pumps, re-pumping units and water disinfection plants). There are some adjustments still to be made, because some of these pumps required a compensation equipment, as it is the case for the pump that supplies water to the Manuel Lazo neighborhood and other areas in Pinar del Río, the capacity of which is 70 Kw, and requires an electric capacity of 210 Kw to start up. That power generator which has been installed there costs around
40 000 dollars, and the so-called compensator costs around 1 300 dollars. With that compensator the capacity of the motor that supplies the Manuel Lazo neighborhood would be more than enough to operate a 35 Kw equipment, and then we could reassign the far more powerful generator which has been installed there to another location as an emergency generator.
We have ordered 500 such compensators to operate the water supply system in the whole country. Each one of them will have its own motor, but we have to check them all. There are more than
100 000 water pumps, most of them very old already, electricity-guzzling equipment. That is why I was telling you that there is still much to be done.
Today we disinfect water and do something else: almost everybody boils water for drinking. All of that has been duly studied, as well as the appropriate solutions to this problem, since the country is consuming 15 to 20 percent of the fuel available to heat water for bathing and boil water for drinking. There is much more to say, but not everything will be said here today.
589 bakeries and other centers which will have electrical generators. Diesel will no longer be used by the almost 1000 bakeries across the country. What Diesel has to do with wheat flour and bread? We have to supply electricity to those places.
22 centers in the chemical-pharmaceutical Industry. That supply can not fail.
One thousand nine hundred and thirty four of the program’s power generators remain to be installed. These are motors, because there are other power generators made up of several motors, which means those yet to be installed, 569 274 Kw of power. A special effort is being made, and this will also be so in the next few days. Everybody is getting ready for that.
A gigantic construction and assembly effort has seen the installation of
2 281 power generators in just 6 months –the smallest were the first to arrive- and today our main effort lies in the maximum usage of installed capacity in order to increase efficiency of each Kw. The example I mentioned of a pump that supplies the Manuel Lazo neighborhood explains all this very well. We must install there the appropriate pump, the electrical emergency pump, the adequate pump with its corresponding compensator. It costs almost nothing as compared to cost of other equipment.
A special effort has been seen in the work of the provinces and municipalities, which have contributed much to the progress attained; our comrades in Pinar del Rio are especially worthy of recognition for their efforts. All entities have taken part in this program.
The new system has already been installed in the Pinar del Rio area. Let me say that Pinar del Rio will no longer suffer black-outs. Who could have possibly imagined that? In addition to the national supply, 164 000 Kw/hour of newly generated capacity supplements the provincial system and the national system as much as is required. (APPLAUSE.) It could be that there is a black-out because a tree has fallen on some lines, or a transformer is affected for any reason. There will be less and less black-outs, there will be less and less old transformers, and there will be less and less problems with the main grid. Any electrical work that necessitates a temporary power outage, or perhaps a hurricane, will force us to turn out the lights. When the wind blows at a speed higher than 70 km/hour we must all be ready. There could be a power outage due to any of these reasons, but not because there is a shortage of energy in the system, which is something that has been happening very often as of late. If something like that happens, each household will have the equipment and a reserve of LPG or kerosene to be able to cook.
Is that clear? It is very important to look at the way this is being done here in Pinar del Río.
Very soon, the provinces of Havana, Matanzas and Holguin will be in the same shape as Pinar del Rio –although we are anticipating some favorable actions that will be taken, using the power reserves that we may have, and reserves will increase as long as we speed up the installation of all the equipment that we now have. Even before the program ends, a program that will extend indefinitely towards the future, by the first of May of 2006 at the latest –and listen very carefully to this, unless our enemies are willing to put up a huge provocation as a result of the overwhelming success achieved by our country in the field of economy and others- that glorious day in celebration of workers, one hundred per cent of all Cuban households that have electricity, more than 95 per cent of the entire population, will not be using LPG or kerosene, except in the exceptional cases, as I mentioned above. By that date, we will have achieved the capacity to generate a million kilowatts per hour in coordinated generators, equivalent to 3.3 thermo-electrical plants such as the “Antonio Guiteras”, whose total cost will be around 1.7 billion dollars in investment and whose construction will require no less than six years of work. To such capacity, no less than a million kilowatts/hour will be added, produced by energy-saving measures. Thus, the nation will have a capacity of two million kilowatts/hour more than what was had just six months ago. (APPLAUSE.)
We can understand the meaning of the energy revolution better in these terms: a significant saving for the nation in convertible hard currency, a noble, safe and healthy fuel –the electrical fuel all those households will have- without flames, gas, odor or bad taste, without any misappropriation of resources, without robbery or fraud, without heavy objects to carry up the stairs, without all the odious attendant miseries to each frequent and inopportune black-out that characterized an old-fashioned concept for the delivery of electrical power.
Once this program, which we are working on at top speed, has concluded, the nation will be saving one billion dollars each year.
I have been very cautious in sharing this information with you. Much thought has gone into this. The technical data I’ve offered you, and each one of the steps which need to be taken, are much more complicated and detailed than I have outlined, since I am constrained by time and other obvious reasons.
This grand energy revolution, and the social impact it has had on Pinar del Rio in such a brief period of time, would not have been possible without the important work of the Party and its provincial and municipal cadres under the direction of Carmita –as we affectionately call her- the Party’s First Secretary, a woman who is the representative of the manual and intellectual workers of this province. I can speak of her activities because I have been in touch with her almost on a daily basis, especially during the last decisive phase of this battle, when she was directing the political and social forces of her province, mainly in the town of Pinar del Rio, backed by grassroots organizations and by all provincial and national government structures.
I have asked myself many a time how we managed to do all this. Carmita was not just the administrator; she directed and coordinated, she requested information, she analyzed each detail scrupulously, conveyed information at the national level, reported on the general situation, what progress had been made and what problems had been run into, together with her analyses and points of view; she fulfilled all instructions in a disciplined fashion, she traced the corresponding provincial strategy, confident in victory and radiating her reassurance and optimism to everyone around her. Her style and methods serve as an example to other cadres. We have been able to see the efficiency of the Revolution in action and the experienced political direction of cadres of different generations.
I was reminded of the glorious days spent fighting battles both within and outside of the nation: in days of yore, with our heroic “mambises”; in the more recent past, in the struggle against the Batista tyranny; today, against the cowardly blows of an impotent empire that attacks Cuba, in a world where people are saying “no” to being colonial slaves, “no” to imperial domination and plunder.(APPLAUSE.)
Here today, together with the people of Pinar del Rio, stand the national leaders of political and grassroots organizations, the highest representatives of our national government, the political and government leaders of each of our provinces, wherever the battles of our nation are being waged in this decisive moment of our history. Our glorious Armed Forces will also participate in this titanic effort. There will be a before and an after to this Cuban energy revolution. It will teach lessons that will be useful to our people and the other peoples of the world.
Homeland or death!
We shall overcome!
Friday, January 27, 2006
CB at Killcastro has the latest scoop on the flagpole attack. CB also has these actual photos taken at the jobsite. Seems like the dictator is going to get back at us concerning the ticker(wait a minute folks, don't laugh)by inserting flagpoles in front of the building. Wow! the flagpole frontal attack has been launched and rumor has it, that the dictator is the foreman, the architect, the landscaper, and running the bulldozers!
Mini-me welcomed commies to the World Social Forum. His remarks were of course directed at Bush and at the United States. He called Bush "Mr. Danger" and called our government "immoral." The topics to be discussed at this commie forum:
"Imperialism: The greatest threat to humanity"
"Socialism of the 21st century."
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
From World Net daily .com:
New video reveals real torture scandal
Saddam's daily horrors make America's Abu Ghraib abuses seem almost trivial
Posted: June 21, 20041:00 a.m. Eastern
By David Kupelian© 2004
The heated charge that prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib by U.S. service personnel was somehow equivalent to that perpetrated by Saddam Hussein – a notion pervasive in the Muslim world and epitomized in the West by Sen. Edward Kennedy's remark that "we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management'' – has had ice-cold water dumped on it by a horrific new video.
Screened for reporters last week by Washington's American Enterprise Institute, the 4-plus-minute video clip, reportedly obtained from the Pentagon, captures the routine beating, torture, dismemberment and decapitation that occurred daily at the hands of Saddam's henchmen.
However, only a handful of reporters showed up to see the new video, and even fewer reported on it.
One journalist present was New York Post's Washington bureau chief Deborah Orin, who wrote of "savage scenes of decapitation, fingers chopped off one by one, tongues hacked out with a razor blade – all while victims shriek in pain and the thugs chant Saddam's praises"
Noting that "Saddam's henchmen took the videos as newsreels to document their deeds in honor of their leader," Orin added, "but these awful images didn't show up on American TV news."
In fact, Orin mulled, why did no U.S. media "air the videos of Nick Berg and Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl getting decapitated, or of U.S. contractors in Fallujah getting torn limb from limb by al-Qaida operatives," and yet gave saturation coverage, including endless photos, of Iraqi prisoners being abused by U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib.
For that matter, why did no U.S. media air images of American hostage Paul M. Johnson Jr. being beheaded earlier this week by his terrorist captors in Saudi Arabia?
"Because most [journalists] want Bush to lose," AEI scholar Michael Ledeen, who helped put on the video screening event, told Orin.
The sustained fever-pitch publicity over the abuses at Abu Ghraib has included only occasional oblique references to what transpired at the prison under Saddam Hussein's rule.
Under Saddam Hussein," the AEI website said of Abu Ghraib, "some thirty thousand people were executed there, and countless more were tortured and mutilated, returning to Iraqi society as visible evidence of the brutality of Baathist rule instead of being lost to the anonymity of mass graves."
Present at the screening event were four victims of Saddam's torture. They, along with three other merchants living and working in Baghdad, each had their right hands amputated during Saddam's reign. Fortunately, all seven came to the United States for medical attention and received state-of-the-art prosthetic hands. Four of them spoke at the AEI event, alongside the screening of the video documenting Saddam's horrors.
Culture of torture
Putting the U.S. military's abuses of Abu Ghraib into better context is a recent document from the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Here's what the official December 2002 report said about the scope and extent of Saddam's abuse of Iraq's population.
"In 1979, immediately upon coming to power, Saddam Hussein silenced all political opposition in Iraq and converted his one-party state into a cult of personality. Over the more than 20 years since then, his regime has systematically executed, tortured, imprisoned, raped, terrorized and repressed Iraqi people. Iraq is a nation rich in culture with a long history of intellectual and scientific achievement. Yet Saddam Hussein has silenced its scholars and doctors, as well as its women and children.
"Iraqi dissidents are tortured, killed or disappear in order to deter other Iraqi citizens from speaking out against the government or demanding change. A system of collective punishment tortures entire families or ethnic groups for the acts of one dissident. Women are raped and often videotaped during rape to blackmail their families. Citizens are publicly beheaded, and their families are required to display the heads of the deceased as a warning to others who might question the politics of this regime.
"Saddam Hussein was also the first leader to use chemical weapons against his own population, silencing more than 60 villages and 30,000 citizens with poisonous gas. Between 1983 and 1988 alone, he murdered more than 30,000 Iraqi citizens with mustard gas and nerve agents. Several international organizations claim that he killed more than 60,000 Iraqi citizens with chemicals, including large numbers of women and children."
'Hopelessness, sadness and fear'
"The Iraqi people are not allowed to vote to remove the government," said the State Department report. (In the last election, there was one candidate. The ballot said "Saddam Hussein: Yes or No?" Each ballot was numbered so any no votes could be traced to the unfortunate voter, who would disappear forever. Saddam got 100 percent of the vote.)
"Freedom of expression, association and movement do not exist in Iraq. The media is tightly controlled – Saddam Hussein's son owns the daily Iraqi newspaper. Iraqi citizens cannot assemble except in support of the government. Iraqi citizens cannot freely leave Iraq."
Safia Al Souhail, an Iraqi citizen and advocacy director of the International Alliance for Justice, described daily reality during Saddam's reign this way:
"Iraq under Saddam's regime has become a land of hopelessness, sadness and fear. A country where people are ethnically cleansed; prisoners are tortured in more than 300 prisons in Iraq. Rape is systematic ... congenital malformation, birth defects, infertility, cancer and various disorders are the results of Saddam's gassing of his own people ... the killing and torturing of husbands in front of their wives and children ... Iraq under Saddam has become a hell and a museum of crimes."
The State Department report continues: "Under Saddam Hussein's orders, the security apparatus in Iraq routinely and systematically tortures its citizens. Beatings, rape, breaking of limbs and denial of food and water are commonplace in Iraqi detention centers. Saddam Hussein's regime has also invented unique and horrific methods of torture including electric shocks to a male's genitals, pulling out fingernails, suspending individuals from rotating ceiling fans, dripping acid on a victim's skin, gouging out eyes, and burning victims with a hot iron or blowtorch."
Why didn't more Iraqis complain? Possibly because of Saddam's decree in 2000 authorizing the government to amputate the tongues of citizens who criticize him or his government. The AEI video depicts one such tongue amputation, using a razor blade while the tongue is held with tweezers.
The following, according to the State Department report, were routine in Iraq during Saddam Hussein's rule:
Hammering nails into the fingers and hands
Amputating sex organs or breasts with an electric carving knife
Spraying insecticides into a victim's eyes
Branding with a hot iron
Committing rape while the victim's spouse is forced to watch
Pouring boiling water into the victim's rectum
Nailing the tongue to a wooden board
Extracting teeth with pliers
Using bees and scorpions to sting naked children in front of their parents
Saddam also routinely tortured and murdered women. The daily newspaper "Babel," owned by Uday, Hussein's eldest son, contained a public admission on Feb. 13, 2001 of beheading women who were suspected of prostitution.
The Iraqi Women's League in Damascus, Syria, described this practice as follows: "Under the pretext of fighting prostitution, units of 'Feda'iyee Saddam,' the paramilitary organization led by Uday, have beheaded in public more than 200 women all over the country, dumping their severed heads at their families' doorsteps. Many of the victims were innocent professional women, including some who were suspected of being dissidents."
'Too awful to show'
Why, asks Orin, does the world see "photos of U.S. interrogators using dogs to scare prisoners at Abu Ghraib, but not the footage of Saddam's prisoners getting fed – alive – to Doberman pinschers on Saddam's watch"?
Besides the obvious role of partisan politics in an election year, Orin points to another factor: the fact that Saddam's tortures, like al-Qaida's, are so horrible that they're unbearable to watch, almost too atrocious to describe in words.
But the result of this, notes Orin, is that the media's unbalanced coverage is "worse than creating moral equivalence between Saddam's tortures and prisoner abuse by U.S. troops. It's that we do far more to highlight our own wrongdoings precisely because they are less appalling. ...
"We highlight U.S. prisoner abuse because the photos aren't too offensive to show. We downplay Saddam's abuse precisely because it's far worse – so we can't use the photos. And that sets the stage for remarks like Sen. Ted Kennedy's claim that Saddam's torture chambers have reopened under 'U.S. management.'"
Friday, Kennedy and others who morally equate U.S. leadership with Saddam Hussein were joined by one more superstar – pop music icon Madonna – who declared that President Bush and Saddam "are both behaving in an irresponsible manner."
"Reporters," concludes Orin, "have to face up to the fact that right now, if we highlight the wrongs that Americans commit but not – out of squeamishness – the far worse horrors committed by others, we become propaganda tools for the other side."
Here is a ticker message that the people of Cuba should see:
"No soy comunista por tres razones, y te lo digo para tutranquilidad espiritual.Primero, porque el comunismo es la dictadura de una sola clase y yo he luchado toda mi vida contra las dictaduras y no voy a caer en una dictadura del proletariado.La segunda razón, porque el comunismo significa odio y luchas de clases y yo estoy en contra completamente de esa filosofía.Y la tercera porque el comunismo lucha contra Dios y la iglesia..." Fidel Castro Ruz, Abril de 1959.
The dictator is building a wall in attempt to block out the ticker. For 47 years information has been controlled by this regime. Just as Lenin the founder of soviet communism stated "We are the real revolutionaries..! yes, we are going to destroy everything, and on the ruins we will build our temple" The dictator has destroyed everything, destroyed the worship of God, and basically built an altar to himself.
CB at Killcastro has excellent commentary concerning the wall and the implications. As always he pulls no punches and tells it like it is.
Val at Babalu has an excellent post concerning the Great Wall of Havana.
Anti-American Cindy Sheehan is in Venezuela singing the praise of the communist. Get a load of this quote:
"I admire him for his resolve against my government and its meddling"
She mentions that the Venezuela's foreign ministry sponsored her trip. So how much did they pay her? Do you guys feel that a inspector clouseau tip is need here? Does treason, or traitor come up ?
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
The dictator is fuming(even though he doesn't smoke cigars anymore) concerning the ticker. The dictator was starting his speech and the ticker went off with quotes from Abraham Lincoln. The media barely mentioned this, all that was mentioned was the dictator's blather concerning the extradition of Posada. Updates of the forced march and the ticker can seen at Killcastro by CB and Babalu by Val.
Juan at Paxty Pages has more on the ticker and so does Conductor at Cuban-American Pundits.
From La Nueva Cuba has a article concerning Iran's ambassador visit to Cuba. Remember folks there is absolutely no connection with these two countries at all. Nevermind the visit, mini-me's love of Jews and Israel, and oh yes that nuclear thing in Iran:
Dept. La Nueva Cuba
January 24, 2006
Islamic Republic of Iran's Ambassador to Cuba Ahmad Edrisian conferred with that country's Government Minister Gabrisas in Havana on Monday.
According to Foreign Ministry Media Department, Edrisian during the meeting presented a report on bilateral economic ties, Iran's stand on its peaceful nuclear program, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent proposal on status of observing the human rights in the West.
The Cuban minister, who is in charge of the two countries' joint economic commission, too, expressed satisfaction over the improving trend of the two countries' economic and business relations that he said are now stronger than ever before.
Gabrisas also expressed his support for the moves initiated jointly by Iran and Cuba to boost the bilateral economic ties.
The Cuban Government Minister also announced Havana's strong support for Tehran in its natural right to take advantage of the nuclear power.
He added, "Cuba's stands on human rights, too, are quite the same as Iran's and Havana is ready for cooperation with Tehran at all international scenes."
Monday, January 23, 2006
Daniel at Venezuela News and Views has a post concerning mini-me's anti-Semitic views. Here is sampling of mini-me's choice words:
"...that is why I say that today more than ever and in 2005 years we need Jesus the Christ, because the world, the world, the daily world is ending, each day, the wealth of the world, because God, nature is wise, the world has sufficient water for all of us to have water, the world has sufficient wealth, sufficient land to produce food for all of the world population, the world has enough rocks and minerals for all of the constructions, so that nobody would be without a home. The world is for all of us, then, but it so happens that a minority, the descendents of the same ones that crucified Christ, the descendents of the same ones that kicked Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way over there in Santa Marta, in Colombia. A minority has taken possession all of the wealth of the world, a minority has taken ownership of all of the gold of the planet, of the silver, of the minerals, the waters, the good lands, oil, of the wealth then and have concentrated the wealth in a few hands: less than 10% of the population of the world owns more than half of the wealth of the world and ...more than the population of the planet is poor and each day there are more poor people in the whole world. We are decided, decided to change history and each day we are accompanied and will be accompanied by more Chiefs of state..."
-Cubazuela and Cuba are cozy with Iran, which in turn wants to wipe Israel off the map. All I have to say is if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.
The dictator offers to fly 150,000 Americans to Cuba for eye surgery. Problem is that all the doctors are in Venezuela and Cubans are left with few doctors. Hey wait a minute, I feel an Inspector Clouseau tip surfacing up: could it be that they need to recruit more spies?
Sunday, January 22, 2006
The dictator of apartheid Cuba is calling for a protest at the U.S. mission:
HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Fidel Castro accused the United States on Sunday of trying to torpedo relations and harboring Cuban-born terrorists, then called a protest in front of the U.S. diplomatic mission for Tuesday.
Castro, in a three-hour televised appearance, charged that a huge electronic ticker tape mounted across the fifth floor of the U.S. diplomatic mission in downtown Havana aimed to end minimal relations under which each country maintains Interests Sections in the other's capital.
The two countries, bitter foes since Castro came to power in a 1959 revolution, do not have formal diplomatic relations and the United States has maintained a trade embargo against the Communist-run nation since 1962.
"The U.S. government ... is deliberately trying to force a rupture in the actual diplomatic relations," Castro charged.
"The gross provocation by the U.S. Interests Section in Havana can have no other purpose. ... They know no government in the world could allow it," he said, noting his government's diplomatic protests had been ignored.
For a week the ticker tape has flashed human rights messages and calls for democracy by various personalities, including leaders of east-European revolts against Communism such as former Polish President Lech Walesa and Czech leader Vaclav Havel, along with news, in nine-foot high crimson letters
Cuba purchases around $400 million worth of food for cash each year from the United States under a 2000 amendment to the trade embargo.
Castro said he was taking measures to insure food supplies were not interrupted, without explaining further.
Castro also charged a Tuesday immigration hearing for Cuban-born (Luis) Posada Carriles was aimed at granting him conditional parole.
Posada, 77, has been held by the United States since May for illegally crossing the border into Texas from Mexico.
Posada is wanted by Cuba and Venezuela, where he is a citizen, for a string of bombings and other attacks against Cuban targets, including the blowing up of a Cuban commercial airliner in 1976, killing all 73 people aboard, and bombings of Cuban hotels and night spots in the late 1990s.
The United States has said Posada will not be extradited to either country and has refused to charge him with any other crimes.
"On January 24, when the status of the ferocious terrorist will be reviewed, the people of the capital will march with all their exemplary revolutionary discipline and unity in front of the interests Section of the fraudulent and bastardly government of George W. Bush," Castro said.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Wow this is now all over the news along with the Cuban team playing in the World Baseball Classic. I guess if you believe in God, your anti-communist, and you have a hunger strike, the media totally ignores you. Now was this a religious ceremony or was it more? Check out some of the quotes:
"With the unity of the people, we're going to end the colonial state and the neoliberal model,"
Morales thanked Mother Earth and God for his political victory and promised to "seek equality and justice,"
He also praised the guerrilla Che Guevera, killed in Bolivia while trying to mount an armed revolution, and Tupac Katari, the 18th-century Indian leader who tried to capture La Paz from the Spanish.
Earlier, spectators — many themselves chewing coca leaves — walked for miles to listen to the leftist leader in Tiwanaku
Everyone sit down before you hurt yourself, you wont believe this! Ernesto Cienfuegos who writes for the "The Voice of Atzlan" is calling Osama bin Laden as the "Pancho Villa of Islam." Here are some more nauseous quotes:
"Both are revered by the common people of each respective community," he said. "Both are seen as Robin Hoods by the poor and oppressed. Both were construction contractors at one time in their lives. Francisco Villa was a general contractor on the construction of the railroad through Chihuahua's majestic Copper Canyon. Both Osama bin Laden and General Francisco Villa were indirectly fighting those whom they perceived to be lackeys of the United States. "
"Like Pancho Villa, it looks like Osama bin Laden has outsmarted the U.S. military generals,"
"It certainly appears today, that Osama bin Laden is headed for the very same legendary and folk hero status in Islam."
Take a look at the group's website and it's obvious that these guys are anti-American and communist. Just look at this article and the source.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Now the come mierda wants to change the flag. He wants to add an eighth star to the flag. The dictator wannabe has renamed the congress, renamed Venezuela to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and changed the coat of arms.
Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba's National Assembly, is considering participating in a question-and-answer session with reporters during this summer's National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention in Fort Lauderdale.
An invitation to Alarcón was hand-delivered to him personally by South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editor Earl Maucker in the last two weeks, said NAHJ Executive Director Iván Román.
Isn't that special! Are we going to have softball questions or are we going to have real questions? Mr. Earl Maucker do we have questions for "Tricky Ricky!"
Can we send you a list of questions? Are all the his-panic journalist going to be lefties?
News is all over about how Cuba will play in the World Classic. Funny how the hunger strike took days to reach the media. It's been only several hours and the usual cronies already have a press statement. The dictator always boast on how his "amateur team" is the best in the world. Remember all those years when his 30 year old "amateurs" would play college students. No one complained, but now this is a professional baseball classic and it's poor me let me play? Well, what's done is done, now let's see if at every game that Cuba is involved, we have signs denouncing the dictator and signs calling for freedom.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Here is an awe shucks interview with Jimmy Carter. Most of the interview is about religion, but towards the end they talk about the middle east and he takes jabs at Bush. Wished they would of asked him about his role in Nicaragua, the elections in Venezuela, and his Guayabera wearing times in Cuba.
Another company doing bidness with Cuber. This time it's a company from Arkansas called Ozark Mountain Poultry. The deal is to send 630 tons of "red chicken" to apartheid cuber. Deal is worth $2.5 million dollars. Wooo, Pig, Sooie, did we talk about Dr. Biscet, the political prisoners, and the lack of freedom?
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
La Nueva Cuba has an excellent article:
THE IRAN-CUBA AXIS
By Frederick W. Stakelbeck
USA Research Dept.
La Nueva Cuba
January 18, 2006
In a letter to then Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev regarding his role in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro reflected upon the possible use of nuclear weapons during the U.S.-Soviet confrontation, “It was my opinion that, in case of an American invasion [Cuba], a massive and total nuclear strike would have to be launched.” Given Castro’s affection for nuclear weapons, it should come as no surprise to observers that the aging terrorist has befriended Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Just last week, Ahmadinejad, a recognized anti-Semite and human rights violator, threatened unspecified retaliation against the West unless it recognized his own country’s nuclear ambitions. “If they want to deny us our right, we have ways to secure those rights,” he said in Tehran.
Given Castro and Ahmadinejad’s mutual distaste for the U.S. and Western-styled democracy, increased bilateral cooperation between the two countries presents serious national security concerns for the U.S. This month, Iranian Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani noted the importance of expanding Tehran-Havana relations saying both countries must come together to confront unilateralism of “the big power” -- an obvious reference to the U.S.
In the past year, Rafsanjani has noted Iran’s desire to play a role in meeting the “technical and engineering requirements” of Cuba and other states in Latin America. Rafsanjani has also called Castro, “An impressive character in contemporary history,” praising the Cuban leader for his resistance to the “hegemonic policies of the U.S. and anti-imperialism.” Not surprisingly, Cuban Ambassador to Iran Fernando Garcia pledged his country’s support for Iran’s right to use nuclear energy earlier this month.
In a disquieting development, Castro visited Tehran in November where he given sacred Islamic texts in Spanish and was invited by Iran’s religious leadership to convert to Islam. “We spoke to Castro for several hours and I think we even almost managed to convince him to convert to Islam,” said one source close to the meeting. “Castro is certain that the Cuban people are suffering from a lack of spiritually, and seems interested in Islam, above all the writings of Iranian leader Khomeini,” the source said.
But Castro’s initial interest in Islam actually surfaced many years ago. Shortly after Ayatollah Khomeini’s followers drove the Shah into exile in 1979, Castro dispatched Cuban envoys to Tehran to rekindle bilateral relations, professing his admiration for the “revolutionary role of Islam.”
The thoughts of an Islamic terrorist state located 90 miles off of the Florida coast are enough to keep President George Bush up for weeks.
Before his most recent trip to Tehran, Castro met with Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenehi in 2001. At that time, both leaders agreed that together they could topple the U.S. “hand in hand.” Afterward, Castro said he left Tehran with “unforgettable memories,” while Iranian president Mohammad Khatami fondly noted, “The more one befriends Mr. Castro, the more one becomes interested in him.”
Bilateral cooperation in the area of biotechnology research and production and the transfer of Cuban biological and chemical know-how to Iranian institutions, continue to attract Washington’s attention. Of course, Castro has rejected allegations of involvement with Iran in the manufacture of biological and chemical weapons, saying that joint operations are instead devoted to eradicating hunger and disease on the impoverished island.
In addition to biotechnology cooperation, Iran has used Cuba’s electronic transmissions jamming expertise and the Chinese equipped electronic warfare base near Havana, to interfere with U.S. sponsored pro-democracy broadcasts into Tehran. Intelligence reports over the past year have also uncovered covert cooperation between the two countries in the development and testing of electromagnetic weapons that have the capacity to disrupt telecommunication networks, cut power supplies and damage sophisticated computers. During a time of international crisis, these “e-bombs” can be delivered by cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles or aerial bombs to the U.S. mainland. Russian, Chinese and Iranian scientists are currently working side-by-side with Cuban scientists to develop these weapons for eventual use against the U.S. communications and military infrastructure.
Finally, like other nations in the Western Hemisphere, Cuba has become increasingly dependent on Iranian oil for its daily survival. A cash-strapped Castro has already accepted a generous Iranian trade credit line with liberal repayment terms. In return, Castro has agreed to provide Iran with a strategic outpost to gather intelligence on U.S. movements in the region.
Fears are beginning to grow that Ahmadinejad sees himself as a modern day Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, who called himself “King of Iran and beyond” -- a torch bearer of an Islamic world revolution and ordained leader of a revitalized Middle East. Rich with abundant energy resources and emboldened by powerful allies such as Russia and China, Tehran will continue to make a determined push in the Western Hemisphere. The possibility of a rogue nation such as Iran offering nuclear technology to friendly nations based upon preconceived prejudices, common religious or ideological differences or temporary alliances, makes the Castro-Ahmadinejad relationship even more dangerous for the U.S.
To address emerging national security concerns related to the Cuba-Iran relationship, the U.S. must first recognize the existence of dangerous regional and global anti-U.S. alliances. Second, Washington must announce to the American people and the world what it sees as a concerted effort by certain countries such as Cuba and Iran, to actively foster strategic alliances designed to undermine U.S. democratic world authority. In this regard, top U.S. diplomat to Havana Michael Parmly’s courageous comments last month condemning Castro’s use of what he termed “Brown Shirts” to assault government dissidents was right on the mark.
Third, influential nations such as Mexico, Columbia, Brazil and Argentina must be persuaded that it is in their best interests to assume key roles in the fight against a new breed of “leftist revolutionaries” such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Eva Morales, both of whom now threaten to poison significant parts of Latin America. Finally, U.S. political, economic, intelligence and military assets should be mobilized to address the expanding “quiet war” that Iran, Cuba and others are so deftly waging in the Western Hemisphere without a hint of reprisal from the U.S.
The result of this several-tiered U.S. foreign policy will not be global hegemony; rather, it will be the deployment of a revised “Monroe Doctrine” to address the Cuba-Iran alliance and other emerging threats to the U.S. that may arise in the near future.
For decades, Soviet defense, economic and intelligence assistance allowed Fidel Castro’s Cuba to project its own brand of Stalinism throughout Latin America resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. More recently, the Chinese menace has identified Cuba as a “prize” in the game of global strategic positioning. Now Iran, a U.S. antagonist, sponsor of terror and weapons proliferator is attempting to solidify its grip on Cuba.
To ensure a safe future for our nation, Washington must recognize the “gathering storm” on our borders and take action in our hemisphere against tyrants such as Castro and Ahmadinejad who so frequently attack freedom, peace and democracy.
CB at Killcastro reports that the hunger strike is over. Waiting to see what the "promise" is going to entail. Other bloggers also have the latest scoop:
Ziva at Blog for Cuba.
Songuacassal at Cuban-American Pundits makes a great point.
By the way, we have several new blogs that have joined the crusade to fight the dictator, and to spread the gospel of the truth:
Ya No Mas also has a post concerning the ending of the hunger strike.
La Ventanita has a post on Ramon Saul Sanchez first meal.
El Confeti has a post concerning how a blind man is a threat to the dictator.
Received a e-mail concerning " Cuban Espionage in the U.S. " It's a list a links related to this topic. Thanks Padrino for the info and this e-mail originated from La Voz de Cuba Libre.
Ana Belen Montes
BOOKS Spy For Fidel
(Orlando Castro Hidalgo)
Carlos M. Alvarez Sanchez Elsa Prieto Alvarez
Alvarez Espionage Case
Navy college scholar lied about Cuba trip
Naval Professor Who Lied Gets Probation
La batalla informativa contra Castro
Slander: The assassination of Alberto Coll
The Cuban Military: An Economic Force
Three Ways Bush Makes Castro Happy
Alberto Coll's treachery
World Events Keep Cuba Off U.S. Radar Screen
EJERCITO CUBANO, TRANSICION Y SUCESION
Alberto Otto Poland Azoy
Carlos Rivero Collado
Carlos Rivero Collado fue el que mato a Torriente
(Replica, Nov. 20, 1974)
Comparecencia ante la television cubana
(Abril 29, 1976)
Nelson Pablo Yester Garrido
Former Cuban Intelligence Officer Appears in South African Court
Ex-Cuban spy applies for bail
Cuban 'smuggler' marks time
Cuban 'drug lord' in SA court
Aldereguia claims FBI framed him to get to WFC president
Aldereguia once worked with FBI
Castro Fishing Fleet Used in Subvesion
Castro Planned Raid on Nixon
Castro's spies prowl Miami, defector says
Cuban Secret Police Letter to Spy in Miami Is Found
Cuban Spy Link to Ford, Reagan Death Plot Probed
FBI Asserts Cuba Aided Weathermen
How Fidel Castro Exports Revolution
Informant Says Cuban Spy Aided Terrorists in Ford Murder Plot
Plot Gave Excuse to Kick Out Agents
Agents seize satellite equipment bought by Cuban U.N. diplomat
Businessman's appeal rejected
Castro agents on Miami force, says Carollo
Castro Plan to Destabilize U.S. may be Broadening
Cuban Diplomats Expelled for Trade Violations
Cuban envoy expelled for luring illicit trade
Cuban Intelligence has finger in many pies - but record is mixed
Cuban Spies at the U.N.
Cubans Admit to Visa Lies
Cubans' Arrest in Mexico May Strain Close Ties
Customs: Computers on boat may be linked to smuggling network
Dead 'exile' was my spy, Castro says
Did Learjet plan illegal Cuba sales?
Espionaje castrista en Alpha-66
Ex-Spy Blames CIA For Arrest in Cuba
Exile: I was mastermind of Mariel
F.B.I. Agent Says Cuba Officials at U.N. Instructed Weathermen
FBI Identifies Cubans as Spies
FBI set a high-tech trap that snared Cuban diplomat
FBI suspends agent in spy case
Informants scuttle plots against Cuba
Man held in grenade attack linked to alleged Cuban spy
Mystery Cuban found in Keys classified 'top secret'
Smuggling network ships hi-tech to Levis Sources: Mexico ousted Cubans
Spies in Miami?
3 Cuban Nationals Suspected of Spying Are Arrested by FBI
2 Cuban Diplomats Expelled From Mexico
Two Cuban diplomats ordered out of U.S.
U.S. charges espionage, boots 2 Cuba diplomats
U.S. Concerned About Castro Spymaster
U.S.: Defection forces shakeup of Cuba's spies
U.S. expels 2 Cuban diplomats
U.S. expels 2 Cubans at U.N., claims spying
U.S. says 2 Cuban diplomats were spies
Accused leader in shootdown ran Cuban drug probe
Alleged Cuban spies did little damage, Pentagon says
Alleged Cuban spies had escape plan, attorneys say
Castro agents in Miami cited by U.S. grand jury
Castro moles dig deep, not just into exiles
Couple admit role in Cuban spy ring
Crackdown may signal new tactics
FBI: Suspected Cuban spies' plans found on computer disks
Feds arrest 10 on Cuba-spying charge
Identities of 3 accused spies still elude feds
In rare admission, Castro says Cuba has dispatched spies across U.S.
John Doe' spying suspect identified
Juan Pablo Roque
Jury selection begins in suspected spy's trial
Lawyer in Cuba spy tale clears security for U.S. nomination
Miscues blamed on military's takeover of Cuban spy agency
Move may be tied to spying probe
No one can match U.S. spying, Cuba retorts
Prosecutors seek to withhold papers
Purported spy visited Miami often as courier
Relatives: Charges fall short
Shadowing of Cubans a classic spy tale
Spies among us
Spy bashes exiles, talks of uncertain future in Cuba
Spy ring for Cuba uncovered
3 Cuban Diplomats Ordered Out of U.S. For Spying
Three Cuban Diplomats Ordered Out of U.S. for Alleged Espionage
10 Accused of Spying for Cuba 10 Arrested On Charges Of Spying For Cuba
10 charged with spying for Cuba
10 charged with spying for Cuba in Miami
Ten Cubans are accused of being spies for Castro
Top spy planned Brothers ambush
U.S. cracks alleged Cuban ring, arrests 10
U.S. hopes Cuba relations survive 'spy' expulsion
U.S. orders expulsion of Cubans
U.S. senator opposes alleged spy as envoy
U.S. tries to tie espionage case to planes' downing
U.S. Weighs Expulsion Of 3 Cuban Diplomats
Witness: I was a Castro spy in foundation
Cuban Espionage Activities Against the U.S.
A Document by Cuban Spy Talks of Acts Against C.I.A.
As Spat Grows, Cuba Accuses U.S. of Meddling
Cuba Denies Charges About Diplomats
Cuban agent eyeing asylum is sent home
Cuban envoys told to leave Cuban spy in U.S. for debriefings
Ex espia denuncia desde La Habana al grupo de Bin Laden
Former Cuban intelligence officer arrested in Dade
Hollywood y el espia que engañó a Miami
Infamous ex-CIA agent Philip Agee resurfaces in Cuba
Infiltration, seduction among Cuban spy tactics in U.S.
Informe de un ex oficial de la inteligencia cubana
Mexico Returns Diplomat To Cuba
Migrants' flight may help Cuban spy's ex-wife, too
U.S. Moves to Expel 4 Cuban Diplomats
U.S. Tells Mexico To Protect Ex-Spy
We don't spy, Cuban envoy to Mexico says
White House Wary of Cuba's Little Spy Engine That Could
Cuestionan a presunto ex espia cubano
Spy work celebrated at museum in Havana
Film: Cuban secret service organized JFK's murder
Espias convictos confirmaran que Aboy era correo de la Red Avispa
Spy suspect denies role for Castro
Judge won't let Cuban spy suspect post bond
En huelga de hambre un acusado de ser agente castrista
Detainee on hunger strike
Juez rompe huelga de hambre de Aboy
Wife: Detainee on hunger strike was force-fed
Official: Cuba cooperation eased deportation