Castro himself “outdated”

A couple of days ago, the MSM picked up a story (and it ran in numerous MSM outlets) from Granma (any surprise there?) about Castro. Reportedly, the dictator had written (meaning a ghostwriting dupe wrote for his authorization) an editorial ripping President Bush and the U.S. over bio-fuels.

You could almost hear the glee among MSM types, who no doubt enjoyed writing headlines about Castro bashing Bush (talk about a “dog bites man” non-story).

Today, although the Associated Press wrote it, I could find only ONE lousy stinking MSM outlet (the Miami Herald) picking up the following story (actually, we’ve only posted a snippet):

Brazilian: Castro’s biofuel views are ‘outdated’

By VIVIAN SEQUERA
Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil — Cuban President Fidel Castro’s criticism of biofuels are respectable but outdated because the whole world is heading in the direction of ethanol, Brazil’s foreign minister said Thursday.

Celso Amorim said that while he had not read Castro’s attack on U.S. biofuel policy in a Cuban newspaper, he felt it represented a respectable, if behind-the-times opinion.

”President Fidel Castro is a person who is a respectable and historically important figure,” Amorim said.

”He has some ideas that are outdated,” the minister added, saying that he had accompanied a Brazilian delegation to Havana 20 years ago ”and at that time Castro was already saying alcohol would never work because sugar was a noble product.” Ethanol is a form of alcohol.

Brazil produces ethanol from sugar cane, while ethanol in the United States is made from corn.

In a front-page editorial Thursday in the Communist Party daily, Castro described the U.S. policy of encouraging the use of biofuels as “the sinister idea of converting food into fuel.”

The remarks indirectly touched on Brazil because President Bush and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva agreed earlier this month to promote the use and production of ethanol.

Brazil is the world’s second largest producer of ethanol after the United States.

Amorim said that Castro’s criticisms, “are his opinion, we will respect them, but I believe this opinion has to be balanced with others.”

Notice how many times in the above snippet alone Castro is referred to as “respectable” or the word “respect” is used in reference to him. Conversely, if you ever stumble upon an MSM piece that accidentally compliments President Bush (or any conservative Republicans, for that matter), you’ll note the MSM will throw some kind of gratuitous cheap shot in there.

In other words, the MSM goes to great pains to ameliorate any criticism of U.S. enemies, just as they’ll go to great pains to throw in a shot or two when they’re forced to write something that compliments a conservative.

But they’ll swear up and down there is no bias…

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Traitor exposed

US News & World Report this week has an article about a book written by Scott Carmichael (disclaimer: yes, the link is an affiliate link), a counterintelligence officer who helped catch the traitor and spy for Castro, Ana Belen Montes.

Here’s an interesting excerpt:

Carmichael wrote the book as a wake-up call to the threat from Cuban intelligence–and a testament to the quality of Cuban spymasters. “There seemed to be no urgency within my community about detecting and countering the effects of Cuban penetrations of the U.S. government,” he writes. “It’s as though my peers viewed Ana Montes as an anomaly, an exception rather than the rule–as though the Cubans just got lucky with Ana Montes.”

Although the assessments of the specific damage her spying caused remain classified, Carmichael offers a few thoughts on what she might have passed on to officials in Havana. For one thing, he suggests that she may have helped cause the death of a U.S. soldier in El Salvador 20 years ago. Army Sgt. Gregory Fronius, a U.S. Green Beret, was killed in a battle with Cuban-backed rebels who stormed a Salvadoran camp on March 31, 1987. Montes had been at the El Paraiso camp only a few weeks before the fatal attack. “The trusted DIA analyst who had just visited Greg’s compound, the quietly dressed, professional woman who listened so attentively to all the briefings, was working for the other side,” he writes. “I believe that Ana Montes betrayed Greg Fronius when he needed her most.”

Carmichael also suggests that she could have passed on crucial information to Cuba ahead of the 1989 invasion of Panama, as well as U.S. operations in Haiti, Colombia, and Cuba. “Ana Montes was a true believer,” he writes. “She spied out of a conviction that Fidel Castro was both the savior of the Cuban people and a champion of oppressed people throughout the world.”

Good thing the word-that-rhymes-with-“witch” is behind bars.

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Spies like us, plus…

The guys at Babalu blog published this morning an excellent but simple (sometimes those are the best) post about the whole Cuba spy thing. It’s mostly a series of links to a number of good articles on the topic, so rather than just rehash it here, I’ll just direct you there.

Don’t miss the comments, there are a number of good ones.

And now, for the “plus.” A few days ago, we posted about the so-called Cuban Five, the 5 spies Castro sent to the U.S. who were caught, convicted and thrown into prison, but which useful idiots around the world have made a cause celebre.

In doing research for that post, we found like a gazillion useful idiot websites that all said “Free the Five,” but very few dedicated to ensuring these five criminal spies remain where they belong: in prison, picking up the soap in the shower for Bubba.

Well, this inspired us to [SHAMELESS PLUG WARNING!!!] create a new website dedicated to just that. It’s called, appropriately enough, “Fry the Five.”

I don’t know how I find the time. But if you see me behind you during the morning commute on the Palmetto Expressway in Miami, be careful, I might not have had my coffee yet 🙂

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Knock me over with a feather

One of our “friends” on the left has truly surprised me, pleasantly so. David Corn takes Ricardo Alarcon, AKA Fidel Castro’s parrot, to task for his hypocrisy in his blog on The Nation’s website:

… (Cuba’s National Assembly president and, as noted before, Castro parrot Ricardo) Alarcon’s concern for the plight of this one author is comical–in a dark fashion–for he heads a government that does not allow its citizens to challenge openly the conventional wisdom of the Castro regime. There is no free press in Alarcon’s country, no freedom of expression. There is no “passionate love of truth” among the rulers of Cuba. Alarcon is crying for (dead sociologist and pro-Castro author C. Wright) Mills, while his government does even worse to Cuban writers than the FBI did to Mills.

Holy imprisoned journalists, Batman, did David Corn just say that about Castro?

Yes, Robin, and there’s more:

For some “passionate truth” about the state of intellectual freedom within Cuba, let’s turn to the Committee To Protect Journalists’ most recent annual report on Cuba. (By the way, Nation publisher emeritus Victor Navasky is a CPJ board member.) The report notes that CPJ “named Cuba one of the world’s 10 Most Censored Countries.” It explains:

The government owns and controls all media outlets and restricts Internet access. The three main newspapers represent the views of the Communist Party and other organizations controlled by the government.

No freedom to write. No freedom to surf the Internet. And no freedom to report:

The media operate under the supervision of the Communist Party’s Department of Revolutionary Orientation, which develops and coordinates propaganda strategies. Those who try to work as independent reporters are harassed, detained, threatened with prosecution or jail, or barred from traveling. Their relatives are threatened with dismissal from their jobs. A small number of foreign correspondents report from Havana, but Cubans do not ever see their reports.

And what does Alarcon’s government do to brave souls who try to act as independent journalists? CPJ says:

Cuba continued to be one of the world’s leading jailers of journalists, second only to China. During 2006, two imprisoned journalists were released, but two more were jailed….

Of the 24 journalists who remained imprisoned, 22 were jailed in a massive March 2003 crackdown on the independent press. Their prison sentences on antistate charges ranged from 14 to 27 years. Many of them were jailed far from their homes, adding to the heavy burden on their families. Their families have described unsanitary prison conditions, inadequate medical care, and rotten food. Some imprisoned journalists were being denied religious guidance, and most shared cells with hardened criminals. Many were allowed family visits only once every three months and marital visits only once every four months–a schedule of visits far less frequent than those allowed most inmates. Relatives were harassed for talking to the foreign press and protesting the journalists’ incarceration.

Imagine a Cuban who wants to write and publish a Cuban version of The Power Elite. That person would be locked up in a modern-day dungeon by Alarcon and his comrades. Alarcon, thus, has no standing to bemoan the harassment of Mills or to pontificate about the glories of pursuing establishment-defying truths.

Now, naturally, Mr. Corn can’t let an opportunity to take a shot at President Bush pass without taking said shot:

Stating the obvious about the gross absence of political and human rights within Cuba should not be equated with support for the economic embargo maintained by the Bush administration against Cuba.

Nevertheless, it’s refreshing to read this type of stuff coming from the left.

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Read: the masters will be cracking their whips harder

Senior Cuban officials are analyzing a pair of new labor laws taking affect next month as the island’s official media cranks up a campaign about the rules aimed at beefing up work productivity.

There’s more:

Cuban worker productivity plunged during the island’s economic crisis in the 1990s, brought on by the loss of its former Soviet partners.

Now, Cuban workers “will have to change their life habits,” party official Lina Pedraza told Granma newspaper.

“Change their life habits,” huh? Let’s see, so that means now dinner will be just one deep breath instead of two?

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So much for the embargo, huh?

Hoo boy, yep. We’ve got us this here EMBARGO against Cuba…

Or do we?

From the Associated Press, via today’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Since 2003, one country has been the main supplier of food to Fidel Castro’s Cuba: the United States.

Surprised? You have good company.

Here’s more:

Washington’s sanctions choke off most trade with Cuba, but a law passed by Congress in 2000 authorized cash-only purchases of U.S. food and agricultural products and was cheered by major U.S. farm firms like Archer Daniels Midland Co. interested in the untapped Cuban market.

Cuba refused to import one grain of rice for more than a year because of a dispute over financing, but finally agreed to take advantage of the law after Hurricane Michelle in November 2001 cut into its food stocks.

So… we offer food, Castro says no due to some issues with financing. WIthout this food, no doubt Cubans would be dying of starvation ala North Korea. Just as in North Korea, it’s all thanks to one communist dictator.

At least we’re forcing Castro to pay upfront. We all know how, ahem, “good” he is about paying debt.

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So close and yet so far

The Boston Globe is reporting that “Castro spent several days close to death,” according to his buddy and budding dictator Hugo Chavez:

Cuban leader Fidel Castro spent several days on the point of death, but is now out of his sickbed, his close friend and protege Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday.

A Cuban government minister said on Tuesday the 80-year-old Castro was recovering well from his emergency intestinal surgery in July and could soon return to a more active role in running the country.

“When Fidel was in bed — now he is not in bed — he was in a pretty delicate state of health,” Chavez told a crowd at an event to celebrate the single ruling party he is forging.

Chavez said he had told Castro at his bedside he could not die.

“But there he was, in danger of dying for quite a few days, and he said, ‘Chavez, I can die now, stop worrying about me, the one who cannot die is you!”

Actually, they can BOTH die as far as I’m concerned. Preferably very soon. Too bad Castro wasn’t playing horseshoes, where “close” matters.

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You’ve gotta be crazy (more on the “next Elian” story)…

…to want your child to live in Castro’s hell.

As posted earlier on this blog, the Miami Herald is reporting that another potential Elian Gonzalez situation is brewing in Miami. A four-year-old girl is locked in a custody battle between her father in Cuba and relatives in Miami.

What makes this case different is the fact that the child’s mother, though in the U.S., is considered incompetent to care for children, due to mental illness. But nobody has connected the dots yet on something else having to do with the mother and her daughter’s eventual fate.

You see, although the Herald reported the mother wasn’t fit to take care of her daughter, later in the article they reported the following:

At one point, the girl’s mother told child welfare workers she would prefer that the girl live with her father in Cuba rather than in foster care, two sources told The Miami Herald.

Hmmm. Let’s see if I get this straight: a mother who is an “unfit parent” due to “mental illness” says she’d rather have her daughter go live in Castro’s Kafkaesque nightmare.

Uh-huh. I’d say that statement on its face is proof positive she is mentally ill and unfit to be a parent. Because any parent who would voluntary send his or her child back into hell clearly has to have something wrong with them.

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