Senator gives Cuban freedom a “Lugar”

Check this out:

The U.S. policy of shunning communist Cuba by imposing a strict trade embargo has failed to prod the island nation toward democracy and should be re-evaluated, according to the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“We must recognize the ineffectiveness of our current policy and deal with the Cuban regime in a way that enhances U.S. interests,” wrote Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., in a report dated Monday.

Yep, so let’s just reward bad behavior then, sort of like the whole point behind the trillion-dollar bailouts our grandkids will be paying for.

Here’s an interesting part of the article which, of course, I found near the end:

In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed a law allowing the sale of agricultural goods and medicine to Cuba for humanitarian reasons. Since then, agricultural sales to Cuba have risen from almost nothing to more than $440 million last year.

From zero to $440 million a year. And yet–shock, horror, surprise!–not a darn thing has changed in Cuba! What makes you think anything is going to change in Cuba if we appease the Castros, Senator?


A Country Without Liberty

Argentina’s Canal 5 Noticias (Channel 5 News) has done an excellent series of reports on the lack of freedom in Castro’s Cuba. They interviewed a variety of dissidents, including Dr. Hilda Molina–whose son lives in Argentina and the reporter was warned specifically not to go visit by Cuban authorities, despite having been promised by the same that she’d have “complete freedom of movement”–Yoani Sánchez, the famous and brave Cuban blogger; Las Damas de Blanco, or Ladies in White; Vladimiro Roca; Martha Beatriz Roque; and others.

The first video includes a segment where Cuba’s police harasses the reporter, as well as an interview of Dr. Molina. That video is below; links to the seven remaining videos (the series was broken into eight pieces) are further below. Sorry, all the videos are in Spanish. But you can still see what goes on, including the reporter getting harassed by Castro’s thugs. Too bad you’ll never see video like this on BBC or CNN.

A Country Without Liberty (part 2)
A Country Without Liberty (part 3)
A Country Without Liberty (part 4)
A Country Without Liberty (part 5)
A Country Without Liberty (part 6)
A Country Without Liberty (part 7)
A Country Without Liberty (part 8 )

Hat tip to Enrique Artalejo.


Events to commemorate the victims of Fidel Castro’s shootdown

This February 24th is the 13th anniversary of the tragic murders of Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario de la Peña and Pablo Morales by the Castro regime. The four men were shot down by Castro’s cowardly Mig pilots while flying a humanitarian mission in unarmed civilian Cessnas, over international waters.

If you are or will be in Miami February 24th and 25th, try to make it to one of the events listed in the press release below. The events were organized by the families of the victims.

FEBRUARY 24, 2009
Commemoration of February 24, 1996 Shoot Down
TO:                 Elected Officials and Media in Miami-Dade County

FROM:          The Costa, Alejandre, de la Peña and Morales Families

SUBJECT: Events to commemorate the lives of Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario de la Peña and Pablo Morales, shot down over international waters by Cuban MiGs on February 24, 1996 while on a humanitarian search-and-rescue mission of Cuban rafters

February 24, 11:00 AM:                
Dedication of new plaques
Sweetwater Bridge
SW 8th Street and 109th Avenue
The families of the February 24, 1996 victims, Sweetwater officials and students from Sweetwater Elementary will participate in the ceremony

February 24, 3:00 PM:     
Florida International University
Fountain next to the Graham Center                
FIU students, faculty and the families of the February 24, 1996 victims observe 6 minutes of silence to mark the time elapsed between the shoot down of the first and second airplanes

February 24, 7:00 PM: 
St. Agatha Catholic Church
1111 SW 107 Avenue, Miami, Florida
Bishop Agustin Roman and Father Rolando García will celebrate

February 25, 5:30 PM:                     
Dedication of courtroom donated by C.A.M.P. 4 Justice Foundation (families’ foundation honoring Carlos, Armando, Mario and Pablo)
Rafael Diaz-Balart Hall
Florida International University
Room 1009, 11200 SW 8th Street


Castro the Corpse speaks out, actually makes sense

Castro’s cadaver spoke out and for possibly the first time in his life–or more accurately, after his life–he actually said something that was true:

“Our future is inseparable from what happens next Sunday, the day of the (Venezuelan) referendum on the constitutional amendment,” Castro wrote in an editorial published on the Cuba Debate Web site.

He’s right. The constitutional amendment in question would change Venezuela’s current constitution to allow Castro’s Mini-Me–Hugo Chavez to seek more than two terms (which is two terms too many).

So… how come Cuba’s future is insufferable “inseparable” from the Venezuelan vote? Well, aside from the obvious, that Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro are buddies, there are more material concerns at hand:

Communist Cuba receives about 90,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil a day in exchange for services (read: slavery) from thousands of Cuban professionals, including doctors, agricultural specialists and athletic trainers that Castro has sent to live in Venezuela since their agreement started in 2000.

A hat tip to Babalu Blog for posting this story.