Oct 07

Russia Considers Restoring Strategic Outposts In Cuba, Vietnam As US Rhetoric Rises:

As Washington turns up the anti-Russian rhetoric to ’11’, it appears Vladimir Putin is not waiting around for the next move. As Reuters reports, Russia is considering plans to restore military bases in Vietnam and Cuba that had served as pivots of Soviet global military power during the Cold War.

In 2001, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the military to pull back from Cuba and Vietnam as he sought to bolster ties with the United States.

The U.S.-Russian relations now have plunged to the lowest point since the Cold War times amid strain over Syria and Ukraine, and with John Kerry exclaiming “war crimes” and every neoconned American lining up behind Hillbama proclaiming Putin (and Assad) ‘satan’, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday, that the Russian military is considering the possibility of regaining its Soviet-era bases. Continue reading »

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Jul 25

FYI.


Was Trump Right? Leaked DNC Email Shines Unexpected Light On Cruz’s “Militant” Father:

In yet another awkward moment for Democratic talking point providers and Trump-deniers, Wikileaks’ leaked DNC emails turned up an interesting factual confirmation of Trump’s ‘conspiracy theory’ questions about Ted Cruz’s father’s background… “I will note that Cruz’s father was in fact a militant who fought the Batista regime (which Fidel Castro defeated) and it would not be unusual for him to be caught up in the ugly web of Cuban militants with questionable histories.”

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Mar 29

Fidel Castro to Obama: “We Don’t Need the Empire to Give Us Anything”

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May 14

H/t reader squodgy:

“Doh….like “THAT’S A SURPRISE”.

Surely as a close tie with Venezuela will show him, you just cannot trust America, both commercially and politically.

Just ask the Economic Hit Man.”


 – Raul Castro: Cuba’s president accuses US of “illegally training” dissidents inside its diplomatic compound in Havana (Independent, May 12, 2015)

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May 10

Diplomats, business people flood Cuba amid warmer US ties (Mail.com, May 10, 2015):

HAVANA (AP) — Tourists in shorts and sandals aren’t the only foreigners flooding Havana these days.

Top diplomats from Japan, the European Union, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia have visited the island in recent months in bids to stake out or maintain ties with an island that suddenly looks like a brighter economic prospect amid warming U.S.-Cuba relations. Continue reading »

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Dec 25

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Regime Change In Cuba (Paul Craig Roberts, Dec 19, 2014):

Letter from a reader:

I wish I could visit Cuba while it’s still Cuba, even though poor they have better medical care than the US. The first thing that will happen when the US starts doing business, the old cars will disappear. The streets will be one big traffic jam and the hand pulled carts gone. The Cuban food will be taken over by Burger King, Pizza Hut and Hard Rock Café. Saw it happen in Cancun within three years. The Cuban music will end up rap, screaming vocalizations of young women who stick their tongues out constantly and sing about nothing over and over and over. US Hotels will open and use the Cubans as cheap labor. Condo’s will pop up all over the island so retirees can live cheaply like Panama. The CUBAN CULTURE will disappear and once again casinos, drugs and prostitution will return and it will be like it was before the revolution. WE WILL take over and RUIN THE PLACE!! just like we ruined Vegas, San Francisco and Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Mexico. The CIA will pick their government and use gitmo to punish anyone who doesn’t agree, just like Abu Ghraib. I wish I could go and warn them all, listen to their great music and eat their wonderful ethnic food. I wish I could warn them about what is coming.

Regime Change In Cuba

Paul Craig Roberts

Normalization of relations with Cuba is not the result of a diplomatic breakthrough or a change of heart on the part of Washington. Normalization is a result of US corporations seeking profit opportunities in Cuba, such as developing broadband Internet markets in Cuba.

Continue reading »

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Dec 17

apec-us-china-russia-obama-putin-xi

Surely all of this has nothing to do with Russia! Right?


Cuba embargo caricature

President Obama “Normalizes” Relations With Cuba, Opens Diplomatic Channels; USAID Chief Resigns – Live Feed (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):

Odd… during a week when President Obama prepares to launch new sanctions against Venezuela and Russia, The White House admits, “It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba.”

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba were severed in January 1961 after the rise of Fidel Castro and his Communist government. Mr. Obama has instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately initiate discussions with Cuba about reestablishing diplomatic relations and to begin the process of removing Cuba from the list of states that sponsor terrorism, which it has been on since 1982, the White House said.

President Obama will speak on the matter at 12:01ET….

The Good news…

Here’s The President in 2010… Statement by the President on the Human Rights Situation in Cuba Continue reading »

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Aug 05

USAID

U.S. Government Caught Using Humanitarian HIV Program as a Front to Foster Cuban Dissent (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 4, 2014):

Regular readers of Liberty Blitzkrieg will recall that earlier this year I highlighted how the U.S. government covertly created a “Cuban Twitter” called ZunZuneo in a failed attempt to overthrow the island nation’s regime. The elaborate plot was implemented under the umbrella of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which is responsible for overseeing billions of dollars in U.S. humanitarian aid. If you need a refresher, check out the post: Conspiracy Fact – How the U.S. Government Covertly Invented a “Cuban Twitter” to Create Revolution.

Well we now know that USAID went a lot further than that. Another scheme to unseat the Cuban government has now been revealed. This time with even more immoral foundations, and which could disrupt genuine humanitarian relief efforts the world over.

Incredibly, the U.S. government used an HIV program as a front to foster dissent amongst Cuba’s youth. The HIV-prevention workshop was even referred to as the “perfect excuse to recruit political activists.” Despicable.

From the Washington Post: Continue reading »

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Jul 11

putin-chess

Russia writes off 90% of Cuba’s debt ahead of Putin’s ‘big tour’ to L. America (RT, July 11, 2014):

Russia has written down $32 billion of Cuba’s Soviet era debt. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law ahead of his official visit to Latin America, with Havana as his first stop.

The agreement was first signed in October 2013 and draws a line under a twenty-year dispute.

Cuba is now required to pay back $3.2 billion over the next 10 years. Continue reading »

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Apr 03

Conspiracy Fact – How the U.S. Government Covertly Invented a “Cuban Twitter” to Create Revolution (Liberty Blitzkrieg, April 3, 2014):

It appears the U.S. government is doing its best to ensure that nobody anywhere in any corner of planet earth will ever trust American technology again (or U.S. aid for that matter). This process of distrust first really got going with the Edward Snowden revelations, which demonstrated that essentially all major U.S. tech firms are mere wards of the state with little to no privacy protections, and absolutely zero backbone.

This story of the U.S. government covertly creating a “Cuban Twitter” called ZunZuneo in order to overthrow the regime there has enormous long-term ramifications on many, many levels, which I will address throughout this post.

From the AP via The Washington Post:

WASHINGTON — In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government.

McSpedon and his team of high-tech contractors had come in from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Washington and Denver. Their mission: to launch a messaging network that could reach hundreds of thousands of Cubans. To hide the network from the Cuban government, they would set up a byzantine system of front companies using a Cayman Islands bank account, and recruit unsuspecting executives who would not be told of the company’s ties to the U.S. government.

McSpedon didn’t work for the CIA. This was a program paid for and run by the U.S. Agency for International Development, best known for overseeing billions of dollars in U.S. humanitarian aid.

Now we can pretty much guarantee that foreign nations will forever be skeptical of any U.S. “aid”. Great work morons. Continue reading »

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Feb 28

Two Russian Warships Enter Black Sea Through Bosphorus; Another Docks In Cuba (ZeroHedge, Feb 27, 2014):

Russia may be awaiting a diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis, but we wouldn’t hold our breath especially with the deposed president Yanukovich set to conduct a press conference tomorrow from Russia’s Rostov-on-Don at 5pm local time, where we hardly anticipate a scaling back of the escalation in what is sure to not be an abdication from power. Instead, Putin continues to prepare for the worst and is openly signalling to the West that if he has to fight to regain influence in the Ukraine, he will, as a top Kremlin politician warned last week. As such it was not surprising to read that two Russian warships, the Minsk and the Kaliningrad which last week were sent out on deployment around Syria, crossed back into the Black Sea, most likely in direction Sevastopol, as the build up of Russian forces in the Crimea continues.

From Bosphorus Nabal News: Continue reading »

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Apr 10

Survivor Of Communist Cuba Defends 2nd Amendment (ALT-MARKET, April 9, 2013):

In the past, I have corresponded with a few survivors of communist despotism, and what I have found is that most if not all immigrants that actually lived in a collectivized state with a disarmed population fight harder to defend the U.S. Constitution than half of the people who were actually born here.  There are a lot of overgrown children in this country today who have NO understanding of the consequences of the path our society has been set on.  They look to big government to take care of them because they are too lazy or apathetic to do it for themselves.  They look to big government to protect them because they are cowardly and have no concept of self-defense.  They look to big government as an attack dog that they can hide behind when they seek to impose their ideology and zealotry on the rest of us.  They bow down to big government because they are afraid of becoming the “nail that sticks out”.  They submit to authoritarianism because they have no honor, and, no sense of appreciation when it comes to the concept of true liberty.

These sad but useful idiots within our population love to argue in the name of the state, constantly claiming that the ongoing restrictions of our individual freedoms and constitutional rights are “for the greater good” of our society as a whole.  They insist that even though the political measures being taken in the U.S. today are almost identical to those implemented in communist police states, this time “things will be different”.  This time, the collectivists will “get it right”.  Not surprising, though, is the fact that the vast majority of those that call for rights restrictions and socialized mega-government have never actually lived under the kind of system they are demanding.  They have absolutely NO idea what it is really like, nor do they ever attempt to learn from those who comprehend full well.

Some people know.  Some people have lived it.  Some people have experienced the consequences first hand.  And, for anyone with the intelligence to listen, this is what they have to say about gun control and the path to tyranny…

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Dec 09

Fidel Castro of the CIA (Veterans Today, Dec 6, 2012)

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Nov 06

Romney’s Cuban “Bond Girl” (Veterans Today, Nov 5, 2012):

Since 1999, a team of FBI and intelligence agents from Mexico have traced Mitt Romney and his mistress, Maria, Perez Andropov, a Cuban/Russian intelligence agent, traveling in and out of Cuba on diplomatic passports.

The memo below, received from official sources, highly classified, outlines the deal made with Raul and Fidel Castro and Mitt Romney.

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Jun 28

Chavez Critical? “Regime change flu coming to Latin America”

Added: 27.06.2011

Adrian Salbuchi – Members of the Global Elite who would love to see Hugo Chavez go


Added: 26.06.2011

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Apr 11

Amazon.com: 63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read

Amazon.de: 63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read

Introduction: Jesse Ventura is the former Independent Governor of Minnesota. He is also a former U.S. Navy SEAL, professional wrestler, movie actor, a visiting fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the New York Times bestselling author of five books. He is currently the host and executive producer of TruTV’s Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. He has a reputation as the ultimate non-partisan truth-seeker; he has no qualms about questioning authority. Daily Bell: Thanks for sitting down with us. You’ve written another very interesting book, “63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You To Read.” Tell us about it.

Jesse Ventura: This is a book I collaborated on with Dick Russell, and I would like to give him the credit for doing all the research. That’s why we make a good team. I just don’t have the patience to do the research he does. It was our publisher, SkyHorse – it was their idea to do this book. Dick and I started searching for these documents, which are all documents released by the US government. WikiLeaks started releasing information right before we started, so naturally we used some of their stuff too. We started by going back to World War II, and we picked out 63 documents that we thought were very important. We choose 63 because that was the same year that President John F. Kennedy was murdered. That was when everything went bad. If you can murder the president and get away with it, you can do anything.

Daily Bell: Do you use original sources?

Jesse Ventura: Absolutely. The documents are original, not opinion. We reprinted the documents, so the reader has the ability to read all of them.

Daily Bell: What was the most shocking thing you learned.

Continue reading »

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Dec 28

Related articles:

Report: UN Peacekeepers to Blame For Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

Haiti Cholera Clashes: UN Troops Shoot Man Dead

Experts: Did UN troops infect Haiti with cholera?

Haiti: UN Base Suspected In Cholera Outbreak

WHO: Haiti to to be affected by cholera ‘for years to come’; Outbreak reaches capital city



Castro’s doctors and nurses are the backbone of the fight against cholera


Jacklin Anore, 24, a cholera patient at the Cuban-run Nicolas Armand hospital in Arcahaie, north of Port-au-Prince. Cuba has some 1,200 health workers currently in Haiti

They are the real heroes of the Haitian earthquake disaster, the human catastrophe on America’s doorstep which Barack Obama pledged a monumental US humanitarian mission to alleviate. Except these heroes are from America’s arch-enemy Cuba, whose doctors and nurses have put US efforts to shame.

A medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans is operating all over earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti, as part of Fidel Castro’s international medical mission which has won the socialist state many friends, but little international recognition.

Observers of the Haiti earthquake could be forgiven for thinking international aid agencies were alone in tackling the devastation that killed 250,000 people and left nearly 1.5 million homeless. In fact, Cuban healthcare workers have been in Haiti since 1998, so when the earthquake struck the 350-strong team jumped into action. And amid the fanfare and publicity surrounding the arrival of help from the US and the UK, hundreds more Cuban doctors, nurses and therapists arrived with barely a mention. Most countries were gone within two months, again leaving the Cubans and Médecins Sans Frontières as the principal healthcare providers for the impoverished Caribbean island.

Figures released last week show that Cuban medical personnel, working in 40 centres across Haiti, have treated more than 30,000 cholera patients since October. They are the largest foreign contingent, treating around 40 per cent of all cholera patients. Another batch of medics from the Cuban Henry Reeve Brigade, a disaster and emergency specialist team, arrived recently as it became clear that Haiti was struggling to cope with the epidemic that has already killed hundreds.

Since 1998, Cuba has trained 550 Haitian doctors for free at the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina en Cuba (Elam), one of the country’s most radical medical ventures. Another 400 are currently being trained at the school, which offers free education – including free books and a little spending money – to anyone sufficiently qualified who cannot afford to study medicine in their own country.

Continue reading »

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Sep 13

See also: Fidel Castro: Cuba’s Communism Doesn’t Work


cuba-to-lay-off-at-least-500000-state-workers-in-6-months-allow-private-jobs
Cuban barbers, like this one working in Havana last month, became self-employed in April.

Havana, Cuba (CNN) — Cuba announced on Monday it would lay off “at least” half a million state workers over the next six months and simultaneously allow more jobs to be created in the private sector as the socialist economy struggles to get back on its feet.

The plan announced in state media confirms that President Raul Castro is following through on his pledge to shed some one million state jobs, a full fifth of the official workforce — but in a shorter timeframe than initially anticipated.

“Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies, productive entities and services with inflated payrolls and losses that damage our economy and result counterproductive, create bad habits and distort workers’ conduct,” the CTC, Cuba’s official labor union, said in newspapers.

Castro had announced layoffs in August, but said they would occur over the next five years.

Continue reading »

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Sep 12

fidel-castro
Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro greets students before delivering a speech outside Havana’s University in Havana, Cuba, Friday, Sept. 3, 2010. Castro dusted off his military fatigues for the first time since stepping down as president four years ago, a symbolic act in a Communist country where little signals often carry enormous significance.(AP Photo/Javier Galeano) (Javier Galeano – AP)

HAVANA — Cuba’s communist economic model has come in for criticism from an unlikely source: Fidel Castro.

The revolutionary leader told a visiting American journalist and a U.S.-Cuba policy expert that the island’s state-dominated system is in need of change, a rare comment on domestic affairs from a man who has taken pains to steer clear of local issues since illness forced him to step down as president four years ago.

The fact that things are not working efficiently on this cash-strapped Caribbean island is hardly news. Fidel’s brother Raul, the country’s president, has said the same thing repeatedly. But the blunt assessment by the father of Cuba’s 1959 revolution is sure to raise eyebrows.

Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked Castro if Cuba’s economic system was still worth exporting to other countries, and Castro replied: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his Atlantic blog.

The Cuban government had no immediate comment on Goldberg’s account.

Julia Sweig, a Cuba expert at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations who accompanied Goldberg on the trip, confirmed the Cuban leader’s comment, which he made at a private lunch last week.

She told The Associated Press she took the remark to be in line with Raul Castro’s call for gradual but widespread reform.

“It sounded consistent with the general consensus in the country now, up to and including his brother’s position,” Sweig said.

In general, she said she found the 84-year-old Castro to be “relaxed, witty, conversational and quite accessible.”

“He has a new lease on life, and he is taking advantage of it,” Sweig said.

Castro stepped down temporarily in July 2006 due to a serious illness that nearly killed him.

He resigned permanently two years later, but remains head of the Communist Party. After staying almost entirely out of the spotlight for four years, he re-emerged in July and now speaks frequently about international affairs. He has been warning for weeks of the threat of a nuclear war over Iran.

Continue reading »

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Aug 20

the-true-story-of-the-bilderberg-group

The True Story of the Bilderberg Group (Amazon.com)

The True Story of the Bilderberg Group (Amazon.de)

In German: Die wahre Geschichte der Bilderberger (Amazon.de)

His new book:

shadow-masters

Shadow Masters: An International Network of Governments and Secret-Service Agencies Working Together with Drugs Dealers and Terrorists for Mutual Benefit and Profit (Amazon.com)

Shadow Masters: How Governments and Their Intelligence Agencies Are Working with Drug Dealers and Terrorists for Mutual Benefit and Profit (Amazon.de)

Related information:

Bilderberg 2010: The Power Gallery

Bilderberg 2010: Final (Official) List of Participants

Spanish PM to Open Secretive Bilderberg Club Meeting in Sitges

Bilderberg 2010: The Shadowy Global Elite Is Meeting In Sitges

Bilderberg investigation revealed to European Parliament

The Elitist Takeover of Poland: IMF’s Marek Belka, Polish Ex-PM and Bilderberg Member Proposed as Polish Central Bank Head


Fidel Castro fascinated by book on Bilderberg Club

Fidel Castro
Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro

HAVANA – Fidel Castro is showcasing a theory long popular both among the far left and far right: that the shadowy Bilderberg Group has become a kind of global government, controlling not only international politics and economics, but even culture.

The 84-year-old former Cuban president published an article Wednesday that used three of the only eight pages in the Communist Party newspaper Granma to quote — largely verbatim — from a 2006 book by Lithuanian-born writer Daniel Estulin.

Estulin’s work, “The Secrets of the Bilderberg Club,” argues that the international group largely runs the world. It has held a secretive annual forum of prominent politicians, thinkers and businessmen since it was founded in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in Holland.

Castro offered no comment on the excerpts other than to describe Estulin as honest and well-informed and to call his book a “fantastic story.”

Estulin’s book, as quoted by Castro, described “sinister cliques and the Bilderberg lobbyists” manipulating the public “to install a world government that knows no borders and is not accountable to anyone but its own self.”

Continue reading »

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Jan 09

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D. is the Francis Walsingham Fellow at The American Conservative Defense Alliance (www.ACDAlliance.org) and a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer.

Philip Giraldi was the foreign policy advisor to Ron Paul during his last presidential run.

philip-m-giraldi
Philip M. Giraldi


Imagine if you will a country dominated by heavily armed tribesmen who are fiercely independent, frequently engaged in activities that most observers would regard as criminal, deeply conservative in religion and culture but further divided along sectarian lines, and ruled over by a highly corrupt government that is fighting both a civil war and an insurgency. Throw into the hopper extremely rugged trackless terrain, porous borders, and security forces incapable of exercising jurisdiction outside of the capital city and it is a virtual witches’ brew. Many would immediately think of Afghanistan, where all of the above applies but the description equally fits Yemen, which also enjoys crushing poverty and high unemployment coupled with declining oil revenues and water supplies that can no longer sustain the population. Intelligence officers who are familiar with Yemen agree that coming to grips with the country’s tribesmen in an attempt to root out al-Qaeda will make Afghanistan look like a walk in the park.

Yemen might well become the next American quagmire if the plans of the Obama Administration in its global war on terrorism that is now referred to as “overseas contingency operations” are implemented. As is frequently the case in the imperial capital city Washington, the Obamas see another Yemen. It is an opportunity for nation building, to strengthen institutions and the economy and support an ostensibly friendly government to suppress terrorism. But it doesn’t take much to see what’s wrong with that approach. The Yemenis themselves are fearful of the consequences of too tight an embrace by Washington and are already trying to distance themselves. They see gangsterism and tribalism as their greatest internal security threats, not terrorism, and the best estimates for the number of al-Qaeda adherents in the country number in the low hundreds. And many of those are believed to be the grapes of wrath fruit of Guantanamo Bay, where the United States successfully confined Yemenis who were completely innocent, radicalizing them and turning them into terrorism proselytizers upon their return home.

Let’s face it, there is no such thing as complete security. Whatever security arrangements are made for air travel it will still be possible for someone to circumvent the system either through guile or luck. The Obama Administration’s response to a single thwarted terrorist incident involving an airline in which a small number of Yemenis were involved has proven that American presidents appear to need war, and an identifiable enemy to rally against, more than they need a foreign and security policy that is both proportionate and answerable to the national interest. Yemen is no more a threat to the United States than was Iraq even if its wild deserts do harbor a small number of terrorists. If one accepts at face value the claim of al-Qaeda in Yemen that the attempted airline bombing was in response to several American drone strikes, most particularly a devastating attack on December 17 that killed twenty-three, largely civilians, then it is clear that Congressman Ron Paul’s analysis that “they’re over here because we’re over there” is accurate.

The correct response to the Nigerian underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is to fix the information sharing problems and modify existing screening procedures in light of the new developments. That would be the sane thing to do, but apparently it is not good enough for the White House. Instead, President Obama has designated a new front for a military confrontation with the terrorist menace, and that will be Yemen. There are reports that special ops soldiers are already in country with plans to introduce still more US soldiers and double the military assistance to Sana’a. By my tally, the US is now actively fighting terrorists in a number of lands to include Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, and Yemen. That makes a minimum of six separate and distinct overseas wars all being engaged in without an act of war from Congress and directed against enemies that do not actually directly threaten the United States.

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Nov 12


HAVANA, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Cuba has ordered all state enterprises to adopt “extreme measures” to cut energy usage through the end of the year in hopes of avoiding the dreaded blackouts that plagued the country following the 1991 collapse of its then-top ally, the Soviet Union.

In documents seen by Reuters, government officials have been warned that the island is facing a “critical” energy shortage that requires the closing of non-essential factories and workshops and the shutting down of air conditioners and refrigerators not needed to preserve food and medicine.

Cuba has cut government spending and slashed imports after being hit hard by the global financial crisis and the cost of recovering from three hurricanes that struck last year.

“The energy situation we face is critical and if we do not adopt extreme measures we will have to revert to planned blackouts affecting the population,” said a recently circulated message from the Council of Ministers.

“Company directors will analyze the activities that will be stopped and others reduced, leaving only those that guarantee exports, substitution of imports and basic services for the population,” according to another distributed by the light industry sector.

Continue reading »

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Oct 18

crash-dollar


alba-members-are-venezuela-bolivia-cuba-nicaragua-honduras-dominica-saint-vincent-and-antigua-and-barbuda
ALBA members are Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and Antigua and Barbuda

COCHABAMBA, Bolivia — Leftist Latin American leaders have agreed on the creation of a regional currency to scale back on the use of the US dollar as well as economic sanctions against Honduran coup leaders.

Nine countries of ALBA, a leftist bloc conceived by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, met Friday in Bolivia where they vowed to press ahead with a new currency for intra-regional trade to replace the US dollar.

“The document is approved,” said Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, who is hosting the summit.

The new currency, named the Sucre after Jose Antonio de Sucre, who fought for independence from Spain alongside Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar in the early 19th century, will be rolled out beginning in 2010 in a non-paper form.

That move echoes the European Union’s introduction of the euro precursor, the ECU, an account unit designed to tie down stable exchange rates between member states before the national currencies were scraped.

ALBA’s member states are Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and Antigua and Barbuda.

In a resolution on Honduras, members of the group agreed “to apply economic and commercial sanctions against the regime that came to power as a result of a coup.”

Continue reading »

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Nov 12


There are about 250 detainees at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. President-elect Barack Obama has said he wants to close the detention center. (By Brennan Linsley — Associated Press)

The Obama administration will launch a review of the classified files of the approximately 250 detainees at Guantanamo Bay immediately after taking office, as part of an intensive effort to close the U.S. prison in Cuba, according to people who advised the campaign on detainee issues.

Announcing the closure of the controversial detention facility would be among the most potent signals the incoming administration could send of its sharp break with the Bush era, according to the advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak for the president-elect. They believe the move would create a global wave of diplomatic and popular goodwill that could accelerate the transfer of some detainees to other countries.

But the advisers, as well as outside national security and legal experts, said the new administration will face a thicket of legal, diplomatic, political and logistical challenges to closing the prison and prosecuting the most serious offenders in the United States — an effort that could take many months or longer. Among the thorniest issues will be how to build effective cases without using evidence obtained by torture, an issue that attorneys for the detainees will almost certainly seek to exploit.

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Sep 10

Tens of thousands of people fled coastal areas of Texas on Wednesday after Hurricane Ike spun off Cuba, roared into the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward the state with growing strength.

After pummeling Haiti, Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean, Ike refueled in the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward landfall near Corpus Christi, where it is expected to hit early Saturday as a Category 4 hurricane with winds exceeding speeds of 131 miles per hour.

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Sep 09

There are various other satellite powers, such as manipulating electronic instruments and appliances like alarms, electronic watches and clocks, a television, radio, smoke detector and the electrical system of an automobile. For example, the digital alarm on a watch, tiny though it is, can be set off by a satellite from hundreds of miles up in space. And the light bulb of a lamp can be burned out with the burst of a laser from a satellite. In addition, street lights and porch lights can be turned on and off at will by someone at the controls of a satellite, the means being an electromagnetic beam which reverses the light’s polarity. Or a lamp can be made to burn out in a burst of blue light when the switch is flicked. As with other satellite powers, it makes no difference if the light is under a roof or a ton of concrete–it can still be manipulated by a satellite laser. Types of satellite lasers include the free-electron laser, the x-ray laser, the neutral-particle-beam laser, the chemical-oxygen-iodine laser and the mid-infra-red advanced chemical laser.

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Sep 09

Unknown to most of the world, satellites can perform astonishing and often menacing feats. This should come as no surprise when one reflects on the massive effort poured into satellite technology since the Soviet satellite Sputnik, launched in 1957, caused panic in the U.S. A spy satellite can monitor a person’s every movement, even when the “target” is indoors or deep in the interior of a building or traveling rapidly down the highway in a car, in any kind of weather (cloudy, rainy, stormy). There is no place to hide on the face of the earth. It takes just three satellites to blanket the world with detection capacity. Besides tracking a person’s every action and relaying the data to a computer screen on earth, amazing powers of satellites include reading a person’s mind, monitoring conversations, manipulating electronic instruments and physically assaulting someone with a laser beam. Remote reading of someone’s mind through satellite technology is quite bizarre, yet it is being done; it is a reality at present, not a chimera from a futuristic dystopia! To those who might disbelieve my description of satellite surveillance, I’d simply cite a tried-and-true Roman proverb: Time reveals all things (tempus omnia revelat).

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Sep 08

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) — Hurricane Ike tore across Cuba with 100-mph winds Monday, sending 50-foot waves crashing over buildings and forcing the evacuation of 900,000 people.

Fallen bricks crushed a van Monday in Camaguey, Cuba, as Hurricane Ike struck the island.
Fallen bricks crushed a van Monday in Camaguey, Cuba, as Hurricane Ike struck the island.

At 2 p.m., Ike’s eye had moved back over water off Cuba’s southern coast. Ike was a Category 2 hurricane, with steady 100-mph (160-kph) winds and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

Ike’s eye is expected to move back over Cuba on Tuesday, then move into the Gulf of Mexico and grow again in intensity.

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Sep 07

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) — Hurricane Ike moved past the southern Bahamas on Sunday, carrying high winds and heavy rain as the Category 4 storm surged forward on a track that could take it toward the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Obenson Etienne walks to his house Sunday in Providenciales, one of the isles in the Turks and Caicos.
Obenson Etienne walks to his house Sunday in Providenciales, one of the isles in the Turks and Caicos.

The possibility prompted state and local officials in Florida and Louisiana to prepare for what may be the third major storm to affect the Gulf Coast in less than a month.

“Let’s hope it’s all a false alarm,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Sunday as he pre-emptively issued a state of emergency. His state is still recovering from Hurricane Gustav; more than 370,000 people there are still without power, nearly a week after Gustav made landfall, he said.

“There continues to be much uncertainty about the predicted track,” he said of Ike.

On Sunday, President Bush declared a state of emergency in Florida. The hurricane’s outer bands could start affecting the Florida Keys by Monday afternoon.

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Sep 07


Mexican soldiers guard cocaine at the crash site

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – A private jet that crash-landed almost one year ago in eastern Mexico carrying 3.3 tons of cocaine had previously been used for CIA “rendition” flights, a newspaper report said here Thursday, citing documents from the United States and the European Parliament.

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