Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Odds and ends

  • While Cuba has removed restrictions on its citizens’ foreign travel, Cubans still have to get visas from the countries that they intend to visit.  Ecuador is one of the few countries that allows Cubans to come without a visa, and as a result a Cuban community has grown in Quito in recent years, and many Cubans go there as the first stop in a journey to Mexico, and then the United States.  But as of next Monday, there’s a new requirement: for each Cuban who visits, a citizen or legal resident of Ecuador must present a letter of invitation.  The letter must be notarized, and the signer must demonstrate “economic solvency” and commit to cover the Cuban’s food, lodging, and medical expenses.  A host may “invite only one Cuban in a twelve-month period” and the Cuban is limited to a 90-day visit.  (AFP)

  • A Venezuelan government statement says President Chavez is “conscious,” talking with visitors, and “his general clinical evolution in the past few days has been favorable.”

  • Reuters on CIMEQ, the Havana hospital where President Chavez is being treated.

  • The Atlantic: Julia Sweig on Chavez’ legacy in the region.

  • The blog Punt de Vista reports that “in parallel with the negotiations to free Angel Carromero,” the Spanish government has provided 354,000 Euros in grants to organizations in Spain that work in “solidarity” with the Cuban government.

  • Rafters who were intercepted and repatriated by the Coast Guard tell their story in this video from Hablemos Press.

  • Calling on Senator Menendez to oppose the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin quotes Senator Rubio saying that Cuba has posed a “severe security threat” to the United States for the “last half a century.”  Actually, if Hagel were to enter the Pentagon and spout that view, they would think he’s as crazy as Captain Queeg. 

  • Tampa Tribune: As of next month, there will be three weekly flights from Cuba to Tampa instead of five.

  • Tracey Eaton reports that the U.S. government’s response to the $60 million lawsuit filed by jailed USAID contractor Alan Gross is to claim immunity and to ask the court to dismiss the suit.

  • It’s fair to grant that Spanish Partido Popular activist Angel Carromero may have something to say in Spain that he would not say in Cuba regarding the accident that killed Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero in his car last July.  But it’s time to put up or shut up, argues this editorial in Diario de Cuba, and I agree. 


Anonymous said...

So do I!

All he has to do is to answer a very simple question with a yes or no answer.

Was the car he was driven pushed off the road by another car or did he drive it off the road himself?

All this delay prolongs unnecessarily the suffering of the Paya family and makes one suspect that the leadership of the Popular Party is trying to get Carromero to make something up that could be used as political propaganda against the Cuban government.

All this is so stupid! The Cuban government has been guilty of human rights abuses in the past and will probably commit them again in the future.

What possible need is there in this instance to manufacture a human rights violation that did not

All this is totally counterproductive and will have the obvious result of reducing the credibility of future reports of real violations of human rights in Cuba when they occur.

It is a known fact that when a sheperd cries wolf falsely other sheperds will not believe his flock is being attacked when he yells for help.

Besides it is repulsive to seek to make political hay out of a human tragedy and also very poor politics.


Anonymous said...

About the Gross suit what the US government should do is investigate why Alan Gross was made to incurr in unnecessary danger by:

1- Ordering him to attempt to smuggle BGANs through Cuban customs when they could have been introduced into the island through diplomatic mail?

2- Set up this hardware in Cuban territory when they could have worked equally well without being confiscated from sites with diplomatic immunity?

The US government should also investigate who ordered these things and for what purpose this was done?

Asking the court for immunity is a very comfortable way of hiding your errors, protecting those responsible for them and ensuring that they will be repeated in the future.

It also does not render appropriate relief to the Gross family for the difficulties it is going through as a result of this whole imbroglio.

If the US government did not investigate the matter and is seeking to cover it up, the court should carry out a thorough investigation before rendering a verdict in order to provide Gross' family adequate relief in case he was unnecessarily emdangered for no reason at all.