Thursday, July 17, 2008

Odds and ends

  • The U.S. government put out a press release about the company charged with violating the embargo by providing software to Cuba that was “used to create a model for potentially exploring and developing oil and gas within Cuba's territorial waters.” But was the company paid?

  • Dream golf – Here’s yet another news report about a golf resort/real estate project in Cuba, to be developed with foreign investors. Yet again, there’s a reference to an announcement by the Cuban tourism ministry that seems never to have taken place.

  • A campaign is under way for a Presidential pardon for Eduardo Arocena, who was convicted in federal court in 1984 of “twenty-five counts, including first degree murder of a diplomat; two conspiracies to murder diplomats; malicious damage by explosives to property used in commerce, with personal injury resulting; six counts of possession of unregistered bombs; two counts of conspiracy; and perjury before the Grand Jury.” That quote is from the decision of the appeals court judge, who denied Arocena’s appeal, saying he had engaged in “a terrorist campaign shocking in its ferocity and persistence.” The campaign’s site, hosted by the Net for Cuba news site, is here. (H/t Cuban Colada.)

  • Good eye, Dalia – We know little about Dalia Soto del Valle, wife of Fidel Castro, but she seems to have a good sixth sense. She had a bad feeling about her son’s girlfriend, Dashiell Torralba, El Nuevo Herald reports. Torralba is facing credit card fraud and identity theft charges in Miami. She gained fame when she left Cuba and sold a video of the Castro home to a Miami television station in 2002 (Penultimos Dias dug up the link). If you search Torralba’s name on YouTube, you get her television appearances where she described life amid the Castro family.


Anonymous said...

Her activities and arrest are very likely coordinated, directly or indirectly, by the cuban govt to defame her and cause her legal troubles (not to say she is not guilty of participating in illegal ctivities) and to get back at her and send a message to others who might betray the gangsters in havana.

Mambi_Watch said...

Concerning Arocena (and his participation with Omega 7), besides his federal sentence of life in prison in 1984 (for his part in the assassination of Feliz Garcia Rodriguez), he was given additional jail time after trials in Miami in 1985, where he was sentenced to 20 more years in jail.

Before being sentenced in 1984, Arocena told the judge:

"If I have to rot in jail, I will rot in pleasure... I don't have to feel sorry about anything. I'm in agreement with all of the acts my compatriotas have done. Every one of them."

A 2006 published study for the Department of Justice, investigators reviewed terrorist groups inside the US. According to the study: "The only major group committing international acts of terrorism on American soil during the 1980's was Omega 7."

Report and timeline on Omega 7 and Eduardo Arocena begins on page 305:

There are many controversial Presidential pardons, such as that of Orlando Bosch by President George HW Bush, but when's the last time a President pardoned a man with an identical criminal history as Arocena's?

Yesterday on Radio Mambi (Marta Flores show), supporters of a pardon for Arocena were pleading the President to give Arocena a "humanitarian pardon."

If this happens on "humanitarian" grounds, it might set a new precedent for Presidential pardons.

Mambi_Watch said...

Correction: Felix Garcia Rodriguez

Mambi_Watch said...

On Arocena's arrest and trial: