Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Odds and ends

  • Granma: After an 11-hour court session last Friday, the oral arguments and examination of witnesses have concluded in the trial of Spanish political activist Angel Carromero on vehicular homicide charges.  All that’s left is to await the judges’ verdict.  Then, Spain’s foreign minister says (EFE), the two governments should talk so Carromero can be returned to Spain “as fast as possible.”

  • The New America Foundation got a three-year, $4.3 million grant from USAID’s Cuba program, as Tracey Eaton documents at Along the Malecon.  It seems directed at NAF’s Open Internet Tools Program, which he describes here.  There’s nothing surprising about USAID connecting with the organization that develops what it calls “Internet in a suitcase” that “disempowers central authorities from infringing on people’s fundamental human right to communicate,” as an NAF staffer put it in this New York Times piece.  But there’s irony in that NAF also houses a project that has, among other things, pointed out the difficulties of private sector covert operations in Cuba.  The project’s director Anya Landau French gives her thoughts here.

  • In a letter to the Washington Post, Frank Calzon offers a solution to the case of jailed USAID contractor Alan Gross: deny Cuban-Americans the right to send remittances to loved ones in Cuba, make Cubans feel the pain when their remittances are cut off, and restrict American citizens’ travel to Cuba.  For good measure, he claims that remittances are heavily taxed, which is not true.

  • From last week’s Herald: A great news story by Tracey Eaton where he interviews Juan Pablo Roque, the Cuban agent who infiltrated Brothers to the Rescue and also worked for the FBI.  He now lives a “life of obscurity” in Havana.


Anonymous said...

at least Mr Calzon is consistent in his desire to starve the cuban people, to continue to punish them for the audacity of supporting the Revolution and Cuban nationalism. This is the essence of US policy against Cuba, to call lie to the position that the Cuban's dont support the revolution. It is in fact because of their support that they must be punished.

Anonymous said...

I have always wondered what benefits the Cuban government hought it would receive when it decided to call back to Cuba a well placed spy they had infiltrated within Brothers to teh Rescue who could keep them very well informed of whatever plots this organization planned against it.

The idea that he was recalled to the island to inform of the February 24, 1996 flight is totally absurd.

He could have informed about the mission through communications made from the US without having to return to the island.

Also he did not have to report anything , the Cuban radars would have picked up the images of the three planes well before they reached the island and alerted the Mig 21 fighters to take off and bring them down if that was the Cuban government's order.

The exile allegation that he went to Cuba one day earlier so that he could pose as the sole survivor once the three planes were brought down so that hr cvould confess that the three planes were going to Cuba for aggressive purposes is also senseless.

The remaining membrers of Brothers to the Rescue organization in Miami knew perfectly well the name of the six pilots who flew on the three two seater planes.

If Roque showed up as the remaining survivor, Brothers to the Rescue would immediately expose him as a fake.

Besides how could seven people fit in to planes that only had capacity for six people?

In MHO Roque, given his advantageous position as a spy, would only recalled to Cuba for a very important reason that had to do, not with the information that a flight to Cuba would occur, because this could be detected without his recall, but with the objective of such missions.

I believe that Roque's return to the island, whether ordered by the DGI or by his won initiative was motivated because he had information about the preparation of an assassination plot against Fidel Castro in which the Brothers to the Rescue organization was involved.

I also believe that as a result of the shooting down of the two planes and the loss of the four lives that such plans were abandoned.

These are all speculations on my part but it is the only way that I have been able to connect a line between the two dots of Roque's return and the shooting down of the two planes.


Anonymous said...

I have nothing against the idea of setting up mesh networks in Cuba. As a matter of fact I consider them a prerequisite for the eventual end game in the island.

However I consider the way that they tried to set the mesh networks up:

1- A provocation designed to prevent the possibility of a gradual negotiated solution to the embargo and a democratic transition.

2- And Frank Calzon one of the main culprits behind such policies.

How else can we think of the utter absurdity of sending Alan Gross on repeated occasions to the island, like a lamb to the slaughter house, until he was eventually detected and caught by the Cuban repressive services?

Why was he made to run the unnecessary risks of introducing communications hardware through Cuban customs when it could have been introduced safely through the diplomatic mail?

Why did the bgans necessary for such mesh networks have to be placed in places in Cuban territory when they could have been set up in foreign embassies and consulates when they would be protected by diplomatic immunity?

It is obvious that such practices were designed not to successfully create a mesh networks but to have Alan Gross arrested and to create a crisis in the relations between the US and Cuban governments.

This of course is illogical, the dog should wag the tail and not viceversa.

This whole Alan Gross affair should be investigated by the State Department and measures taken so that in the future subordinated agents entrusted with the carrying out of US policies would be properly supervised so that they could not sabotage them by implementing them in a counterproductive manner.

Also all those responsible, beginning by Mr. Calzon, should be cashiered.

His attempt to engineer a provocation and then to openly encourage the US government to follow the ends he plotted is totally brazen and a dead giveaway for the whole plot.

If he had some empathy for the position he placed Alan Gross in, he should seek a possible solution to the problem, not its aggravation.

Following his suggestions would lengthen Gross' incarceration in the island instead of shortening it.

But of course this is of no concern to Mr. Calzon, if he would have had empathy with Alan Gross he would not have gotten him into the mess he is in initially!

This is just a continuation of the abominable policy of using an innocent unsuspecting person for political ends that he is unaware and then abandoning him to his fate!

What callousness!