Friday, January 1, 2016

Exposing 11 Myths of the Revolution in Cuba and the Current Regime

Cuba Facts
Compiled by John Suarez

1. Myth: There is a U.S. blockade on Cuba .
Reality: Between January 2001 and October 2015 under the United States Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancements Act the value of authorized agricultural and food product exports to the Republic of Cuba was $5,234,400,000.00 1. It is estimated that US Cubans send $800 million a year in remittances to Cuba. The United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America found evidence for a sharp rise in remittances to Cuba in 1995 and 1996: in 1990 $100 million, in 1993 $300 million and in 1995 $600 million. These figures are in comparison with the country's gross export earnings from sugar ($1 billion), tourism ($1.4 billion) and foreign investment ($200 million). Prior to 1993 it was the Castro regime that prohibited the circulation of U.S. dollars in the Cuban populace. 2.

2. Myth: Living conditions of the Cuban populace prior to Castro's arrival to power were appalling.
Reality: “ Cuba is one of the countries [of Latin America ] where the standard of living of the masses was particularly high.” – Cuban communist leader Aníbal Escalante July 30, 1961 issue Verde Olivo Magazine. 3. “In health, Cuba 's mortality rate was 5.8 people per 1,000 inhabitants making it among the lowest in the world, while its infant mortality rate of 37.6 per 1,000 inhabitants was similarly the lowest in Latin America , far ahead of that of the second-ranked country.” 4. Cuba ranked second in Latin America in the percentage of its labor force covered by social security insurance against old age, disability, and death, with 62.6% of its workforce insured. 5. Journalist Herbert Matthews observing Cuba 's economic situation in 1957 said, “The economy is good and most workers are contented. There are profitable sugar, coffee, and tobacco crops. Tourism has been satisfactory.” 6.

3. Myth: Illiteracy was extremely high in Cuba until the arrival of Fidel Castro
Reality: “According to the 1953 Cuba census, out of 4,376,529 inhabitants 10 years of age or older 23.6% were illiterate, a percentage lower than all other Latin American countries except Argentina (13.6%), Chile (19.6%), and Costa Rica (20.6%). Factoring only the population 15 years of age or older, the rate is lowered to 22.1%” 7.

4. Myth: Fulgencio Batista was a right wing dictator.
Reality: The Cuban Communist Party supported Fulgencio Batista in exchange the CP was legalized during the Batista dictatorship and even got two cabinet ministers in 1942. Additional documentation of relationship between Batista and the Cuban Communists are outlined below:
"What right does Señor Batista have to speak of Communism? After all, in the elections of 1940 he was the candidate of the Communist Party ... his portrait hung next to Blas Roca's and Lazaro Pena's; and half a dozen ministers and confidants of his are leading members of the CP," said Fidel Castro. 8.

Batista's coalition with Cuba 's communists
In November 1940, the communists supported Batista's candidates in the elections to the Constituent Assembly. In return for their support, Batista allowed the communists to organize and control the government sponsored union, Cuban Confederation of Labor (CTC Confederacion de Trabajadores de Cuba ) The first Secretary General of the CTC was Lazaro Pena--who, ironically, enough, held the same post in the Castro regime. In exchange for these favors the communists guaranteed Batista labor peace. In line with the Communist Party's "Popular Front Against Fascism" policy, the alliance of the Communist Party with the Batista was officially consumated when the Party joined the Batista government. The Communist Party leaders Carlos Rafael Rodriguez and Juan Marinello (who now hold high posts in the Castro government) became Ministers Without Portfolio in Batista's Cabinet. To illustrate the intimate connections between the communists and Batista, we quote from a letter of Batista to Blas Roca, Secretary of the Communist Party:

June 13,1944
Dear Blas,
With respect to your letter which our mutual friend, Dr. Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, Minister Without Portfolio, passed to me, I am happy to again express my firm unshakeable confidence in the loyal cooperation the People's Socialist Party [the then official name of the Communist Party of Cuba] its leaders and members have given and continue to give myself and my government. . .
Believe me, as always, Your very affectionate and cordial friend,
Fulgencio Batista

In the electoral campaign the Communist candidates won ten seats in the Cuban parliament and more than a hundred posts in Municipal councils. Later, the communists joined Batista in condemning Fidel Castro's attack on the Moncada Barracks (July 26, 1953 -- the anniversary of the attack is a national holiday in Castro's Cuba). . . the life of the People's Socialist Party (communist). . . has been to combat . . . and unmask the putschists and adventurous activities of the bourgeois opposition as being against the interests of the people. . . (reported in Daily Worker, U.S organ of the Communist Party, August 10, 1953 ) 9.

5. Myth: The Cuban government between 1959 and today has made great progress in literacy rates when compared to other Latin American nations.
Reality: Cuba 's rising literacy rates track with the rest of Latin America .

  1950-53 2000
Argentina 87 97
Cuba 76 96
Chile 81 96
Costa Rica 79 96
Paraguay 68 93
Colombia 62 92
Panama 72 92
Ecuador 56 92
Brazil 49 85
Dominican Republic 43 84
El Salvador 42 79
Guatemala 30 69
Haiti 11 49

6. Myth: U.S. controlled Cuban politics through the Platt Amendment until Castro's arrival in 1959. In effect, Before Castro democratic governments in Cuba were puppets of the United States.
Reality: The Cuban republic prior to Castro's revolution provided an eight-hour work day; the right to strike; university autonomy; had a public space with large numbers of newspapers and radio stations with diverse political and ideological viewpoints; and had abolished the Platt Amendment by 1934. Reflecting this reality Cuban foreign policy during its democratic period pursued Cuba 's national interests even when in conflict with those of the United States.

The United States refused to join the League of Nations in 1919 but Cuba joined the League of Nations in 1920. 10.

With 29 U.S. warships surrounding the island, on Sept 10, 1933, revolutionary president Dr. Ramon Grau San Martin refused to pledge allegiance to the 1901 constitution and unilaterally rescinded the Platt Amendment claiming for Cuba full sovereignty, in what could have been considered a very unwise act of open hostility towards the United States. He pledged allegiance to Cuban people instead and promised to someday raise his hand for a new constitution.

Dr. Ernesto Dihigo Cuba 's delegate to the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 1947 explained Cuba 's vote against the creation of Israel in a two state partition, which placed it in direct conflict with Washington 's drive for the recognition of Israel . 11. The Cuban ambassador's argument was systematic and well thought out:

The Balfour Declaration lacked any legal standing because the British government was offering something that did not belong to it.

Even accepting the illegitimate Balfour Declaration it merely promised Jews a national home that would not compromise the civil rights of the Arab population, but it did not promise the establishment of a free state whose formation would affect the rights they sought to protect.
Seizing more than one half of the territory and placing thousands of Arabs under Jewish rule in a situation as subordinates when they had once been owners was compromising the rights of non-Jews in Palestine.

Why have the people of Palestine not been consulted via democratic means to know the will of all the people of Palestine ? Is it because the results of such a consultation would be contrary to what one wants done? If that is the case where are our democratic principles that we are constantly invoking?
The partition of Palestine implies the establishment of the principle that all minorities racial or any other type can separate itself from the political community of which it is already a part.

Cuba ran the danger of losing part of its territory due to US citizens immigrating to the Isle of Pines . Thanks to good fortune on our part and the honor of the US government that effort failed because notably the leaders of the US recognized our rights. But we cannot forget that danger and how we would have felt had part of our territory been taken. It is difficult to imagine how the Arabs of Palestine will feel if the plan of partition is approved, and we cannot contribute with our vote that which we would not like done to us to be done to them.

Do not tell us that sometimes one must accept a political solution that is unjust because peace can never be built upon an injustice or cordiality between nations.

We respect the Jewish and non-Jewish refugees that today find themselves in concentration camps. Cuba has expressed that this problem can be solved with the goodwill of all nations. Together, accepting proportionally, according to the conditions of each country; but that Palestine , who was not responsible for the causes that led to this crisis, should not solely resolve.
Cuba during the Autentico period (1944-1952) had been involved in interventions in the Dominican Republic to combat the Trujillo dictatorship although it was a pro-US dictatorship at the time.

United States had not been consulted about Batista's March 10,1952 Coup d'etat.
In a Memorandum of Conversation, by the Ambassador in Cuba (Beaulac) with Dr. Miguel Angel de la Campa, Minister of State datelined Habana, March 22, 1952 and marked secret The American Ambassador indicated that according to Dr. Campa, “ Cuba intended to restore normal relations with countries toward which the former Cuban Government had had an attitude of hostility. He mentioned Spain and the Dominican Republic in particular. He said he thought the United States should recognize promptly; that it was in our interest that the situation should develop in an orderly way. I reminded Dr. Campa that our Government had not been consulted about the coup d'etat and that Cuba could not expect automatic recognition from us.” 12. Earlier in the same communication he raised the issue that he “had been particularly worried about the interventions in which Cuba , together with Guatemala and other countries, had engaged. He said that the kind of government the Dominicans had, for example, was no business of Cuba's, and Cuba had pledged itself not to intervene in the Dominican Republic; but it had intervened, nevertheless.” 13.

Dr. Carlos Prio Socarras, the last democratically elected President of Cuba (1948-52), and eight other Cubans were indicted on February 13, 1958 for conspiring to set up a well-financed military expedition to attack Cuba. Dr. Prio and the others were charged with conspiring to violate the neutrality laws of the United States . A Federal grand jury said they had “conspired to begin and set foot on, and to provide and prepare the means for, and take part in, military expeditions and enterprises to be carried on from the United States against the Republic of Cuba .” At the request of United States Attorney Paul W. Williams, Federal Judge Edward Weinfeld issued bench warrants for the arrest of all the defendants. In 1954 Dr. Prio was indicted with seventeen other persons on charges stemming from the purchase and exportation of arms to Cuba . He did not contest the charges, but pleaded nolo contendere and was fined $9,000. In Miami yesterday, Dr. Prio said the new indictment “should be a great comfort for dictatorships in Latin America , particularly for Batista, an enemy of all democratic governments.” 14. On February 14, 1958 Dr. Carlos Prio Socarras, former President of Cuba, chose to become a prisoner in Miami yesterday because three men indicted with him for revolutionary activities against Cuba were unable to raise bail. 15.

7. Myth: Cuba 's healthcare system is universal and egalitarian for all Cubans  
Reality: According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Cuban Government currently devotes a smaller percentage of its budget for health care than such regional countries as Nicaragua , Argentina , Venezuela , Chile and Costa Rica . PAHO finds that Cuba in terms of per capita expenditures on healthcare is behind such regional countries as Argentina, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Chile, Costa Rica, and Jamaica . 16.

E.26.0.0-Annual national health expenditure as a proportion of the GDP [%]
Last Data
Available Country Health Expenditure
1999 Nicaragua 9.16
2000 Argentina 9.10
1999 Costa Rica 9.07
2000 Venezuela 8.77
2000 Chile 7.13
1997 Cuba 6.68
1998 Dominican Republic 6.51
1994 Puerto Rico 6.04
1998 Bahamas 5.14
2000 Jamaica 4.92

E.25.0.0-Annual national health expenditure per capita (current US$) [$ per capita]
Last Data
Available Country Health Expenditure
2000 Argentina 697.00
1998 Bahamas 664.00
1992 Puerto Rico 605.03
2000 Venezuela 437.00
2000 Chile 331.00
1999 Costa Rica 285.00
2000 Jamaica 140.00
1997 Cuba 139.00
1998 Dominican Republic 112.00
1999 Nicaragua 43.00

Health Care in Cuba : "Medical Apartheid" and Health Tourism
Cuba's growing health tourism effort has roused bitter reproach from the nation's critics, who accuse the regime of President Fidel Castro of creating an apartheid system of health care, in which foreigners--and Cuban party elite--get top-class service while average Cubans must make do with dilapidated facilities, outdated equipment and meagerly stocked pharmacies. 17. These greatly contrast with Cuban elite hospitals promoted by "health tourism" enterprises such as SERVIMED. 18.
Hilda Molina, one of Cuba 's most noted scientists, founder and a former director of Havana 's International Center for Neurological Restoration broke with the regime and resigned from her high-level position and also as a member of Cuba 's National Assembly to protest the system of medical apartheid. In a lengthy document smuggled out of Cuba after her resignation, Dr. Molina describes a campaign by Cuba to present itself as a "medical superpower" attractive to foreign patients looking for bargain-basement health care. Instead, she writes, these patients have often found themselves subject to substandard, sometimes fraudulent medical care: "The lack of adequate professional qualifications, the absence of medical ethics, and the drive toward financial enrichment characterize Cuba 's medical system and often yield unfortunate results." According to Dr. Molina, "Foreign patients are routinely inadequately or falsely informed about their medical conditions to increase their medical bills or to hide the fact that Cuba often advertises medical services it is unable to provide." 19. Cuba's struggling economy has been boosted by the successful export of its medical technology abroad, and by health tourism within the country. In 2003 the medical sector ranked sixth in terms of exports and services generating $250 million a year in 2002. Health Tourism, with a number of specialist hospitals, clinics, health spas and resorts catering to foreign visitors in 2002 more than 5000 foreign patients traveled to Cuba for a wide range of treatments including eye-surgery, neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease and orthopedics (November, Economy) 20.

8. Myth: Forced Child labor does not exist in Castro's Cuba
Reality: Under the Labor Code stated in the 1997 Human Rights Report, fifteen and sixteen year old Cuban children receive training towards a job or can cover for absentees during a shortage of workers. This code also states that Cuban students over the age of eleven must devote between thirty and forty five days of their summer break to working on a farm. 21. However, they are limited to a maximum of eight hours a day. It is mandatory that Cuban children attend school until the ninth grade. This law is obeyed for the most part amongst Cuban children. 22. The typical Cuban childhood: become a Pioneer, work in the fields, learn how to shoot and clean a gun and march. 23.

9. Myth: Castro's revolution increased food availability for Cubans.
False: Cuba in 1948-49 had per capita food consumption at 2,730 calories per day placing it third in the UN FAO Yearbook among 11 other Latin American Countries. Data for 1995-97 placed Cuba ninth among the same 11 countries. Cuba had the dubious distinction of being one of three nations that had a reduction in food consumption the other two were Uruguay (5.5 %) and Paraguay (4.5%). Cuba had the greatest reduction in caloric intake at (11.5%).

  1954-57 1995-97 % INCREASE
MEXICO 2,420 3,108 28.4
ARGENTINA 3,100 3,113 0.4
BRAZIL 2,540 2,933 15.5
URUGUAY 2,960 2,796 -5.5
CHILE 2,330 2,774 19.1
COLOMBIA 2,050 2,591 26.4
PARAGUAY 2,690 2,570 -4.5
VENEZUELA 1,960 2,388 21.8
ECUADOR 2,130 2,660 24.9
HONDURAS 2,260 2,366 4.7
CUBA (A) 2,730 2,417 -11.5
(A) - FOR 1948-49.

10. Myth: Fidel Castro claims that "The Cuban successes [in sports] are not due to the superiority of our athletes, but due to the fact that the country has a socialist revolution, a superior regime." 24.
Reality: The Cuban success in sports predates the socialist dictatorship. Cubans were pioneers inbaseball, boxing, and won medals in the Olympics prior to Castro. Cuba 's first great baseball figures were Esteban Bellan and Emilio Sabourín . Bellan, a black Cuban, had such a gift for baseball that he was able to travel to America and play third base for the Troy Haymakers in 1871, the first year of the old National Association, baseball's first professional league. Sabourin organized Cuba 's first professional baseball league in 1878 and ardently promoted sport throughout Cuba . Sabourin funneled money he made from baseball into the hands of revolutionaries among them José Martí . Sabourín died in 1897 in the Spanish fortress Castillo del Hacha.

Following independence Cuba prior to 1959 had an impressive number of baseball players in the Major Leagues as well as thriving leagues on the island. Boxing was already an established sport with fighters of world caliber. There are five Cuban-born fighters enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota , New York -- Kid Chocolate, Kid Gavilan, Luis Rodriguez, Ultimino Ramos and Jose Napoles. The top three are generally considered Chocolate, Gavilan and Rodriguez.

Former lightweight Frankie Otero says because Cubans were fighting all over the world, they had incorporated moves from New York , Miami , Philadelphia and Mexico in their Cuban brand of boxing. "But the one thing we always had was the attitude that Cubans never quit," he said. "That was the big thing. We had this pride. Yes, our country was under a dictatorship and things aren't good there, but Cubans had this attitude that it was us against the world."

Hall of Famer Emile Griffith tested the best of the Cubans, winning three of four from Rodriguez, two of three from Benny Paret, decisioning Isaac Logart, Florentino Fernandez and Jose Stable as well as being stopped by Napoles. Griffith 's trainer Gil Clancy offers this assessment. "Other than all of them being very good fighters, they didn't really have common characterstics," he said. "Luis Rodriguez was the best and Florentino Fernandez was the most the dangerous. Rodriguez knew how to use the clock. He knew how to win rounds. He was a busy fighter. He was a very good boxer but not as good a puncher as Fernandez. Fernandez could knock out a horse."

A look at some notable Cuban fighters:

Kid Chocolate: Cuba 's first world champion ... world junior lightweight champion 1931 ... Fought the best of his era: Al Singer, Fidel LaBarba, Tony Canzoneri, Jackie "Kid" Berg, Benny Bass. Black Bill (Eladio Valdes): stablemate of Kid Chocolate ... lost to Midget Wolgast for the vacant flyweight title in 1930 ... beat world champ Corp. Izzy Schwartz three times. Kid Tunero (Evalio Mustelier): middleweight who beat Ezzard Charles in 1942 ... also beat champs Anton Christoforidis and Ken Overlin

Kid Gavilan: welterweight champ … elected to boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 … beat fellow hall-of-famers Billy Graham, Ike Williams, Beau Jack and Carmen Basilio … lost to Sugar Ray Robinson twice. Nino Valdes: turned pro 1941... heavyweight contender who beat Ezzard Charles in 1953 … Lost decisions to Harold Johnson and Archie Moore … Was knocked out by Sonny Liston. Isaac Logart: turned pro 1949 ... No. 1 rated welterweight ... Beat Virgil Akins, Gil Turner, Gasper Ortega, Joe Miceli ... Fought Griffith and Benvenuti. Angel "Robinson" Garcia: turned pro 1955 ... journeyman who fought in 21 countries ... 225 fights ... fought Eddie Perkins, Ismael Laguna, Roberto Duran, Esteban DeJesus and Wilfred Benitez. Orlando Zulueta: fought from 1946-1962 ... lightweight and junior lightweight contender ... Lost junior lightweight title fight to Sandy Saddler in 1949 and lightweight title bout to Joe Brown in 1957 ... Beat Don Jordan, Jimmy Carter and Paddy DeMarco. Benny "Kid" Paret: turned pro 1955 ... welter champ 1960 … Challenged Fullmer for middleweight title and was knocked out … Beat Don Jordan, Federico Thompson and Emile Griffith Florentino Fernandez: turned pro 1956 ... beat Paddy DeMarco, Ralph Dupas, Gasper Ortega and Jose Torres … Lost split decision to Gene Fullmer in 1961 middleweight title fight.

Luis Rodriguez: turned pro 1956 ... welter champ 1963 … Beat Virgil Akins, Emile Griffith, Denny Moyer, Hurricane Carter, George Benton ... Challenged Nino Benvenuti for middleweight title ... Inducted into Hall of Fame 1997.

Ultimino Sugar Ramos : turned pro 1957 ... fought out of Mexico ... won featherweight title 1963 ... Fought Vicente Saldivar and Carlos Ortiz twice … Elected to Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001 Doug Vaillant: turned pro 1957 ... lost 1963 lightweight title fight to Carlos Ortiz ... Beat Len Matthews, Dave Charnley and drew with Carlos Hernandez Jose "Mantequilla" Napoles : Turned pro 1958 ... fought out of Mexico ... welter champ 1969 & 1971 ... Beat Curtis Cokes, Emile Griffith, Hedgemon Lewis, Ernie Lopez ... Inducted into Hall of Fame, 1990. Jose Stable: turned pro 1959 ... Lost decision to Griffith in 1965 title bout ... Beat Curtis Cokes, Billy Collins, Stan "Kitten Hayward, Kenny Lane Jose Legra: turned pro 1960 ... fought out of Spain ... won featherweight title 1968 & 1972 ... fought Rafiu King, Howard Winstone, Johnny Famechon, Vicente Saldivar, Eder Jofre, Alexis Arguello. Frankie Otero: turned pro 1968 ...North American junior lightweight champ ... Twice fought Ken Buchanan. When the debate over Cuba 's best fighter is waged among modern boxing experts, it centers around Gavilan and Luis Rodriguez, who won the welterweight title in 1963.

Joe Miceli is one of three men to have fought Gavilan and Rodriguez, dropping a split decision to Gavilan at Madison Square Garden in 1950 and getting stopped by Rodriguez in Havana in 1959. "I didn't know much about Rodriguez when we fought," said Miceli. "He was a slick boxer and he went on to be champion. But Gavilan was great. He was a real showman. He was very cute in the ring. The crowd liked him. He did things in the ring long before Muhammad Ali." It would be Rodriguez, however, who had an important affect on Ali at the Fifth Street Gym. "Luis was very fond of Muhammad and vice versa," said historian Hank Kaplan. "Even though Luis was a welterweight, they occasionally sparred. Muhammad always studied Luis in the gym. There is no question that Muhammad incorporated some of what he saw in Luis into his own repertoire." 25.

Cuba won medals in the Olympics of 1900, 1904, 1948 before the arrival of the Castro regime. During the sixty years when black baseball players were banned from America 's major leagues, blacks and whites competed freely in Cuba . Many of the greatest interracial games of the era took place in Havana, rather than in Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, pitting Ty Cobb against John Henry Lloyd, and Carl Hubbell against Luis Tiant, Sr. The Cubans proved that the game could be integrated and ultimately played a role in breaking the American "color line" by providing the Brooklyn Dodgers with a place where they could bring Jackie Robinson to spring training in 1947. The Great Stadium of Havana, now the Latin American Stadium, was inaugurated on 1946 in the municipality of "Cerro", with a seating capacity for 35 000 spectators. Today the Latin American Stadium holds 55 000 spectators. The Havana Cubans, of the Florida International League started playing at this ground.

Championships of the Cuban Baseball league encouraged the development of pro and amateur baseball in Cuba , they welcomed also players from the Big Leagues and other outstanding celebrities of national baseball of that time. Excelling players from the 1940s and 1950s were: Conrado Marrero, Jose de la Caridad Mendez, Martin Dihigo, Adolfo Luque, Alejandro Oms, Cristobal Torriente, Napoleon Reyes, Andres Fleitas, Roberto Ortiz, Avelino Canizares, Agapito Mayor, Fermin Guerra, Willie Miranda, Juan Ealo and Orestes Minozo . 26. The Cubans that American baseball fans remember are members of the last group to arrive on these shores, in the early 1960s: the Twins' Tony Oliva and Zoilo Versalles; Tony Perez, of the Reds; Oriole ace Mike Cuellar; Luis Tiant, of the Red Sox; and Bert Campanaris, of the Oakland A's. During their prime years members of this group won virtually every offensive and defensive award available to major-league players -- Rookie of the Year, Golden Glove, Batting Champion, Most Valuable Player, the Cy Young award -- but few followed them after the Cuban Revolution. 27. By 1984 only Tony Perez remained in the big leagues, and the Cuban presence in American baseball was at its lowest point of the century. The reality that Cuba 's victories during the Castro era were obtained at high cost to the players and their families are exemplified with the case of the brothers Livan and Orlando``El Duque '' Hernandez. El Duque was Cuba 's best starting pitcher before the 1996 Olympic Games at Atlanta . However, because Livan defected in 1995, Cuban sports authorities removed Orlando from the team that eventually won the gold medal. The authorities' explanation was that Orlando had an elbow injury, but Livan and other sources on the team disputed that. Cuban authorities later banned Orlando from sports for life. El Duque and seven others -- including the catcher for Cuba 's 1996 Olympic team, Alberto Hernandez (not related to Orlando or Livan); Orlando 's wife, Noris Bosch; Orlando 's cousin, Joel Pedroso; and four people not immediately identified -- were spotted on Anguilla Cay near Cay Sal they had arrived there by raft. 28.

11 . Myth: All opposition activity was controlled by the CIA and composed of displaced members of the upper class.
Reality: The "pueblos cautivos" were created by the Cuban authorities with the purpose of maintaining under control and far from their province of origin the thousands of peasants who collaborated with the armed resistance movement (branded as "bandits" by the government) that arose between years 1960-65 on the mountainous region of the Escambray. The eviction and relocation of these families began in 1970 and it did not stop until 1985, with the deportation of the last household. To this day, these farmers and their descendants are forbidden to leave. 29. This armed resistance was not sponsored or controlled by the CIA. Opposition to the Castro dictatorship has often gone on despite the opposition of the U.S. government and its active collaboration with the Cuban dictatorship at times to frustrate exile plans. Contacts between US and Cuba intelligence agencies have been taking place relatively frequently, and following the collapse of the Soviet bloc increased to two or three times a year. ... “Fidel Castro confirmed the existence of such links in 1998 when he told U.S. newspaper executives in Havana that his security agents had given the FBI and CIA information” on Cuban exiles. 30.

Information provided by Cuban intelligence agencies was used by U.S. officials to indict Cuban exiles involved in anti-Castro conspiracies. Ramon Saul Sanchez sentenced in New York on May 7, 1984 to 9 years for failure to testify before a Federal grand jury and served four and half years of that sentence. There have been a number of incidents were non-violent opposition to the Castro regime has met with confiscations of property and detention. Ramon Saul Sanchez in the midst of a five-day hunger strike outside the Cuban Interests office in Washington was arrested by the U.S. Secret Service and charged with disorderly conduct. He was protesting the refusal of Fidel Castro's communist government to grant him a visa to visit Cuba after 32 years. 31. In the ten years since Ramon Saul was released from prison, he has employed an increasingly aggressive strategy of civil disobedience. In 1988 he formed a group called the National Cuban Commission, which initially started out organizing rallies and protests in Little Havana. By 1995, in protest of Clinton 's policies toward Cuba , he led an effort to block toll plazas and tie up traffic. Later that year, on July 13, the National Cuban Commission organized an expedition into Cuban territorial waters. As Sanchez and others tossed flowers into the water, Cuban gunboats closed in on the fishing boat Democracia, ramming it several times and forcing it to return to the United States . Sanchez immediately renamed his organization Movimiento Democracia. Seeking to ease rather than exacerbate tensions with Cuba , federal authorities in December of this past year impounded one of the group's boats. Early in 1999 Sanchez went on a hunger strike to pressure the United States to return the vessel. U.S. officials obliged, but only after extracting a promise from Sanchez that the boat would not leave U.S. territorial waters until a judge could decide whether the federal government overstepped its authority by seizing the craft. 32.

(1) United States Census Bureau. Foreign Trade: Trade in Goods with Cuba
(2) Transnational Communities Programme Cuba : Papal visit followed by lifting of restrictions on flights and remittances
(3) Llerena, Mario. The Unsuspected Revolution: The Birth and Rise of Castroism . Cornell University Press. Ithaca and London . 1978. pg 51
(4) Alvarez Díaz, José R. “A Study on Cuba .” Cuban Economic Research Project. Coral Gables : University of Miami Press, 1965,438-441
(5) González, Edward , Cuba Under Castro: The Limits of Charisma Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1974. 16-17.
(6)Matthews, Herbert L. “Rebel Strength Gaining in Cuba but Batista has the Upper Hand,” The New York Times, 25 February 1957 .
(7) Alvarez Díaz, José R. “A Study on Cuba .” Cuban Economic Research Project. Coral Gables : University of Miami Press, 1965. pg 426-427.
(8) H.M. Enzenburger, Raids and Reconstructions, London , 1976, p.200.
(9) Sam Dolgoff The Cuban Revolution: A Critical Perspective (Chapter 7 The Batista Era) Montreal : Black Rose Books (link)
(11)Dr. Ernesto Dihigo LA CUESTION DE PALESTINA 28 de Noviembre de 1947
(14) Edward Ranzal “ U.S. Indicts Prio As Cuban Plotter Ex-President and 8 Others Said to Prepare Attack ” The New York Times 2/14/58 Pg 1
(15) Edward Ranzal “ Dr. Prio and 3 Jailed: Cuban Ex-President Joins Men Who Can't Raise Bail” The New York Times. February 15, 1958
(16)Pan American Health Organization, Health Analysis and Information Systems Area. Regional Core Health Data Initiative; Technical Health Information System. Washington DC , 2003.
(17)Goering, Laurie “Promise of cures lures tourists to Cuba ” Chicago Tribune April 30, 2001
(19)16 Calzon, Frank “Want a Radical Face Lift? Try Revolutionary Cuba ” The Wall Street Journal January 21, 2000
(20) Chronicle on Cuba : Summary of News Items Reported on Cuba January-December, 2003 Summaries/Economy.pdf
(21) Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Cuba - 2000
February 23, 2001 .
(22) Lauren Clark, Jenn Hamm, Julia Hitchings, and Sandi Yarow. “Children in Cuba ” 1998. Tulane University
(23) Ocaña, Damarys “'Study, work, rifle' Cuba 's educational system presses revolutionary message along with ABC's” The Miami Herald August 6, 2000 .
(24) FIDEL CASTRO ADDRESSES CUBAN ATHLETES ON BRAZIL GAMES .Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 1902 GMT 1 May 74 F (25) Robert Cassidy History of Cuban Boxing Part 1: The Last Generation of Pro Fighters
(27)Bruce Brown “Cuban Baseball” The Atlantic Monthly ; June 1984 Volume 253, No. 6: pages 109-114
(28) Javier Mota & Cynthia Corzo “ Brother follows Livan's lead, flees Cuba ” The Miami Herald December 31, 1997 . (29) Víctor Rolando Arroyo. “Low-income dining facility condemned” UPECI / November 14, 2002
(30) Juan O. Tomayo “U.S.-Cuba spy agency contacts began a decade ago” The Miami Herald October 31, 1998
(31) Reuters “Anti-Castro hunger striker arrested in Washington ” Reuters . November 8, 1999 .
(32) DeFede, Jim “Leadership Abhors a Vacuum” The Miami New Times July 22, 1999

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