Friday, November 30, 2018

Free Eduardo Cardet: Prisoner of conscience marks two years (731 days) unjustly imprisoned in Cuba

"The oppressor dies and he is forgotten, the free man is jailed and he is mentioned everywhere." - Waleed Abu al-Khair


Eduardo Cardet Concepción marks two years in prison today in Cuba.  Eduardo is a medical doctor, a husband, and a father of two small children. He is widely respected in his community. He is a person of impeccable moral character. Despite all of this, he was beaten up and arrested in front of his wife and children on November 30, 2016. He has spent 731 days in captivity, continued to suffer beatings in prison, and was repeatedly stabbed with a sharp object. Both he and his family have been additionally punished, and visits and calls denied for months at a time.
In March of 2017 he was sentenced to three years in prison, and Amnesty International recognized him as a prisoner of conscience.

The Spanish Senate, members of Congress, international human rights gatherings, civil society and the Christian Liberation Movement have called for his immediate release.

The obvious question that arises is what did this good man and his family do to receive all this punishment?

The answer is simple, but hard to believe if one does not understand the nature of the government in Cuba.


Eduardo Cardet in addition to everything outlined in the second and third sentence of the first paragraph of this essay is also a democrat, a human rights defender, and speaks his mind openly. Because of this he had been a victim of regime harassment in the past.

Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016 while Cardet was outside of Cuba. He was interviewed by international media and gave a frank assessment of Fidel Castro's political legacy and said that there was nothing positive.

Refusing to mourn Fidel Castro's death is punishable by prison in Cuba, and offering a nonviolent political alternative to the existing system is grounds for a prolonged prison sentence.

This is why Eduardo Cardet Concepción is a prisoner of conscience who has observed his 49th and 50th birthdays in a Cuban prison.

Let us make sure that this innocent man's name is mentioned everywhere.

#FreeCardet





Thursday, November 29, 2018

Cuban prisoner of conscience Eduardo Cardet will mark two years of unearned suffering in prison tomorrow

"I have lived these last few years with the conviction that unearned suffering is redemptive." - Martin Luther King Jr.,  Suffering and Faith,"April 27, 1960

Jailed Cuban pro-democracy leader Eduardo Cardet
Eduardo Cardet is a Cuban prisoner of conscience and the Christian Liberation Movement's imprisoned leader. November 30, 2018 will mark two years in prison. He doesn't belong there. He is an innocent man. Amnesty International has recognized him as a prisoner of conscience. He is jailed for speaking his mind and advocating for an end to dictatorship and the restoration of democracy in Cuba. He has been beaten and arrested by the secret police in front of his wife and two young children. He has been subjected to a political show trial. He has been denied family visits in order to attempt to silence his families protestations demanding his freedom. He has been attacked and stabbed in prison, and nearly died.

Wife and husband: Yaimaris Vecino and Eduardo Cardet
 Imagine for a moment two years in prison. 730 days passing by in a cell, surrounded by those who wish to do you harm.  17,520 hours to ponder the nature of the government that has imprisoned you. 1,051,200 minutes to feel the absence of family and friends. 63,072.000 seconds that have passed and will never be regained separated from your wife and children.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. observed in 1960 that "unearned suffering is redemptive." This observation is not a cliche but a profound insight that should be placed into fuller context.
My personal trials have also taught me the value of unmerited suffering. As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways that I could respond to my situation: either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course. Recognizing the necessity for suffering I have tried to make of it a virtue. If only to save myself from bitterness, I have attempted to see my personal ordeals as an opportunity to transform myself and heal the people involved in the tragic situation which now obtains. I have lived these last few years with the conviction that unearned suffering is redemptive.
There are some who still find the cross a stumbling block, and others consider it foolishness, but I am more convinced than ever before that it is the power of God unto social and individual salvation. So like the Apostle Paul I can now humbly yet proudly say, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”
Eduardo Cardet is also a Christian man of faith, and he too understands the "scandal of the cross" cited by St. Paul. It is the ultimate example of unearned suffering which is Jesus being without sin crucified to redeem the world.

Eduardo Cardet's children received Patmos award for their dad.
The struggle for human freedom and dignity is not just a physical but a moral and spiritual struggle as well. It would be well for activists to remember this as we observe this unjust anniversary visited on the Cardet family.




Sunday, November 25, 2018

Artistic expression under attack in Cuba: Decree 349, the Cuban Constitution and imprisoned artists

Repression against artists worsens.


Cuban artists against Decree 349 | Photo © Facebook / Luis Manuel Otero
Two Cuban rappers, jailed separately for opposing an unpopular new law, have gone on hunger strike to protest their unjust imprisonment. Cuba's constitutional "reform" has managed, for the most part, to make changes that will worsen an already bad human rights situation and new laws already passed that reflect a more hostile environment for artists. This has led to artists campaigning against the measure.


Rappers protesting Decree 349, a new Cuban law that censors the arts 
Lazaro Rodriquez Betancourt “Pupito en Sy” was arrested on November 12, 2018. He has been active in the campaign against Decree 349.  He is being held at the police station Zanja and Dragones and is accused of “assault.” He was walking down the street when the police began to harass him, beat him up and took him. His sister Aimara went to see him and found that he is neither eating food or drinking water, and that he is urinating blood, but refuses medical assistance due to the violent beating by police. 

Poet and musician Amaury Pacheco denounced the arrest and believes that it is a consequence of Lazaro's support for artists participating in the campaign against Decree 349. There have been others.


Rapper Maykel Castillo Pérez, "El Osokbo" unjustly jailed
In September of 2018 rapper Maykel Castillo Pérez, "El Osokbo" protested against Decree 349/2018 during a show. Three days after the concert, he was detained, and a case alleging that the artist committed assault against the police re-opened.  On November 15th Maykel sewed his mouth shut and began a hunger strike demanding he be freed.

This is not the first time that he has been the victim of a politically motivated prosecution. On January 28, 2015, Maykel Castillo Pérez was sentenced to a year in prison in Havana. He was targeted for having used music to express his dissenting political opinions. He was charged with the Orwellian crime  ‘peligrosidad predelictiva’ (‘pre-crime dangerousness’), which is used to imprison dissidents. His defense attorney told a reporter from Diario de Cuba that prosecutors wanted the judge to sentence him to five years. He once described his musical style as that of someone who “doesn’t make concessions with a system full of liars.”

The draft of the new Constitution's Article 95.h states that it protects artistic expression, but only when "its content respects the values of Cuban socialist society" which keeps the door open to more censorship.  Decree 349, signed into law earlier in 2018, further censors artistic expression and according to Cuban artists Tania Bruguera, Coco Fusco, Enrique Risco, Yanelys Nuñez  and human rights defender Laritza Diversent in an open letter restricts "the creativity of the Cuban people and criminalizes independently produced art, limiting the ability to determine who can be an artist to a state institution." Amnesty International issued a report that described this new law as "dystopian."

Amnesty International in their November 21st analysis, "10 ways reforms to Cuba’s Constitution would impact human rights," makes the case that what "appears to strengthen a host of human rights protections ... quickly limits them to what is already found in national laws." Undue restrictions on freedom of expression and online censorship continues along with "undue restrictions on freedom of assembly, demonstration and association." 


Below is a music video by Maykel Castillo Pérez from 2015

Friday, November 23, 2018

Not mourning the death of Fidel Castro is punishable by prison, beatings and death in Cuba.

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro is still dead. With apologies to Chevy Chase and Saturday Night Live


Fidel Castro's gone but when will the dictatorship he created follow him?
Two years ago, on a Black Friday that fell on November 25, 2016, Cuban tyrant Fidel Castro died at the age of 90 never having had to answer for his many crimes against humanity both in and out of Cuba. From Nicaragua, to Ethiopia, to Venezuela, and in many other places the Castro regime assisted tyrants and dictators to hold on to and consolidate their power.  One day later in a blog post I predicted what would come next. 
"Predictably over the next few weeks inside Cuba the world will see spectacles organized by the totalitarian dictatorship to "mourn the great leader." The regime has already started with nine days set aside for official mourning. This will not be the first time that monsters are mourned by an oppressed people through different methods of command, control and manipulation. The world has witnessed it before in the Soviet Union in 1953 and more recently in North Korea with the Kim dynasty. The death of Stalin as dramatized in the film "The Inner Circle" is recommended viewing for those about to follow the circus in Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro's death.  Meanwhile in Cuba as the regime prepares its state funeral the Castro dictatorship's secret police begin to make threats, round up and take dissidents to undisclosed location and commit acts of violence." 
 The two year mark will be reached in two days, but the record is already evident for those willing to look with a critical eye. When Fidel Castro's death was announced mourning was obligatory, and failure to do so had serious consequences.

Some were jailed for refusing to mourn the Cuban dictator's death but were released from prison over the course of 2017. Others remain jailed.


Cuban family arrested for not mourning death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
An entire family in Holguin made up of Maydolis Leyva Portelles and her children: Fidel Batista Leyva, and twins Adairis and Anairis Miranda Leyva, were arrested for "defamation of martyrs of the homeland" because they refused to mourn the dictator.  Amnesty International recognized them as prisoners of conscience and when they were released in April 2017 following a prolonged hunger strike they continue to be harassed by State Security.

Darío Pérez Rodríguez, who refused to watch the funeral ceremony on television saying that they disgusted him, was released in October 2017. Luis Andrés Domínguez Sardiñas was arrested on November 27, 2016 and accused of celebrating Fidel Castro's death, and advocating that Raul Castro be gotten rid of as well. 


Eduardo Cardet Concepción, a Cuban physician,  human rights defender, and national coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) gave a critical assessment of Fidel Castro's rule to the international press following the dictator's death. He returned home to Cuba, and was beaten up by the secret police in front of his wife and two children. Cardet was beaten up again in prison, subjected to a political show trial and sentenced to three years in prison. He was stabbed with a sharp object repeatedly, and denied family visits because they were campaigning for his release. One week from today, on November 30th will mark two years that he has been unjustly jailed.

In at least one case celebrating the death of Castro proved a death sentence. Prisoner Hermenegildo Duvergel was badly beaten by prison guards for celebrating the death of Castro on the day the dictator died. The beating was so severe that they broke his ribs, and did not give him medical assistance. He died from the injuries caused by the beating.

Taking the above reality into account, and previous historical examples with the death of another tyrannical monster, Josef Stalin, the scenes from Cuba should not have come as a surprise. However, the actions by some in the international community and democratic heads of state was shocking.

Photo taken by Cuban Mission to the UN during moment of silence for Castro
On December 1, 2016 at the United Nations General Assembly held a moment of silence for Fidel Castro in New York City. Five days later on December 6, 2016 the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Switzerland held another moment of silence for the tyrant ignoring the dictator's terrible human rights record. Two weeks later on December 20, 2016 the General Assembly of the United Nations once again paid tribute to the dead autocrat. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, issued an official statement upon Castro's death, repeating the regime's propaganda talking points to justify five decades of authoritarian rule claiming Castro as “a legendary revolutionary and orator" who "made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation." 


This not only ignores the dismal human rights record in Cuba, but also the unpleasant fact that Cuban education has been destroyed under the Castro regime with deteriorating schools, ideology prioritized over education, and poorly trained teachers.  


With regards to healthcare in the island nation. There is a health care system which is decent, but it is for regime elites in good favor and tourists with hard currency.  The other, the one for everyday Cubans is a disaster. There have been outbreaks of cholera and dengue which points to failures in the public health system



Praising Castroism while ignoring the ruins the regime created in Cuba and successfully spread to Venezuela is a dangerous conceit that may come back to haunt these apologists, if they believe the regime's lies and try to implement their models of education and healthcare.

Spain's socialist prime minister today failed to speak out publicly for Cuban prisoner of conscience Eduardo Cardet, but pledged to pour money into the Cuban dictatorship that will strengthen the military and police state. 


Fidel Castro's regime lives on and so do the useful idiots that continue to underwrite it.



Monday, November 19, 2018

The fruits of impunity: Canadian and American diplomats seriously harmed in Cuba

"The greatest incitement to guilt is the hope of sinning with impunity."- Cicero

Canada's embassy in Havana, Cuba. 
Canadian diplomats who were stationed in Cuba suffered permanent harm, including brain injuries and are complaining that they have been abandoned by Ottawa.  A dozen embassy staff and their family members, including eight adults and four children were harmed. According to The Globe and Mail this represents a third of the embassy staff. 

Twenty-five US embassy workers in Cuba were affected by mysterious health incidents that began in the autumn of 2016 along with their Canadian counterparts.

There is a question if the Castro regime is behind the attacks, but there is no question that the Cuban government is supposed to guarantee the safety of diplomats on their territory. They have failed, and with their elaborate secret police network, their claim of ignorance as to what is taking place is met with skepticism. 

Over the past decade the Cuban government has not been held accountable before an international human rights body since the independent human rights expert on Cuba was removed in a Faustian deal to "save" the UN Human Rights Council in 2007.

Since then the human rights situation in Cuba has worsened and the dictatorship acts with impunity. Opposition dissident leaders have been murdered.

Now diplomats at two embassies have suffered serious injuries, and Cuban diplomats organized an act of repudiation at the United Nations to shut down a parallel event organized by United States diplomats.




Friday, November 16, 2018

Communist Khmer Rouge leaders found guilty of genocide today: 2 million killed in 3 years and 2 months

We will burn the old grass and the new will grow.” - Pol Pot, leader of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge (1975 - 1979)
Communist Khmer Rouge leaders guilty of genocide
Earlier today in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge's former head of state Khieu Samphan, 87, and "Brother Number 2" Nuon Chea, 92, the two most senior living members of the Maoist group that seized control of Cambodia from April 17, 1975-January 7, 1979, were found guilty of genocide by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).
The Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, killed two million Cambodians from overwork, starvation and mass executions over the course of three years and two months in power. They were also guilty of targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslim minority groups.
What took place in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge was a communist revolution that followed through on its program to its logical conclusion while many in the West looked the other way, or worse normalized them.
Khmer Rouge victims photographed and numbered prior to execution
There are two documentary films that you must see to gain a deeper understanding of what happened in Cambodia. One of them Enemies of the People was screened in 2010 at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York City. The other S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (French: S-21, la machine de mort Khmère rouge) was released in 2003. 

Both are works of art that transcend the confines of documentary film making to serve an important role in truth telling and national reconciliation. Members of the Khmer Rouge were placed on trial and the first verdicts were read out in July of  2010, but the verdict on their ideological project is still the subject of fierce dialogue and debate. Both these films can serve to not only inform but provide context into understanding revolution. 



The films compliment each other. Enemies of the People offers the perspective of the revolutionary leadership, their ideological vision, and how they applied it as government policy. While S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine documentary allows the viewer to see how that policy was implemented in day by day accounts by the prison guards and surviving prisoners.

Enemies of the People offers the perspective of the documentary's director Thet Sambath, a senior reporter for the Phnom Penh Post, and he is regarded as one of Cambodia’s best investigative journalists. On the other hand in S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine the director, Rithy Panh, is a lifelong filmmaker and a survivor of the Khmer Rouge camps who lost his parents, sister, and many other relatives to the genocide
Both films offer something I have never seen before in a documentary the voice of the individuals who committed the atrocities. In Enemies of the People the party’s ideological leader, Nuon Chea aka Brother Number Two – break a 30-year silence to give testimony never before heard or seen laying out what and why they did it, and in S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine it is the guards themselves walking through S-21 prison with one of their former captives describing in detail what was done there.



Enemies of the People was shown at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival on June 18, 2010 at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater in New York City. The film opened in New York City on July 30, 2010 at the Quad Cinema and was the winner of the 2010 Human Rights Watch Film Festival Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Film making.

The award is named after famed filmmaker Nestor Almendros who co-directed two important films about human rights in Cuba: Mauvaise conduite aka “Improper Conduct” (1984) about the persecution of gay people in Revolutionary Cuba and Nadie escuchaba(1987) aka "Nobody Listened"and both documentaries are available for viewing online. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Did the Drug Enforcement Agency train Castro agents in Cuba? Is this a good idea?

Journalist Tracey Eaton reported on his website that there is evidence that "Drug Enforcement Administration may have provided training to Cuban drug agents in 2017, records show. The DEA reported spending $752 on a course for two unidentified people in Cuba." 

This is not a good ideaConsider the following:

Jackson Diehl in The Washington Post reported on the Venezuela, FARC, Cuba trafficking axis on May 24, 2015 in the article "A drug cartel’s power in Venezuela": 
Ever since Colombian commandos captured the laptop of a leader of the FARC organization eight years ago, it’s been known that Chávez gave the Colombian narcoguerrillas sanctuary and allowed them to traffic cocaine from Venezuela to the United States with the help of the Venezuelan army. But not until a former Chávez bodyguard [ Leamsy Salazar] defected to the United States in January did the scale of what is called the “Cartel of the Suns ” start to become publicly known. [...]  
Diosdado Cabello target of the DEA with General Raul Castro and his Foreign Minister
 The day after Salazar’s arrival in Washington, Spain’s ABC newspaper published a detailed account of the emerging case against Cabello, and last month, ABC reporter Emili Blasco followed up with a book laying out the allegations of Salazar and other defectors, who say Cuba’s communist regime and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah have been cut in on the trafficking. That was followed by a lengthy report last week in the Wall Street Journal that said Cabello’s cartel had turned Venezuela into “a global hub for cocaine trafficking and money laundering.”
Agence France-Presse reported on July 12, 2017 that: Ermal Hoxha (age 42), the grandson of former Albanian communist dictator Enver Hoxha, was found guilty of belonging to a "criminal group involved in cocaine trafficking from Cuba through Albania to west European countries," the court statement said. The dictator's grandson was arrested in January 2015 and 264 pounds of cocaine were also confiscated.


Ermal Hoxha was smuggling cocaine out of Cuba
Panamanian police seizing more than 400 kilograms of cocaine in a Cuban ship on its way to Belgium in April of 2016


Cocaine shipment from Cuban ship hidden under molasses discovered in Panama
In a 1991 Frontline documentary, Cuba and Cocaine, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Jeff Karonis, stated, "We would observe in the middle of the day an air drop going on inside Cuban waters. The scenario would be for a small twin-engine airplane with maybe 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of cocaine to fly over Cuba, drop the drugs to a predesignated rendezvous point to several boats. Then it would exit back down off Cuba, and many times a Cuban military vessel would be in the immediate vicinity, right on scene with them.'' 


The Castro brothers began a purge of military and intelligence officers on June 17, 1989. One week later the Cuban government revealed that Fidel Castro's closest aides were involved in smuggling drugs to the United States. Why are the two connected? Because Fidel Castro had been mentioned in the Noriega indictment. National Security Council member Jacqueline Tillman followed Cuba for the Council from 1984 to 1988 said:
''The evidence of Cuban involvement in narcotics trafficking was becoming so abundant that the regime moved to protect Fidel Castro by dissociating him from those activities.''
Less than a month later on July 13, 1989 all the officials that could directly tie Fidel Castro to the Medellin Cartel and Manuel Noriega were executed by firing squad. Eleven top officials of the Ministry of the Interior were found guilty of drug trafficking and four were executed. The closest and most powerful of these aides was Colonel Tony de la Guardia. 

Patricio and Tony de la Guardia: twin brothers implicated in drug trafficking
His twin Patricio de la Guardia was not executed but imprisoned. Also among the imprisoned Jose Abrantes, another longtime aide, died of a heart attack behind bars in January of 1991. In addition to protecting the Castro brothers from possible prosecution this also served to consolidate the military's dominance over the Cuban intelligence service and with it the head of the military Raul Castro. 

General Arnaldo Ochoa executed in 1989 show trial.
In addition a popular general with victories under his belt in Angola and Ethiopia popular with the troops and flirting with ideas of perestroika, Arnaldo T. Ochoa Sanchez was also executed.


Partners in Crime: Manuel Noriega and Fidel Castro
In 1989, a federal grand jury indicted Robert Vesco for arranging safe passage for drug planes over Cuban airspace after obtaining approval from Cuban authorities. According to the 1989 indictment, Reinaldo Ruiz was allowed to land planes in Cuba to refuel after dropping drug cargo off the Cuban coast. Drug-smuggling motorboats would come from Florida to pick up the cargo, and Cuban Coast Guard radar monitored U.S. Coast Guard cutters to help the smugglers evade them.

During General Manuel Noriega's 1992 trial information emerged publicly implicating the Castro regime that Sun Sentinel reported at the time: 

"Federal prosecutors say Noriega traveled to Havana to ask [Fidel] Castro to mediate a potentially deadly dispute with top members of Colombia`s Medellin cocaine cartel. They say the cartel chiefs were upset because a major drug lab had been seized in Panama despite payment of millions of dollars in protection money to Noriega. According to the Noriega indictment, Castro negotiated a peace accord between the cartel and Noriega at the 1984 meeting. The allegation forms a cornerstone of the racketeering and drug trafficking charges against Noriega."
At the same time convicted cartel leader Carlos Lehder directly implicated Raul Castro and U.S. fugitive Robert Vesco "to route cocaine flights through Cuba." Capitol Hill Cubans blogged how two years later, a federal indictment listed General Raul Castro as part of a conspiracy that smuggled seven and a half tons of cocaine into the United States over a 10-year period but the Clinton administration overruled prosecutors

In 2014 Juan Reinaldo Sanchez who served as a bodyguard to Fidel Castro for 17 years published a book of memoirs "The Double Life of Fidel Castro." He passed away a year after releasing the book. In the book Reinaldo Sanchez described a meeting in 1988 between Fidel Castro and his Minister of the Interior, General José Abrantes in which Castro asked the recording equipment be turned off:
The interview seemed to go on forever . . . one hour went by, then two. And so, as much out of curiosity as to kill the time, I put on the listening headphones and turned Key No. 1 to hear what was being said on the other side of the wall. Their conversation centered on a Cuban lanchero (someone who smuggles drugs by boat) living in the United States, apparently conducting business with the government. And what business! Very simply, a huge drug-trafficking transaction was being carried out at the highest echelons of the state. Abrantes asked for Fidel’s authorization to bring this trafficker temporarily to Cuba as he wanted to have a week’s vacation in his native land, accompanied by his parents, in Santa María del Mar — a beach situated about 12 miles east of Havana where the water is turquoise and the sand as fine as flour. For this trip, explained Abrantes, the lanchero would pay $75,000 — which, at a time of economic recession, wouldn’t go amiss . . . Fidel was all for it.
Cuba was placed on the list of state sponsors of terrorism on March 1, 1982, less than three months after the US State Department confirmed that the Cuban government was using a narcotics ring to funnel both arms and cash to the Colombian M19 terrorist group then battling to overthrow Colombia’s democratic government.

The Castro regime has a long established record of deceit and should not be underestimated. Drugs are flooding into the United States at unprecedented levels fueling overdoses and an epidemic
endangering American lives. 


Monday, November 12, 2018

Boatload of Cubans intercepted and sent back to Cuba

The exodus from Cuba continues. 

Cuban refugees continue to flee the Castro regime.
 

A small boat overloaded with Cuban migrants was stopped on November 10, 2018 by the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton, and the cutter William Trump took 36 refugees back to Cabanas, Cuba.

In May of 2017, Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard claimed that due to a drastic measure taken by the Obama administration in negotiation with the Cuban government on January 12, 2018: the elimination of an immigration policy for Cubans known as “wet foot, dry foot” that Cubans were no longer fleeing to the United States.

The Admiral was wrong.

According to Elena Toledo writing in the PanAm Post 15,135 Cubans were declared “inadmissible” in the United States in 2017 and 14,037 Cubans were rejected from entering through Laredo, Texas alone. Cubans continue to be deported but they also continue to flee to the United States.

They weren't leaving because of the Cuban Adjustment Act but because of the communist dictatorship in Cuba.