The First Book of the End of Castroism / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Cuban dissident and opposition party leader Oswaldo Payá in an interview before his death. Photo: Tracey Eaton

Cuban dissident and opposition party leader Oswaldo Payá in an interview before his death. Photo: Tracey Eaton

The Madrid publisher Anaya has just released the first book of the end of Castroism—that is, of Castroism understood as a myth perpetuated by the intellectual left. From now on, one cannot sympathize with the Castro dynasty without also becoming a criminal collaborator.

The book is called Muerte bajo sospecha (Death Under Suspicion) and it contains the testimony of Ángel Carromero, the young Spanish politician who witnessed a double State assassination in Cuba on July 22, 2012. In the attach, both the human rights activist Harold Cepero and Oswaldo Payá, founder of the Christian Liberation Movement and winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2002, were killed.

Two years ago, on July 22, Carromero was driving a rental car from Havana towards Santiago de Cuba, accompanied by the Swedish politician Aron Modig and the Cubans, Cepero and Payá. A little after midday, they were rammed off the road by another car. Nobody was injured. A group of unidentified men in plain clothing descended on them immediately. The foreign men were taken in separate vans to Bayamo Hospital which was already occupied by army officers and the police. Hours later, Cepero and Payá were dead. The identities of the men who transported the two survivors has never been revealed by the Cuban government. A few months later, during the trial that sentenced Carromero to four years in jail for “negligent homicide,” there was no investigation into the unidentified men. Continue reading

Raul Castro’s Son-in-Law Rises to General

Luis Alberto Rodríguez López Calleja, Raúl Castro’s son-in-law

Cubanet, 19 March 2014 –A son-in-law of Cuban leader Raul Castro, in charge of the military businesses that dominate the economy on the island, has risen to general, according to a report today in the south Florida’s El Nuevo Herald.

Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Callejas, barely over 50, who for a long time has been identified Colonel in the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), was identified as a brigadier general in a January 29th report on the website Cubadefense, a  publication of the FAR, according to the Herald.

Rodríguez directed the Business Administration Group S.A. (GAESA), the business branch of the FAR–the armed forces controls 80 percent o the Cuban economy, including hotels, factories, restaurants and airlines–and he belongs to the Communist Party Central Committee.

Rodríguez López-Callejasis also is in charge of the development project for some billion dollars of the Port of Mariel to the west of Havana, a strategic attempt by Cuba to reinsert itself in the global economy with the help of $800 million in Brazilian financing.

Rodríguez, married to Raul Castro’s eldest daughter, Deborah Castro Espín, is seen by many as one of the most powerful and ambitious men in all of Cuba.

19 March 2014

Gossip from Cyberspace / Juan Juan Almeida

Josué Colomé Vázquez

According to the blog “Cuba al Descubierto” (Cuba Uncovered), edited by Mr. Luis Dominguez and specializing in Cuban curiosities, recently arrived in Miami after crossing the Mexican border and asking the US authorities for refuge, is a young Havanan named Josué Colomé Vázquez, and the question many are asking is what’s so special about a Cuban crossing the border and asking for asylum in the United States.

Well, the first is that although entering the United States by this route is a common practice, it’s considered illegal. The second, and more interesting one, is that the so pompous Josué is the son of the Cuban vice-president and Minister of the Interior General Abelardo Colome Ibarra. So it’s all perfectly normal, exiled and emigrated will return to Havana; and the children of the elite will continue to increase in la Yuma (the US of A).

27 March 2014

Costa Rica Meets with the Cuban Commission on Human Rights

The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) reported that this Wednesday, 29 January, late in the morning, they met with Costa Rican diplomats, one of whom was a part of that country’s official delegation to the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The meeting took place at the Costa Rican Embassy in Cuba and representing Costa Rica were Señora Ingrid Picado Monge, Ceremonial Head of State, and his Excellency Señor Don Hubert Mendez Acosta, Costa Rican Ambassador. For CCDHRN, attendees were Kirenia Yalit Nuñez, Information Officer, and CCDHRN Spokesman, Elizardo Sánchez.

The Costa Rican diplomats took notes and assured they would report to the President of the Delegation of their country to the CELAC Summit.

CCDHRN members prepared a report about the unfavorable situation in Cuba with regards to civil and political rights, as a context in which the Summit is taking place, and we expressed our hope that the Cuban government will accept, in a climate of inter-American cooperation, the need to adopt and respect international standards, particularly in the areas of civil, political, economic and cultural rights.

At the time of the meeting at the Costa Rican site, at least 16 peaceful Cuban dissidents remained jailed because of the CELAC Summit, and at least 8 were under house arrest.

The Cuban Commission on Human Rights supports the request made to the Cuban authorities by Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the UN, about the need for the government of Cuba to ratify the Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Social and Cultural Rights, which they signed six years ago. It is hoped that the government, in addition to ratifying the agreements, guarantees unrestricted and unreserved compliance with them.

The CCDHRN asked for meetings with several delegations attending the CELAC Summit, through their respective embassies in Cuba. Only the Republic of Costa Rica responded positively.

 | 29 January 2014

Manuel Cuesta Morua Arrest Confirmed

Manuel Cuesta Morua (from internet)

Manuel Cuesta Morua (from internet)

Yesterday opposition leader Manuel Cuesta Morúa member of the Progressive Arc Party and organizer in Cuba of the 2nd Democratic Forum on International Relations and Human Rights (parallel to CELAC) was detained and held at the 7th Police Station in La Lisa the outskirts of the Cuban capital.

The news came through the opponent and Cubanet columnist Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna, who confirmed the facts earlier today .

This arrest is part of the crackdown of State Security (the secret police) in the environment of ​​the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, which takes place in Havana starting today with the presence of delegations from 33 member countries.

The whereabouts of Cuesta Morua, an attorney with the independent Legal Information Center (Cubalex), are now unknown.

This morning a measure was also signed by the attorneys Yaremis Flores, Laritza Diversent and Barbara Estrabao Bichili, who demand attention to the disappearance of independent counsel Veizant Boloy in the area of the  CELAC Summit.

“He phoned at 7:05 in the morning when he left his house and headed to the  Cubalex office located at 169 Lindero on the corner of Angeles, in, El Calvario, Arroyo Naranjo. About 700 yards from his home, he was approached by at least three cars, 4 State Security agents on motorcycles, and a police patrol, number 572. He remained in communication with members of the office while under persecution from the agents . At 12 noon (Monday) he communicated that he was at the Czech Embassy for his turn to connect to the internet and had been escorted by two motorized patrol agents and patrol 572. Since then his whereabouts are unknown.”

Cubanet, 28 January 2014