Summit Meeting

Squaring Cuba’s Terror Designation in the Circle of the Law

March 20th, 2015

By Mauricio Claver-Carone in World Affairs Journal:

Cuba’s Castro regime has made it clear in recent weeks that “normalizing” relations with the United States hinges on removing the designation of that island nation from the US list of “state-sponsors of terrorism.” Iran, Sudan, and Syria are the only other nations currently on the list, which is compiled by the State Department.

Last December, as President Obama announced his intent to re-establish formal diplomatic relations with Cuba, he also publicly instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to review Cuba’s status. The review, the president added, should be “guided by the facts and the law.” In the weeks since, there have been reports of the White House pressuring the State Department and intelligence community to accelerate the review so that the president and his Cuban counterpart, Raúl Castro, Fidel’s brother, can shake hands at the April “Summit of the Americas,” in Panama City, Panama. Read the rest of this entry »

Cuba’s wrongdoing goes unchallenged

March 10th, 2015

Miami Herald


A few days after American negotiators met with Cuban officials to continue talks to reestablish formal diplomatic relations, a Chinese ship bound for Cuba was intercepted near Colombia’s Port of Cartagena carrying 100 tons of gunpowder, almost 3 million detonators and some 3,000 cannon shells to Cuba.

On Monday, a Colombian judge ordered that the Chinese captain of the Hong Kong-registered Da Dan Xia be placed under house arrest.

It’s not yet known whether President Obama has been alerted to Havana’s arms purchase. If he has, he’s not likely to say anything in this new era of aggressive niceness. He didn’t say anything about Cuba’s attempt in 2013 to smuggle two warplanes, missile parts and 240 metric tons of war materiél from Cuba into North Korea. Certainly, he wouldn’t say anything resembling his negative response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. Read the rest of this entry »

Does Cuba still belong on the sponsor of terrorism list?

February 24th, 2015

SunSentinel, Feburary 24, 2015

By Frank Calzon

While President Barack Obama recently “instructed” Secretary of State John Kerry to review whether Cuba belongs on the State Department’s list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism,” the Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a reward of “up to $1 million for information directly leading to the apprehension of Joanne Chesimard,” a terrorist living in Cuba after escaping from prison in 1979, where she was serving a life sentence for killing a New Jersey policeman.

Chesimard was a member of “a revolutionary extremist organization,” which used robberies to fund its activities, according to the FBI. Stopped by New Jersey troopers, she and her accomplices opened fire. One trooper was wounded, another shot and killed “execution-style at point-blank range,” the FBI said.

Cuba is the only government that appears on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism to publicly acknowledge providing safe haven to one listed on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted Terrorists. Cuba is also the only government on the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism that has several officers under indictment for murder and terrorism by an American federal grand jury: the Cuban Air Force officers who murdered three Americans and a Florida resident on an afternoon in 1996, in the Florida Straits, in international airspace.

They were helping to rescue refugees. The killings were ordered by Raul Castro, who awarded medals to the murderers.

Cuba also provides safe haven for common criminals, such as Robert Vesco, who was wanted in the U.S. for crimes ranging from securities fraud and drug trafficking to political bribery. After difficulties with the Castro brothers, he died in a Cuban prison.

Presumably, the millions of dollars stolen by Vesco ended up in Castro’s coffers. There is no record of any effort by Washington to recover those funds.

The Sun Sentinel has reported on “Cuban nationals in various frauds and thefts including Medicare,” revealing that hundreds of millions of dollars from American taxpayers have been deposited in Cuba’s National Bank; deposits that had to be approved by Raul Castro. There is no record of U.S. demands for those funds to be returned.

Cuba is also the only nation to be caught red-handed shipping 240 tons of heavy weapons, including war planes, beneath bags of sugar to North Korea in violation of United Nations’ sanctions. Additionally the Cuban government has trained and equipped Venezuela’s repressive forces and offered Russia’s Vladimir Putin an espionage “listening post” in Cuba.
If President Obama removes Cuba from the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist states, he will not only have rewarded the Castro regime for its crimes but encourage more of the same.

It is hard to imagine President Obama reversing any of his concessions to Havana but fortunately for the American people, the Founding Fathers — in their wisdom — created a government of checks and balances. Congress still has a role to play in shaping U.S. policy at home and abroad.

Frank Calzon is executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.


Publican carta abierta contra la apertura a Cuba

February 13th, 2015

02/11/2015 9:46 PM

Foto de archivo del 22 de marzo de 2013 en el que dos banderas miniatura de Cuba y Estados Unidos decoran un antiguo automóvil en La Habana.

Cincuenta y ocho empresarios, ex diplomáticos, profesores, exprisioneros políticos, activistas y opositores dentro de Cuba pidieron al Congreso “oponerse a concesiones unilaterales” y mantener las sanciones al gobierno de la isla, en una carta abierta publicada el miércoles en el diarioWashington Post. Read the rest of this entry »

Corrección a Correos Electrónicos Que Mencionan al Centro para Cuba Libre en la Red

February 13th, 2015


                                                                     NOTA DE PRENSA

11 de febrero de 2015                                                                   Contacto de Prensa:

DISTRIBUCION INMEDIATA                                                         Frank Calzon, 202-427-3875


Corrección a Correos Electrónicos Que Mencionan al Centro para Cuba Libre en la Red


El Centro para Cuba Libre publicó un anuncio hoy en el Washington Post. En ese anuncio se incluyó una nota que dice “este anuncio es en honor a la memoria de Manuel Jorge Cutillas y su dedicación de toda una vida a la libertad en Cuba.” En el anuncio publicado en el Washington Post de hoy no aparece como una de los firmantes Rosa María Payá Acevedo.

Lamentablemente una pueba del anuncio circuló por la red anoche. En esa prueba no aparecía la referencia al Sr. Cutillas y si aparecía por un error de comunicación el nombre de Rosa María.

Lamentamos el error, aunque el Centro no puso en la red la prueba en cuestion, y le damos excusas a Rosa María por lo sucedido.

Entre tanto, hemos recibido comunicaciones de diplomáticos, profesores universitarios,y  líderes del mundo corporativo que habiendo firmado el anuncio se han comunicado para felicitar al Centro por esta iniciativa.

Anuncio del Washington Post adjunto. Por favor acuse recibo.


U.S. Cuba policy worthy of Ripley’s ‘believe it or not’

February 13th, 2015

Miami Herald, February 11, 2015



02/11/2015 5:38 PM

For many years, author Robert Ripley roamed the Earth collecting oddities and strange stories and establishing “odditoriums” to display them. Were Ripley still alive, he’d be writing and drawing cartoons about Cuba, the Castros and President Barack Obama’s attempt to “normalize” relations between the United States and Cuba. Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release

February 13th, 2015


                                                                                       PRESS RELEASE

February 11, 2015                                                                                                               Press Contact:

IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION                                                                                              Frank Calzon: 202-427-3875


Former Diplomats, University Professors, Representatives of Cuba’s Democratic Opposition on the Island and in Exile, and Former Corporate Leaders Write to Congress on President Obama’s Cuba Policy.

The ad was published 58 former diplomats, former corporate leaders, university professors and leaders of Cuba’s democratic opposition on the island and in exile.

It is an open letter to Congress objecting to President Obama’s efforts to remove the Castro’s regime from the State Department list of governments supportive of terrorism, normalizing relations with Cuba and lifting the embargo under current conditions.

The open letter to the Congress: “The New Cuba Policy: Breakthrough or Bailout?,” takes issue

The ad “is published in memory of Manuel Jorge Cutillas and his lifelong dedication to the cause of freedom in Cuba.”  The ad, signed by the Center for a Free Cuba is an initiative of Dr. Nestor Carbonell, who wrote the text and worked tirelessly for its publication,

Among the signatories are “Miriam and Mario de la Pena, parents of Mario M. de la Pena, one of four pilots murdered by Cuban airplanes in international airspace in 1996.”

“One of the spies exchanged by President Obama was serving a life sentence for his role in those murders,” the ad says.  General Raul Castro, then Cuba’s Minister of the Armed Forces” ordered the murders and later awarded medals to the officers who pulled the trigger”

Ladies in White — Mothers, wives of political prisoners: Obama wouldn’t talk to them, and the Castros beat them up.

January 20th, 2015

ladies_In_White 0319pow10_J_20100318205949


Read the rest of this entry »

As A Cuban Exile, I Feel Betrayed By President Obama

January 20th, 2015

The Washington Post

By Carlos Eire

December 22, 2014

Tourists look at posters for sale in Havana.(ADALBERTO ROQUE/Getty Images)

I am furious, in pain, and deeply offended by those who laud this betrayal of the Cuban people as a great moment in history.

My family and native land were destroyed by the brutal Castro regime. In 1959, as an 8-year-old, I listened to mobs shout “paredon!” (to the firing squad!). I watched televised executions, and was terrified by the incessant pressure to agree with a bearded dictator’s ideals.

As the months passed, relatives, friends, and neighbors began to disappear. Some of them emerged from prison with detailed accounts of the tortures they endured, but many never reappeared, their lives cut short by firing squads.

I also witnessed the government’s seizure of all private property – down to the ring on one’s finger – and the collapse of my country’s economy. I began to feel as if some monstrous force was trying to steal my mind and soul through incessant indoctrination.

By the age of 10, I was desperate to leave.

Read the rest of this entry »

Talk to Cuba’s democracy advocates

January 19th, 2015

Miami Herald, January 19, 2015



DEMOCRACY ADVOCATES: Members of the Cuban dissident group Ladies in White participate in a demonstration in Havana last month. DESMOND BOYLAN AP

This week, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson will travel to Havana to continue negotiations with the Cuban authorities.

We wish her Godspeed, and hope that besides talking with her Cuban counterparts, Ms. Jacobson will meet with Cubans whom President Obama wants to empower — human-rights activists, pro-democracy leaders — to help them build Cuba’s civil society grounded on human rights and the rule of law.

The beginning of Obama’s new Cuba policy has not been promising: It Read the rest of this entry »

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