Frank Calzon and FIU professor Marifeli Perez-Stable
Frank Cazlon, Alberto Coll, Luis Martinez-Fernandez, Marcelino Miyares, Ted Piccone, Julissa Reynoso
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 »
BY FRANK CALZON
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 »
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.
02/11/2015 9:46 PM
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 »
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.
Miami Herald, February 11, 2015
BY FRANK CALZON
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 »