Amnestiy International calls for review of the case of The Cuban Five

2010.10.17

You probably don’t know of the Cuban Five. They are really not a hot topic here in the United States. The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are in U.S. prison, serving four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001.They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González. The Five were  accused by the U.S. government of committing espionage against the United States, and other related charges. But they pointed out vigorously in their defense that they were only involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups, in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba. The Five’s actions were never directed at the U.S. government. They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any weapons while in the United States. They are considered spies, but their supporters argue that they only spied on radical groups which have a long history of violence against the Cuban people.  When the Committee to Free the Five erected a billboard in Hollywood, I posted this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f5hYWtWjuA

Now Amnesty International is calling on the U.S. government to review their case. Amnesty has often been critical of the Cuban government, so this move is significant for those seeking justice for these men. The Amnesty report is here.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR51/096/2010/en/675bdaf0-ff18-46ce-bfee-694211b2e43b/amr510962010en.html

There has been speculation that there could be a prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Cuba on this issue. The case against them was weak at best, and the fact that it took place in Miami made its conclusions questionable. You can learn more about The Five, here.

http://www.freethefive.org/

Business Groups Will Push Cuba Travel Vote

2010.10.07

Several major business groups will push for a vote to lift the travel ban, but not until after the November elections.

El Capitolio- La Habana, Cuba

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/122835-business-groups-want-cuba-vote-in-the-lame-duck

U.S. Congress delays vote on Cuba travel ban

2010.09.29

Travel to Cuba has been put on the back burner until after the elections. This is getting very serious for those wanting to end the constitutionally questionable ban on Americans visiting this peaceful and friendly country.

La Habana, Cuba

http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Congress+delays+vote+Cuba+travel/3596590/story.html

Cuentapropistas (Self-Employed)

2010.09.28

Latest on the potential new private sector in Cuba.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/world/americas/25cuba.html?ref=americas

Make-up woman on a photo shoot in Havana


One of the bills to ease travel to Cuba is up for a vote .

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68M5LL20100923

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Changes on the island

2010.09.22

N.Y. Times on what Cubans in Miami are thinking about changes on the island. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/22/world/americas/22cuba.html?th&emc=th

Here are some simple suggestions from Cuba which would allow the U.S. to ease the embargo and improve relations .

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jXD-pFhBx3WyQTdiNTk7TFfYOPBw

Couple on the Bay-La Habana, Cuba

And in case you have not signed it yet, here is the petition to get our congress to restore the right to travel to Cuba.

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/tell_congress_restore_the_right_to_travel_to_cuba

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Reaction to Cuba Economic News

2010.09.19

Here is something from the Washington Post, followed by my comment published September 18, 2010

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/17/AR2010091706754.html

Pinar del Rio, Cuba

For more than 100 years we in the U.S. have viewed Cuba from our perspective. We got rid of the Spanish, but increased our economic hold with the help of corrupt puppet governments. When the Castros came in with their version of Cuban independence, we could not understand it, since it did not allow us to continue to control the island. Following the lead of exile politicians in Miami, we have made mistake after mistake in trying to tell the Cubans how they should run their country. We are always assured that the end is near for the Revolutionary government if we would just keep up the pressure. So how has that worked for us for the past half century? Ending the economic blockade against Cuba, and the unconstitutional travel ban against the American people is long overdue.

Expanding Capitalism in Cuba

2010.09.14

The announcement by the Cuban government that it will lay off a half million workers needs some interpretation, and the best place to find it  is probably at The Cuban Triangle.

http://cubantriangle.blogspot.com/

El Capitolio, La Habana

The blog’s writer Philip Peters, has traveled regularly to Cuba since 1996  to monitor and write about economic and political developments. He  is an adviser to the Cuba Working Group in the House of Representatives. His work is to the point, and helps to defuse the usual misinformation in which the American media often wraps stories  coming out of Cuba.

Travel to Cuba Petitions

2010.09.10

Please sign this petition, and pass it on. The bill to end the travel ban may come up as early as next week.  With the expected changes in Congress next year, this could be the last chance in a long time to restore our constitutional  freedom to travel.

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/tell_congress_restore_the_right_to_travel_to_cuba

Pastors for Peace Founder Lucius Walker Dies at 80

2010.09.08

Americans  who support normal relations with Cuba have lost a great friend.  I had the opportunity to meet the Reverend Walker at Cuba Solidarity Day in Washington D.C. in 2004. His annual US-Friendship Caravans to Cuba in defiance of the immoral embargo against Cuba were an act of true civil disobedience . He brought  computers and medicines to the island, but as  importantly, exposed many young activists to the idea that it was sometimes necessary to act contrary to U.S. policy when that policy (the economic blockade of Cuba)  is wrong.

Lucius Walker

http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=28955

Fidel back in his Fatigues

2010.09.04

Fidel Castro speaks at the University of Havana

For the past few weeks, Fidel Castro has been seen and heard all over Cuba. Could he be thinking of a political comeback?  Lots of speculation from all corners of the world.

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2010/09/03/5039552-castro-dons-uniform-for-first-big-speech-in-years

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