US Joins Calls for Investigation into Death Oswaldo Paya
HAVANA TIMES — The US government joined the calls for an “independent” investigation of the death of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, which Havana blames on a traffic accident caused by a young Spanish politician who was driving the vehicle, reported dpa news.
“The United States supports the calls for an independent international investigation into the circumstances that led to the death of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero in Cuba,” said State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland.
“The Cuban people and the families of these two activists deserve a clear and credible report on the circumstances that led to their tragic deaths,” she added. At the same time, she reiterated Washington’s continued support of the “right of all Cubans to speak in defense of human rights and democracy. “
The State Department statement came after several initiatives from US lawmakers in recent days to have an investigation called into the deaths of the two dissidents involved in the accident in July of last year.
The Paya family, had previously called into question the official version of a speeding accident.
On Monday, a bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Emilio Alvarez Icaza, asking that body to investigate “without delay” the death of Paya and Cepero.
“We ask that the Commission to initiate an investigation into the disturbing death of Cuban political reformer Oswaldo Paya, who along with young activist Harold Cepero, died in a suspicious car accident on July 22, 2012 in Bayamo, Cuba,” asked the senators.
The letter was signed by Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Mark Kirk, John McCain and the Democrats Richard Durbin, Benjamin Cardin, Bill Nelson, Robert Menendez and Mark Warner, who said they had taken this decision in view of growing doubts about the official version of the incident.
In addition to the Paya family, who from the beginning doubted that Carromero was responsible for the death of the leader of the Varela Project, the defendant himself, who was extradited to Spain in December to serve the remainder of the sentence in his country, said in an interview published in The Washington Post earlier this month that the incident occurred when another car intentionally rammed his vehicle.
“Oswaldo Paya was a brave man who tried to peacefully advocate greater political freedom for his Cuban brothers and sisters and it increasingly seems that effort paid for this with his life,” the senators said in their letter.
In addition, last week, one of the senators who wrote to the commission, Bill Nelson (D), also called on United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to conduct an “independent investigation” into the death of Paya.
The late dissident’s daughter, Rosa Maria Paya, has asked in various international forums for an independent investigation of what happened.
48 thoughts on “US Joins Calls for Investigation into Death Oswaldo Paya”
I don’t think the Spanish government trusts the Cuban dictators in any way. They just said they wanted to protect other Spanish citizens in Cuba.
That, to me at least, suggest the absolute opposite of trust, Dan Christensen.
I have no “outrageous claims” or lies to support, Dan Christensen. That is your problem and you have shown you can’t provide any proof.
Under current laws the Us is willing to engage with any legitimate – freely and fairly elected – government. That excludes the current dictatorship.
The law clearly states so.
Thank you for again confirming that Amnesty International – nor any other respectable international organization – has ever referred to the trade sanctions as “genocide”. the absence of any quotes exposes you as the lying propagandist you are.
As far as Genocide Watch goes: it is made up of respected organizations whose record and judgement you can not impeach in any way.
As far as why medicines aren’t making it to the Cuban people goes: this says it all:
“The U.S. says it approved $142 million in commercial and donated medical exports to the communist island in 2008. So why did less than 1 percent of it get there?”
“It’s not the embargo,” said John Kavulich, a senior policy adviser at the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Economic Trade Council, which provides nonpartisan commercial and economic information about Cuba. “These are economic and political decisions not to buy.” Cuba often waits for allies to donate what it needs, Kavulich said. “They’d rather get things for free than pay for them.”
“It’s unclear why U.S. medical exports aren’t reaching Cuba”, Dallas Morning News, 5 December 2009.
The videos you refer to have been discredited by both Carromero and Modig once they were out of the blackmailing grasp of the Cuban regime.
The videos themselves show the Cuban secret police handlers.
The cover-up of the Cuban regime is falling apart, Dan.
For most Cuba watchers it wasn’t credible from the start.
If you don’t trust the other country, you are not going require your own citizens who are convicted there to serve out their sentence in their own country. General speaking, there seems to be a high level of trust between Cuba and Spain. Must be frustrating as hell for you, but that’s your problem.
Unfortunately for you and your political masters, these videos were widely distributed. It is obvious from them that both agents were speaking spontaneously, without any coercion. This is, no doubt, why no national government outside the completely unreliable US regime is buying into your wacky conspiracy theory. The rest of the world is used to ignoring the US when it comes to Cuba.
Thanks for confirming that you have proof to support your outrageous claims. Contrary to your lies, only so-called free-market capitalism would be allowed under HB. It won’t matter what kind of elections they hold if the outcome doesn’t meet with the approval of extremists in Miami and Washington. The Cuban people are to have no say in the matter if you and your political masters have your way.
As for GW’s outrageous claims, no one takes that silly little table at their website seriously. (The sum-total of their “work” on Cuba is an unattributed, unsourced one-liner in this silly little table at their website.) More mainstream groups like Amnesty International and the UN have never supported GW’s outrageous claims. What they WILL support, however, is the fact that, “The RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY THE EMBARGO help to deprive Cuba of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity.” So, it seems the only genocide here is in fact your beloved embargo. Whatever it takes, right, Paul.
Cuba has indeed negotiated some compensation deals with other countries. The US just wasn’t interested in any kind of compromise. Only complete, unconditional surrender.
Actually, you would indeed make that treaty especially if you don’t trust the other country. It might be the only way to get your citizens out of the country.
Amnesty International, a source you like to quote, has often criticized the lack of due process in Cuba’s legal system.
No ignorance on my part, Dan Christensen.
Just stating facts that disprove your propaganda.
You are just mindlessly repeating your two lies here. Both have been exposed.
The US would engage with any democratic system which excludes the current dictatorial system.
As far as genocide in Cuba goes: it is the Castro regime and it alone that is seen as guilty of that according to the international watchdog on the matter. Yopu can’t even provide one quote from a respected international organization and Amnesty International certainly never referred to the sanctions as such as you are falsely trying to claim.
BTW: Cuba has acknowledged in various agreements with countries whose nationals were expropriated that compensation is due.
The witnesses have spoken, Dan Christensen.
Both in the case of the death of Paya – as the police captain initially in charge of the investigation confirmed – and the facts on why food and medicines aren’t making it to Cuba the witnesses have spoken, Dan Christensen.
What you desperately try to dismiss as “rationalizations” are in reality hard facts you can’t refute.
When two countries have a bilateral prisoner exchange treaty, they agree to have nationals of one country who are convicted in the other country serve out their sentence in their home country. If you don’t trust the other side’s legal system, you won’t make such treaties. It’s that simple.
Will the witness please answer the question? The court is not interested in your lies and rationalizations, Mr. CubaCuss.
Again, in your opinion, would such sanctions inflicted on Belgium by Germany for over a half-century be a form of genocide or not?
The answer is obvious to any decent person. To you on the other hand….
Again, you show your ignorance of the law. Until a “market oriented system” is firmly in place (as determined by extremists in Miami and Washington) and control is returned to US citizens and corporations, the genocide is to continue. It won’t matter what kind of elections are held in Cuba. Under HB, the Cuban people are to have no say in the matter.
BTW, there are no international laws that require Cuba to compensate anyone for the expropriations of land, factories and infrastructure in 1960’s. As usual, you are simply making it up as you go.
The US does not “deprive” the Cuban people of medicines. the Castro regime does;
“The U.S. says it approved $142 million in commercial and donated medical exports to the communist island in 2008. So why did less than 1 percent of it get there?”
“It’s not the embargo,” said John Kavulich, a senior policy adviser
at the New York-based U.S.-Cuba Economic Trade Council, which provides nonpartisan commercial and economic information about Cuba. “These are economic and political decisions not to buy.” Cuba often waits for allies to donate what it needs, Kavulich said. “They’d rather get things for free than pay for them.”
“It’s unclear why U.S. medical exports aren’t reaching Cuba”, Dallas Morning News, 5 December 2009.
The US does not deprive the Cuban people of food: it allows the sale of food.
It is the Cuban regime that limits purchases of food from the USA.
U.S. law exempted medicine and health care supplies from the embargo in 1992. It also lifted the ban on agricultural exports in2000, and the United States was by 2008 Cuba’s biggest supplier of food(30% of the 80% of food Cubans consume) and 5th trading partner.
On why food and medicines aren’t getting to Cubans from the US:
Food: Cuba lacks the cash to pay for it and therefore reduced purchases from the US.
“Entre las principales razones de la caída de las exportaciones
estadounidenses a Cuba la entidad responsable del informe, que tiene su sede en Nueva York, citó la falta de moneda extranjera. “Las decisiones comerciales y económicas del gobierno cubano (…) disminuyen su capacidad para obtener divisas”, dijo Consejo.”Caen casi un 35% las ventas de alimentos de EE UU a Cuba jueves, 29 de julio de 2010.
your repetitive lies have been exposed again.
The Spanish government minister stated that they will not be pressing the matter with Cuba because it might be “unhelpful” for the cases of several other Spanish citizens currently in Cuban jails. In other words, Cuba hold hostages. That’s how the Castro bros operate.
Evasive as ever. What if, say, Germany was inflicting sanctions on Belgium for over a half-century, sanctions that deprived you of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity. Would that be genocide? Or would it be a legitimate tool of foreign policy and no one else’s business?
You have avoided answering this question literally hundreds of times over the years. You snipped and ran every single time I posed it to you in the past. Care to try again?
Thank you for pointing out the interventionist nature of US law. And albeit I truly respect and often talk friendly towards Grady, you should know better that we are not ideologically 100% aligned. And yes, Saudi Arabia has everything to do with the hypocrisy of the self-claimed ‘human rights champion’ and ‘world police’ bully. You just simply cannot get out of this obvious contradiction.
Dan Christensen just posted Castro propaganda lies. He didn’t – and never has refuted any facts.
You were asked to post a link to Amnesty International – or an equally respected international organization – that would say the trade sanctions are genocide, Dan Christensen.
I looked at all your links. in NOT ONE the sanctions are called “genocide”.
The same story continues, Dan Christensen.
Without the help of Chavez the Castro regime would have been forced to make a lot more changes.
This isn’t about the “legendary spirit” of the Cuban people. it is about the total control and utter disregard of the well-being of Cubans of the Castro elite.
The Cuban people will triumph over the Castro dictatorship and the end of that dictatorship is getting near.
Dan Christensen, just like your nemesis that has ridiculed you in lots of places I am just exposing your lies. You called 6 people here “Paul “and all apposing Castro “lobbyists” here. That just shows how “full of it” you are.
A “market oriented system” is what Raul Castro is slowly – under duress – is introducing to Cuba, Dan.
Are you calling him a “gusano” and “lobbyist” as well?
As I have stated: even a democratic socialist system is fully within the framework put forward by the law.
As far as compensation for expropriated goods go: that is part of international law as the Cuban regime has admitted and it also admits US investors – like Cubans – haven’t been compensated.
A “self-respecting” government should compensate and any all – including its own citizens – for expropriations. That is a given under international law.
Dan is simply wrong. Section 206 subsection 3 does not dismantle socialism as many apologists for the dictatorship claim. It does require a market-based economy and respect for private property rights. As is advocated by frequent HT commentor Grady Daugherty, these principles are not mutually exclusive to socialism. In fact, if you believe as Grady does, both of these ‘capitalist’ tools are necessary to form the ‘transformationary bridge’ to socialist utopia.(I think I am going to puke) Luis, get a grip, what the US does with the Saudis has nothing to do with what we do with Cuba. Apples and oranges!
When the US does not mention Cuban issues, apologists complain and now when we do mention Cuba, you still complain.This issue raises international concerns not because it was a simple car crash but because it was a State-sponsored and enabled car crash. Worse yet, because it involves such a high-profile person it is all the more disconcerting. That Cuba would ‘assasinate’ a dissident of Paya’s stature is alarming even by CIA standards. Alberto, hypocrisy is a part of the human condition and abounds in Havana and Washington alike.
The lamest ‘weapon’ of a propagandist troll is to accuse the opponent of what himself is doing. The US State Department should hire ‘smarter’ fools.
Come on, even Haroldo Dilla said Carromero’s scandalous accusations were nothing more than a ‘bucket of water’, get over it.
Dan has already worked out your propaganda spoofs, pointing out exactly which section of the Helms-Button law the impositions are held. There is simply no justification for the embargo, even your ‘heroine’ says so – in a awkward way but she does. Your country has smashed the sovereign rights of so many other nations that if I were to list them I’d have to spend a night in one single comment. Like if the US sovereign rights are above all others. That’s the definition of ‘imperialism’. Again, you continue to fail to justify why the US has carnal relationships with the Saudi Monarchy if the only ‘excuse’ for not being friendly with Cuba are ‘human rights’ issues.
Still in denial, Paul? (After all these years, I would recognize your inarticulate, desperately dogmatic writing style anywhere.) You apparently know nothing about the law.
Section 206 of HB requires a “market-oriented economic system” and “returning to United States citizens [or corporate entities]… property taken by the Cuban Government from such citizens and entities on or after January 1, 1959, or providing full [market value] compensation for this property” or the genocide is to continue.
Here, “United States citizen” also includes Cuban nationals in 1959 who later became U.S. citizens. This retroactive citizenship is apparently a special and unprecedented exception available only to Cuban-Americans!
Luisette Gierboloni commented in the 1997 Florida State University Journal of Transnational Law & Policy:
“Requiring a new, self-respecting Cuban government to commit to returning all expropriated properties to the U.S. or to provide ‘full compensation’ for these properties in order to be recognized by the U.S. discourages the resolution of the property issue. The value of the claims against Cuba for expropriated property is estimated at over $10 billion dollars [in 1997]. Cuba’s annual gross social product (“GSP”) is calculated at $13.19 billion dollars. For Cuba to make a commitment to return all properties to their prior U.S. owners or to ‘fully compensate’ them for their losses, would mean sentencing the country to financial and political devastation. For Cuba to honor such a commitment, it would have to turn over to the U.S. its entire annual GSP and levy extremely high taxes upon Cuban citizens.
And, of course, the Cuban people are to have no choice in these vital matters, which is fine with you, of course. Whatever it takes, right, Paul?
I live in one of the smallest communities in Florida. Notwithstanding that it alone has as much cars as Cuba and that crashes less severe, equal and worst than this one which have captured world attention, is a daily event, which most residents don’t even talk about. At the same time, the US State Department is burdened with such critical, unsolvable, dangerous, life and death issues, be it Korea, Iran, Syria, a depressed Israel, the world financial crisis, AIDS, Pakistan, Drones, world poverty, Afghanistan, Gitmo etc., etc., and Ms Nulan, the spoke woman of the State Department, invest her limited time in this simplistic, political innuendo, still trying to accuse Cuba of all the wrongdoings her department does every day around the world. Hypocresy is never in short supply in Washington.
Luis, you continue to fail to understand how the US embargo works. The embargo does not compel Cuba ‘to comply’ in any way nor could it. It lawfully prohibits businesses organized under US law from doing business with the Castros and further prevents foreign businesses who have done business recently with the Castros from doing business with US businesses. Furthermore, Cuban transactions involving US currency are equally prohibited. Many businesses,however, as is their right, eschew business opportunities with the US in order to do business in Cuba. Others, in direct opposition to these restrictions, continue to do business with both Cuba and US interests. It is estimated that only 10% of these lawbreakers are ever discovered oftentimes resulting in fines and other penalties. Despite the embargo, the US remains Cuba’s fifth largest trading partner, across a wide spectrum from food and medicine to technology. As mentioned before, it is the sovereign right of the US, like any other country, to regulate business incorporated or established under US law. Your own country, Brazil, regulates how businesses organized under Brazilian law conduct themselves. While you may disagree with the impact of US law as it relates to Cuba, it is our sovereign right to determine who we do business with. Furthermore, while our policies may seem inconsistent to you, you should come to accept that there is no ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to foreign policy in the US nor should there be. Cuba is Cuba and Saudi Arabia is Saudi Arabia.
The requirement state the Castro dictatorship needs to be dismantled. No more, no less.
Even a democratic socialist or social democrat system meets the conditions set by the US government, Dan Christensen.
It also specifically states the Cuban people should have a say in the matter in free and fair elections. Something they do not have today as even the UN confirmed:
“the electoral process is so tightly controlled that the final phase, the
voting itself, could be dispensed with without the final result being
The law only demands an end to the Castro dictatorship, Dan Christensen.
The rest are just your paranoid propaganda lies.
A mixed system, a social democracy and a democratic socialist system are well within the realm of its specifications.
Thank you for confirming that “hard brained leftists” of the non-Stalinist kind also disagree with you. that kind of puts in in the paranoid “loony left” I guess.
Note: I see you old nemesis still controls your thoughts. the guy did indeed expose you harshly for what you are to all. You still are reeling from it. You really should see a doctors for your paranoia.
This isn’t about you, me, Paul or John, Dan Christensen. It is about the facts that expose your lies.
Enough of your self-serving lies and rationalizations for what amounts to a form of genocide, Paul. No one, not even your closest allies at the UN are buying into them. For 20 years in a row now, the UN General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to condemn these cruel and inhumane sanctions of yours.
Organizations like Amnesty International have all but called for the arrests of the perpetrators of these criminal sanctions of yours:
“The US government is acting CONTRARY to the Charter of the United Nations [i.e. it is acting illegally] by restricting the direct import of medicine and medical equipment and supplies, and by imposing those restrictions on companies operating in third countries.”
“The RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY THE EMBARGO help to deprive Cuba of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity.”
“The US embargo against Cuba is IMMORAL and should be lifted. It’s preventing millions of Cubans from benefiting from vital medicines and medical equipment essential for their health.”
“Amnesty International calls on the US Congress to take, WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY, the necessary steps towards lifting the economic, financial and trade embargo against Cuba.”
“UN agencies working in Cuba, such as the WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA, continued [as of 2012] to report the negative effects of the US embargo on the health of the population, particularly members of marginalized groups. Access to specific commodities, equipment, medicines and laboratory materials remained scarce as a result of restrictions imposed on the importation of items manufactured by US companies and their subsidiaries or produced under US patents.”
As for GW’s outrageous claims, no one takes that silly little table at their website seriously. (The sum-total of their “work” on Cuba is an unattributed, unsourced one-liner in this silly little table at their website.) More mainstream groups like Amnesty International and the UN have never supported GW’s outrageous claims. What they WILL support, however, is the fact that, “The RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED BY THE EMBARGO help to deprive Cuba of vital access to medicines, new scientific and medical technology, food, chemical water treatment and electricity.” So, it seems the only genocide here is in fact your beloved embargo. Whatever it takes, right, Paul?
As for the Paya case, no police captain by any account has ever suggested there was a collision with another car. As usual, you are just making it up as you go. Even your dissident pals sent investigate were unable support this wacky conspiracy theory of yours. Must be frustrating as hell for you.
The US is widely seen as the villain in this piece, a role you seem to relish.
Ever since the collapse of the USSR in the late 1980’s and subsequent strengthening of the criminal US embargo in 1992, you folks have been saying the same thing. You never counted on legendary fighting spirit and ingenuity of the Cuban people to withstand whatever you throw at them. You still cannot fathom it, but they will progress, embargo or not. The intrepid little David will triumph over the evil Goliath in the end.
Again, not even the mainstream of his own party in Spain seems to be buying into Carromero’s latest apparently self-serving reversal. Look at his video from Cuba and that of his Swedish accomplice on YouTube. You would be hard-pressed to believed either of them were drugged or coerced as you suggest. It is, no doubt, why only the famously unreliable US government is the only one in world that seems to be buying into this latest anti-Cuban propaganda campaign.
Section 206 is very specific about what kind of government the Cuban people will be permitted to chose. Until a capitalist regime that meets the approval of extremists in Miami and Washington is installed in Cuba, the genocide is to continue. It won’t matter what kind of elections or other reforms are instituted.
You can disingenuously quote hare-brained ultra-leftists all you want, Paul. No one cares about their definitions of socialism. Most have never organized anything more than a mini placard waving demo in the park on a warm summer’s day.
The requirements include a dismantling of socialism. Section 206 is very specific on this. It is to be capitalism or death. The Cuban people are to have no say in the matter.
or parroting everything the Castro regome orders, no?
Nobel prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi disagrees with you.
She thanked the US people for a similar stance on Myanmar.
The US isn’t forced to trade and engage with any government. Bilateral relations are based on mutual relations. There are lots of outstanding issues between the US and Cuba. Trade sanctions, legal unbder WTO rules, have been applied in ots of cases.
This is great news for all those who support freedom and democracy for Cuba. President Obama deserved praise for making this call and the Rosa Paya deserves our support and respect for her courage. Viva Cuba Libre!
“Under the terms of the US law any government that respects human rights and freedom of speech is possible. Only the current dictators are
In one paragraph you state EVERYTHING that’s wrong with the US. First, sovereign states ‘must’ comply with what ‘US law’ says its ‘possible’. Like if it were the world police. And then ‘Only current dictators are rejected’ is the hypocrisy example – tell Uncle Sam to ‘reject’ the Saudi Monarchy for instance and see what happens.
Mr. Carromero has confirmed his life was threatened to force him to comply with the version the Cuban regime wanted publicized.
You reference to the likenesses between the Stasi system and the Cuban state security is a completely valid and confirmed by the Stasi records.
If you are interestd you can find more information and links here:
The US trade sanctions are far from “genocide”, Dan Christensen. Ther is no intent on the part of the US government to destroy the Cuban people. The sanctions therefore do not meet the conditions for genocide in the UN declaration. You are just repeating a Castro propaganda lie.
In fact the US is one of the largest food suppliers of Cuba and its 5h trading partner. Remittances, mainly from the USA, are the third source of foreign currency of Cuba (more than tourism).
No respectable organization has ever referred to the sanctions as “genocide”. The Castro regime on the other hand is – and has been for years – on the international watchdog for genocide’s list.
Genocide Watch is the Coordinator of the International Alliance to End Genocide
See links at:
As far as the Paya case goes:
From the start the family has put forward proof, based on the statements of police captain Fulgencio Medina, a criminal investigator. In a room at Carlos
Manuel de Céspedes Hospital in Bayamo, on Sunday 22 July confirmed there was another car.
Captain Medina was promptly removed from the case and the Cuban state security took over the cover up.
Mr. Carromero has also confirmed that his statements in Cuba were made under duress. His whole “trial” therefore is a political show trial.
The fact that the Cuban regime does not want to allow an international examination shows it fears the truth.
Under the terms of the US law any government that respects human rights and freedom of speech is possible. Only the current dictators are rejected. A European style social democracy or democratic socialist government is well within the terms of reference of the laws.
Note that Cuba is a Stalinist system, not a democratic socialist one as even left wingers of the non-Stalinist persuasion confirm.
“Is Cuba socialist?
Paul Hampton of Workers’ Liberty spoke in debate with Bernard Regan, a leading member of the Socialist Teachers’ Alliance, at a London Workers’ Liberty meeting on 3 February 1999.
Paul Hampton argued that Cuba displays the essential characteristics of Stalinism”
‘Narrow-minded’ is parroting everything the US State Department orders.
One more thing Dan C. The US does not need Cuba to trust us. Cuba could choose its current course and plug along making baby steps towards normalizing Cuba. The clock is not on their side however. Venezuela, Cuba’s wetnurse, will likely be unable to maintain the same level of support, even if Maduro wins. The Castros have one foot in the grave and the dissident community is getting stronger every day. It is easy for you to play the tough guy since you don’t live there. Talk to a Cuban making 18 cuc a month with no hope for a better future and ask them about not trusting the US.
Carromero testimony may have been coerced and he may have possibly been drugged when making his statement on video. You have to admit that Cuban State Security, trained by the East German Stasi, are capable of anything. The Spanish official is likely to have been willing to play along to avoid worsening the situation and leaving the door open to getting Carromero released to serve his sentence in Spain. The photos are inconclusive and likely re-touched. Besides, at high speeds, you don’t need much impact to force another car off the road. What harm will an independent investigation cause? It may even confirm the results the Castros ordered.
Dan, since when do you speak for the US? From the narrow-mindedness of your comments, you sure don’t speak for me. If Cuba met the requirements set forth under Helms-Burton, the US would have no choice but to lift the embargo. It is that simple. Ojala, if infant mortality alone were the only measure of the good life! Besides, if you know Cuba, you know they fudge the numbers. Still, life is good for babies and small children in Cuba. It is after age 7 when the sh*t hits the fan in Cuba.
The US isn’t interested any “reforms.” Only unconditional surrender of control of the island to US corporations will do. Under the terms of the Section 206 of the Helms-Burton Act, it won’t matter what kind of elections Cubans hold, not even the US-style money-based kind will do if, at the end of the day, any form of genuine socialist is left standing in Cuba. This despite the fact that it is only because of socialism that Cubans have what is widely known to be the best health care and education systems in the region. (Even the CIA concedes that Cuba’s infant mortality rate is the best in the Americas — much better than the USA, even marginally better than Canada!) Under the terms of the embargo, the Cuban people are to have no choice in the matter.
The USA alone has been inflicting genocidal, universally condemned trade sanctions on the Cuban people for a half-century now. How much credibility do they have on anything to do with Cuba?
Remember that two men sent by top Cuban dissident, Elizardo Sanchez, to investigate the crash scene confirmed police reports. No other cars were involved. Very clear police photos (made available on YouTube) shows no indication of a collision from behind. Carromero’s was very convincing on this point in a video from Cuba. He spoke clearly and spontaneously — not from any prepared statement. Likewise, his Swedish accomplice.
The Spanish ambassador attended the trial and said the proceeding were “impeccable.” For several weeks after his return to Spain, despite the intervention of extremist elements of his own political party, Carromero himself refused to comment on the case. His recent reversal is not being taken seriously even within his own conservative party (currently in power in Spain). It has been suggested by Spanish sources that he is now simply trying to kick-start a floundering political career.
Tough to read the tea leaves these days on US/Cuban relations. On the one hand, you have a bipartisan group of US legislators calling for an independent investigation of an alleged crime perpetrated by the government of Cuba but then just yesterday, Congresswoman Kathy Castor, a democrat from Tampa, Florida held a press conference calling for an end to travel restrictions and to lifting the embargo. Of course, the lobby against lifting the embargo and maintaining the status quo remains significantly more powerful and influential but who knows? President Obama is headed to Mexico and Costa Rica in May to meet with heads of state. So far there are no plans to make any announcements regarding a sea-course change in US/Cuban policy but anything is still possible. Now more than ever the Castros should take advantage of a possible opening and send Alan Gross home to his family for humanitarian reasons. The Castros should also announce the legalization of other political parties and permit an independent media to publish and distribute. Unlike permitting the buy/sell of cars and homes which affects only a small percentage of Cubans, these political reforms would send a message to Washington that Cuba is really interested in improving relations.
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