Monday, July 30, 2007

Mission Accomplished

More than 100 members of the Pastors for Peace caravan have returned to the US!

Earlier this month the caravan made its way across the US and headed south to the US/Mexico border where they then flew into Cuba with about 90 tons (!) of humanitarian aid. In Cuba, they were also at attendance to see the first US medical students to graduate in Havana, under a scholarship administered by the the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO).

The whole experience has been documented on the Pastors for Peace Blog of the 2007 Caravan to Cuba. There's video and audio links, and plenty of photographs to look at.

Congrats to the IFCO. Read the blog at your leisure, and leave a comment or two.

8 comments:

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Wow! 90 tons of food and other necessities! Couldn't the good pastors have dug into garbage bins and harvested the local dumps to procure an additional 10 tons of "aid" to make it an even 100 tons? Maybe next time, God willing.

Of course, if Castro were to permit Cubans to receive humanitarian aid from abroad in the form of care packages mailed from the U.S., the Cuban people would receive ten times that amount of food every single day. But, of course, that would sabotage his own monopoly. Castro prefers exiles to send cash remittances so that he can get his own cut from Western Union, further enhanced by a bogus exchange rate, and, finally, so that he can force them to spend the money in his company stores whence, inevitably, it winds up in his pocket.

Fidel Castro is a robber baron, the worst kind of mercenary capitalist; and you, Pancho, defend his right to exploit the hapless Cuban people. What does that make you, Pancho? The willing tool of Castro's corporate-state. Or, in other words, a fascist.

Agustin Farinas said...

Well put Manuel, and right on target. This is exactly the same type of extorsion one encounters when trying to visit one's relatives in Cuba and having to pay the Cuban Govt. the exhorbitant amounts for a passport validation every 2 years to the tune of $100 dollars and not to mention the original cost of renewing a passport that amounts to over $200 plus shipping of 20 dollars, dollars every 6 years. All these measures are meant to bleed and punish the Cuabn community outside of the island and to prey on their desire to visit their families on the island. But what I find truly amazing is the two postings that follow each other here, one clearly denigrating and mocking the exiles when Castro fell ill, while the other praises the Pastors efforts to travel to Cuba while the owner of the Blog calims he is an obejctive observer of the Cuban scene. The "mission acomplished" title is truly revealing and leaves no doubts where his sympathy lies. Yet Pancho forgot to mention they did so without any interference from the US govt. that could just stop them from bringing those articles if they were so bad as Pancho claims they are. Of course no one in Cuba would even think of defending the US govt on a blog (if they were lucky enough to have Internet access) as he defends the Cuban regime here. What a marveluos thing democracy is, isn't it?

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Tellechea said:

"Of course, if Castro were to permit Cubans to receive humanitarian aid from abroad in the form of care packages mailed from the U.S., the Cuban people would receive ten times that amount of food every single day."

Really?

You mean American products to Cuba? Why not just begin trading with them and normalize humanitarian shipments to Cuba?

I'm sure hard-liners would love that. That'll sure cause the internal destabilization that they wish.

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Farinas said:

"the exhorbitant amounts for a passport validation every 2 years to the tune of $100 dollars and not to mention the original cost of renewing a passport that amounts to over $200 plus shipping of 20 dollars, dollars every 6 years. All these measures are meant to bleed and punish the Cuabn community outside of the island and to prey on their desire to visit their families on the island."

Good points, I'll take your word for it. I guess the US government should negotiate better migration policies with Cuba. You know, since both sides have demands on the table.

As for the "mission accomplished" statement. What else should I have written?

"HERE COME THE IDIOTS AGAIN."

or

"HERE COME THE SORRY EXCUSES FOR HUMAN BEINGS."

That might be "objective" for Babalu Blog readers, but I don't think so.

I think their work is noble.

Agustin Farinas said...

When you say you take my word for it, you sound as if that may be something I invented or pull out of a hat for this blog's coments. No, Mr Mambo my wife just paid the amounts I quoted to validate her passport to go see her mother in Cuba. This is for real, is not a figment of my imagination. As for me, I would not bother even asking for a passport since the reasons I left Cuba are still present there so I will not enrichen the regime's treasure by soliciting a passport that I will never use so long as that evil perverse and murderous regime who murders women and children for the sole reason of wanting to leave that hellhole, is in place in my country of birth. You may say I am intrasigent and a hardliner. Yes that is true, and damn proud of it!

Mambi_Watch said...

Mr. Farinas,

My comments may seem that way, but I assure you that it was not my intention to suggest deception on your part. I do believe you, and I have no reason to refute what you have stated. But, I am also at a disadvantage since I am ignorant of the passport process of Cubans traveling to Cuba.

But, it would be unwise I believe if someone just accepted the word of a stranger online, instead of some authoritative source.

I mean no disrespect, I'm just being cautious.

Agustin Farinas said...

Mr. Mambi Watch,
for someone who constantly comments and "observes" the Cuban scene from afar, you seem to be very uninformed about many aspects of the subject. For you not to know how the Cuban Govt. fleeces the Cuban community living outside of Cuba, seem disingeneous at best, and apologetic at its worst. How can you claim to know anything about Cuba, if you do not even know that fact so easily found by asking a simple question from anyone in the Cuban community that travels to the island regularly to visit their families.? From the postings I have read here, I thought you were better acquainted with Cuba and its policies. Please forgive me for being blunt, but now I am the one who doubts your veracity and truthfulness.

Agustin Farinas said...

Mr. M.W.
You posted:
What else should I have written?

"HERE COME THE IDIOTS AGAIN."
or
"HERE COME THE SORRY EXCUSES FOR HUMAN BEINGS."

You know very well that no one serious expected you to say that. But your "Mission Acomplished" headline smacked of the kind of headlines we can expect from Granma or Juventud Rebelde not from someone who claims to be an objective observer of the Cuban scene. But then maybe you are not an obejctive observer after all, and are just a little bit bias towards the regime on the island and always defend their point of view. Nah, it couldn't be, I am just being paranoid, that's all.