Tuesday, April 7, 2009

News and Discussion


The trial of Luis Posada Carriles, charged with several counts of fraud and making false statements during his naturalization process, has been re-scheduled for August 10th after last month's rejection from the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. federal prosecutors asked Judge Kathleen Cardone today to impose the same conditions of release on Posada Carriles from two years ago: a bond of $350,000, and electronic monitoring with an ankle bracelet. For several months, Posada Carriles has lived freely in Miami, exhibiting his artwork in several locations (fundraising for his legal costs) with (according to this report) certain levels of supervision from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


For unknown reasons, Spanish blog Penultimos Dias is happy to see Secretary of State for Ibero-American Affairs, Trinidad Jiménez, leave her post after Spain's recent Cabinet shuffle. Jiménez played an important part in supporting a policy of dialogue between Spain, the EU and Cuba as the best way to bring reforms, rejecting an isolationist policy. Last January, she foresaw a "change of attitude" in the Obama administration with regard to Cuba, and recommended a policy of normalization with Cuba based on "great respect, of not imposing any position and not pressuring publicly." She also supported the eventual end to the U.S. embargo.

Penultimos Dias has simply responded to Jiménez's positions by calling her a "babosa inepta" (like saying "inept moron") and describing her comments as "tonterias" (or "nonsense").

In 2007, Jiménez met with some Cuban exile organizations in Miami where members of the Cuban Liberty Council (CLC) unfairly criticized Spain's support for Cuban dissidents such as Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cruz. Contrary to the CLC's contempt for some dissidents, Jiménez once described all Cuban dissidents as "people for whom we have a profound respect, who we support, and for whom we feel solidarity."


Otto Reich, from Otto Reich Associates, LLC, was interviewed today with Katrin Hansing, from the Cuban Research Institute, for NPR's Talk of the Nation. Both speakers had starkly opposed viewpoints on U.S. policy towards Cuba, but Reich's memory of history was very interesting. Reich told listeners:

"The embargo was established in the early sixties because of the Cuban government's support for violent revolution in Latin America."

That's not entirely true. The U.S. embargo placed in the sixties was initially in response to Cuban nationalization of U.S. properties, and trade deals made with the Soviet Union, the major U.S. enemy during the Cold War. And, by January 1960, aside from economic sanctions, the U.S. government was already planning a full overthrow of Fidel Castro. Cuba's public support for other revolutions came around the late sixties, and into the seventies.

Reich's convenient use of facts (or what he calls "exploitable information" [PDF]) should come as no surprise.

[Timeline of U.S. aggression against Cuba in the sixties.]
[Timeline of U.S. sanctions against Cuba.]

[Photo above by EFE]