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Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig's Untold Journey to the Dodgers

April 15 - In a no-tell motel on Isla Mujeres, eight miles off the coast of Cancún, Yasiel Puig’s escape had come to a halt. Confined to a corner room at the end of a shabby horseshoe-shaped courtyard, he could only wait and hope, for his value to be appraised, his freedom to be bought. There was nothing personal about it, no loved one vowing to pay any price, only the calculus of a crude business. What was this gladiator-size man, with the Popeye forearms and the XXL chest, actually worth—to the people bankrolling his defection from Cuba, to the smugglers now holding him in Mexico, to the agents and scouts who would determine the U.S. market for his talents, to the baseball team that might ultimately write the check?
For close to a year Puig had been trying to force an answer, to extract himself from Fidel Castro’s state-run sports machine, which paid him $17 a month, and sneak across the tropics to a mythical north, where even benchwarmers lived like kings. Two, three, four times, maybe more, he had risked everything and fled, only to be detained by the Cuban authorities or intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard—each failure making the next attempt more urgent. Finally, in June 2012, the 21-year-old outfielder left his home in Cienfuegos, on Cuba’s southern shore, and set off by car for the northern province of Matanzas, just 90 miles from Florida. He was traveling with three companions: a boxer, a pinup girl, and a Santeria priest, the latter of whom blessed their expedition with a splash of rum and a sprinkle of chicken blood.
They were met at the water’s edge by a cigarette boat, long and narrow and fast, which instead of racing straight to Miami took them west and then south, following a 350-mile arc to the Yucatán Peninsula. Under Major League Baseball’s byzantine rules and the U.S. Treasury Department’s outdated restrictions, the only way for a Cuban ballplayer to become a free agent—and score a fat contract—is to first establish residency in a third country. That detour is a fiction, winked at from all sides, and one that gives traffickers command over the middle crossing. The five men piloting Puig’s vessel, mostly Cuban Americans, belonged to a smuggling ring whose interests ranged from human cargo to bootleg yachts to bricks of cocaine. At least two were fugitives—one, on the run from a federal indictment in Miami, was alleged to have extorted Cubans traveling this very route. They were all in the pocket of Los Zetas, the murderous Mexican drug cartel, which charged the smugglers a “right of passage” to use Isla Mujeres as a base. Continue reading Los Angeles Magazine


Cat-and-mouse secrecy game plays out daily in Cuba

April 14 - Cuban dissident Berta Soler says she and other members of the Ladies in White were handing out toys to children at Trillo Park in Havana when a State Security officer detained them and seized the 60 to 70 toys.
Soler said she protested that the women bought the toys legally in Havana with money received legally from supporters abroad. But the agent told her, “Berta, don’t play the fool, because you know those toys come from Miami, the terrorists.”
The March 15 incident reflected the cat-and-mouse game played almost daily by dissidents, supporters abroad who send them assistance and the security agents of a communist government that views most such aid — even toys — as “subversive.”
That’s why, several of the foreign supporters argue, they must use a measure of discretion when sending aid to democracy, human rights or Internet freedom activists in Cuba — enough to ensure it reaches the right people on the island but not so much that it raises suspicions of major illegalities.
“When State Security seizes laptops or even copies of the [U.N.’s] International Declaration of Human Rights, you have to use some discretion,” said Frank Calzon, head of the Center for Cuban Democracy in Washington.
The issue of secrecy in efforts to help Cuba’s civil society hit front pages last week when The Associated Press reported that the U.S. Agency for International Development had created a “secret” Twitter-like platform for Cubans. USAID said the program was not secret, only “discreet” because of the “nonpermissive environment” on the island.
Calzon said he did not mind talking about the precautions he takes in helping Cubans because his center no longer receives U.S. government grants for Cuba programs, and suspects that Havana knows them anyhow.
He stopped keeping important documents in his office after three break-ins in which thieves rifled through files but took no valuables, Calzon said. He keeps four shredders in his office and has it swept occasionally for eavesdropping devices.
Over the years he used foreigners visiting Cuba and other ways to deliver tens of thousands of shortwave radios, books and human rights declarations, Calzon said, “all things that would not be a problem in any normal society.” Continue reading The Miami Herald

Alan Gross ends hunger strike in Cuba

April 14 - U.S. government subcontractor Alan P. Gross, jailed in Havana for more than four years, called off a weeklong hunger strike late Friday but said there will be “further protests” against his treatment by the Cuban and U.S. governments.
“My protest fast is suspended as of today, although there will be further protests to come,” Gross was quoted as telling his Washington lawyer, Scott Gilbert, in a statement released by the family’s public relations firm.
“There will be no cause for further intense protest when both governments show more concern for human beings and less malice and derision toward each other,” the statement quoted Gross as saying.
Gross added that he had suspended his hunger strike, launched April 3, because his mother asked him to stop, according to the statement. She will be 92 years old on April 15, the first day of Passover.
He had told Gilbert earlier this week that he was not eating food but was taking liquids, and that he had lost 10 pounds, on top of the 100 pounds he shed after his arrest in Havana on Dec. 3, 2009.
The 64-year-old development specialist from Potomac, Md., is serving a 15-year sentence for delivering communications equipment, paid for by the U.S. Agency for International Development to Cuban Jews. The equipment would have allowed direct access to the Internet, bypassing government filters and monitors.
Gilbert reported Tuesday that Gross had told him he started the fast after learning of an Associated Press report that USAID had launched a secret Twitter-like platform after his arrest, despite the risk that it would complicate his situation in Havana.
A Cuban foreign ministry official said the next day that her government was “concerned” about the hunger strike, saying he was imprisoned in a hospital to ensure proper medical care.  The Miami Herald

Sending Ideas to Cuba

April11 - The Castro regime appreciates that Communism cannot survive the free flow of communication.
Cubans have lived on an information desert island for more than 50 years. Ten million people, once a vibrant part of the world — in tune with it and contributing to it, receiving information and even immigrants — were cut off soon after Fidel Castro took over in 1959. That the world has done nothing to help them after five decades of oppression is an outrage.
What is not an outrage is that the United States Agency for International Development tried four years ago to circumvent Communist censorship in Cuba by setting up a text-messaging network that Cubans could access. This “Cuban Twitter” was a ray of hope that should be celebrated.
Not apparently by the Associated Press and others who have cried foul. The news agency exposed the program last week under the headline “US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest.” This week the U.S. Senate got in on the act with a hearing at which Democrats took the agency to task. It is passing strange that journalists and legislators whose trade depends on a free flow of information should get a bad case of the vapors when Cubans are given access to each other and the outside world. Let’s concentrate, however, on why USAID’s action should be applauded, not denigrated.
Cubans have no independent press. The three national newspapers and eight television stations are under the control of the Communist party. Only 5 percent of Cubans have access to the Internet, according to the watchdog group Freedom House. This 5 percent is presumably the percentage the regime thinks it can count on.
What Cubans have, in other words, is 24/7 Castro propaganda. The reason is very simple. As with all totalitarian regimes, Communism cannot survive the free flow of ideas. If people under Communism were exposed to alternative viewpoints, not even the most ruthless police state could hold them back.

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) put it succinctly at an event, on the Internet and Cuba, that the Heritage Foundation hosted with Google two years ago: “The regime is so afraid of sharing information because they can’t survive it.”  Continue reading


Senate committee asks for more information about  ZunZuneo

April11 - The Senate foreign relations committee on Thursday asked the US Agency for International Development (USAid) to turn over all records about the Obama administration's secret “Cuban twitter” program as part of a broader review of the agency's civil-society efforts worldwide.
The request included copies of messages the US government or its contractors transmitted to subscribers in Cuba, who never were told about Washington's role in the primitive, text message-based cellphone service that was meant to undermine Cuba's communist government and was the subject of an Associated Press investigation last week.
"I'd like to get a full sense of all your democracy programs, beyond the internet, as well, because we're going to judge all of those in context," committee chairman Robert Menendez told USAid administrator Rajiv Shah during a hearing.
Menendez, who said he supported the “Cuban twitter” network, known as ZunZuneo, said he may ask for separate reviews by other auditing agencies, including inspectors general and the Government Accountability Office. He said he will advocate that pro-democracy programs continue to be run by the agency.
Menendez made the surprise request after Senator Jeff Flake separately asked for data about the program, under the auspices of Congress's oversight responsibilities.
"Will we have access to all the tweets or the messages that were sent by USAid or its contractors in full so we can judge here?" Flake asked. "Because we have to provide oversight, whether we authorize programs or fund them."
The USAid administrator told Flake the agency does not have most of them but promised to turn over any documents it can obtain from contractors.
"You'll have access to what we are able to gather," Shah said.
Menendez, who made the request without a committee vote, said the review will consider whether USAid's pro-democracy programs in Cuba were consistent with those run in other foreign countries, and whether USAid should operate what it has since acknowledged was a "discreet" program.  Read more

This is the kind of 'dialogue' that Venezuelans can expect from the Maduro regime


Venezuelan students beaten, stripped and humiliated by paramilitary hoodlums inside their own university

April 3 - Venezuelan students who were planning to hold a peaceful protest on Thursday, were attacked with tear gas by Venezuela's NAZIonal Guard, while paramilitary hoodlums organized and armed by the Maduro regime, known as 'colectivos', attacked, stripped and beat several of them inside the campus of the Venezuelan Central University known as UCV..

You can see several pictures and a video here: La Patilla


Brutal attack by Venezuela's NAZIonal Guard against Maria Corina Machado and her followers


April 1 - Venezuelan troops dispersed opposition demonstrators with tear gas on Tuesday and blocked anti-government activist Maria Corina Machado, recently stripped of her seat in the National Assembly, from reaching the legislature.
National Guard soldiers surrounded a rally of opposition sympathizers who had planned to march into downtown Caracas to protest at Machado's expulsion from Congress, preventing them from leaving and clearing the square with tear gas.
Parliament stripped Machado of her post last week on charges she violated the constitution by accepting an invitation from Panama to speak against the government of President Nicolas Maduro at a meeting of the Organization of American States.
The opposition leader dismissed that process as an illegal maneuver by a dictatorial government and vowed to attend a session of the legislature on Tuesday. She was stopped from doing so by a line of troops several blocks from the parliament.
"I want to thank every citizen for their support and strength!" she said on Twitter as her supporters gathered.
"Today I am more a deputy than ever, and I will continue to be one until the people decide otherwise."
Anti-government protests began in the South American OPEC nation of 29 million in mid February over shortages of basic items and high crime levels. The protests have decreased in intensity in the last few weeks as opposition demonstrators grow weary.
The director of local pollster Datanalisis said this month that Maduro's approval rating dropped to 41.5 percent in March from around 47 percent in February, according to local media.  Continue reading Reuters

Citizens protesting against the regime on March 28 in Havana's famous Galiano Street


Another Venezuelan student murdered by the National Guard

March 29 - Roberto Annese was killed  on Saturday morning in the Venezuelan state of Zulia, when the National Guard attacked a group of students that were manning a barricade.

Annese was shot in the chest and died about 4 AM on Saturday morning.

This latest death raises to 38 the number of people killed during the protests.


Marco Rubio: How Cuba is exporting repression to Venezuela

March 29 - Excerpted from the Florida senator’s Feb. 24 remarks on the Senate floor, following a speech by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

The senator from Iowa bragged about a number of things that he learned on his trip to Cuba that I’d like to address.
He bragged about their health-care system — medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant-mortality rate may be even lower than ours.
I wonder if the senator was informed, No. 1, that the infant-mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government — and totalitarian regimes don’t have the best history of accurate reporting. I wonder if he was informed that, before Castro, Cuba was 13th in the whole world in infant mortality.
I wonder if his hosts informed him that in Cuba there are instances reported, that if a child only lives a few hours after birth, it’s not counted as a person who ever lived and therefore doesn’t count against the mortality rate. I wonder if he was informed that in Cuba, any time there’s any problem with the child in utero, the mothers are strongly encouraged to undergo abortions.
I wonder if they spoke to him about the outbreak of cholera that they’ve been unable to control, or about the three-tiered system where foreigners and government officials get health care much better than what’s available to the general population.
I heard about their wonderful literacy rate. Here’s the problem: They can only read censored stuff. They’re not allowed access to the Internet. The only newspapers they’re allowed to read are Granma or the ones produced by the government.
We heard about Alan Gross, who is not a prisoner. He is a hostage. I heard allusions to the idea that maybe there should be a spy swap. Here’s the problem: Gross was not a spy. You know what his “crime” was? He went to Cuba to hand out satellite radios to the Jewish community.
Let me tell you what the Cubans are really good at: shutting off information to the Internet and to radio and TV and social media. And they’re not just good at it domestically, they’re good exporters of these things. They’re exporting repression in our hemisphere right now.
Leopoldo Lopez is the former mayor of a municipality in Caracas. The National Guard of Venezuela pulled him into an armored truck last week. You know why? For protesting against the government of Venezuela, which is a puppet of Havana, completely infiltrated by Cubans and military-affairs agents from Havana. Continue reading New York Post

Council on Foreign Relations Caught Lying about Cuba-North Korea Arms Smuggling

March 29 - Back in July a North Korean ship trying to sneak military contraband through the Panama Canal after leaving Havana was stopped by Panamanian authorities on a tip it was carrying illegal drugs.
Instead the ship, named the Chon-Chon Gang, was found to be crammed with missiles, MIGS and mucho military contraband from terror-sponsoring Cuba en route to North Korea. Nuke-rattling North Korea, by the way, has been under a UN arms embargo since 2006.
At first, Cuban terror-sponsoring dictator Raul Castro tried threatening the Panamanian authorities behind the scenes to keep the issue mum, or at least parrot their version of the scam. But Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli scoffed at the blatant blackmail and made the truth known.
The Council on Foreign Relations, on the other hand, parroted the Castroite version of events almost instantly and almost word for word. Here’s Castro’s version of events:
“The 508-foot Chong Chon Gang carried 240 tons of obsolete defensive weapons were to have been repaired in North Korea and returned to Cuba as part of a commercial deal.” (July 17, 2013)
Now here’s the Council on Foreign Relations Latin American “expert” Julia Sweig’s version of events:
“It’s not about Havana trying to circumvent an arms embargo. It’s about: how about we refurbish our old weapons” (Julia Sweig (7/28/2013.)
Admittedly, the issue was in doubt at the time. No investigation had been conducted. So who knew the truth?

Continue reading

Son of Cuban Interior Minister lives in Miami

March 27 - The son of Cuban Interior Minister Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, one of the island’s most powerful and feared figures, has defected and joined the long list of relatives of top government officials now living in South Florida, according to a Miami blog.
Josué Colomé Vázquez crossed from Mexico to Texas and arrived in Miami one month ago, according to the list published by Cuba Al Descubierto — Cuba Uncovered — a blog that focuses on sensitive information about the island and its ruling class.
His Facebook page includes recent photos showing him in a bathing suit on Miami Beach and in a gym, his new car, two pairs of fancy sneakers, a lobster dinner and a gathering with friends at a Hooters restaurant.
Also on the list compiled by blog editor Luis Dominguez are the sons of three senior Cuba figures — a former intelligence chief, a former top diplomat in Washington and the godfather of virtually all of Latin America’s leftist guerrillas.
Dominguez said he has been gathering the names for months and published them late Wednesday to highlight the case of one of his cousins, a Cuban doctor who defected while working in Venezuela last year but has been repeatedly denied a U.S. visa.
“Where is the justice, morality and national security when visas are issued to members of the Castro nomenklatura (ruling class) and are denied to Cuban doctors in other countries,” he wrote in a his blog post.
His cousin was denied the U.S. visa because she could not prove she was in Venezuela as part of an official Cuban program, Dominguez added, “an absurd argument because it is known that there is no other way for a Cuban doctor to go there.”
Parts of Dominguez’s list could not be independently confirmed. But his previous reports, including one last week on the promotion to the rank of brigadier general of a son-in-law of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro, have proven to be reliable.
Dominguez said Josué Colomé Vazquez left Cuba for Cancun, Mexico, crossed the border with Texas and flew last month to Miami to reunite with his mother, Suri Vázquez Ruiz, a former wife of Colomé Ibarra. The son could not be reached for comment.
Colomé Ibarra, 75, is vice president of the Council of State and as interior minister is in charge of national security, from the Directorate of Intelligence to the police and fire departments. A veteran of Fidel Castro’s revolution, he is nicknamed “Furry.”

Read more The Miami Herald


Protesting in Venezuela, With Antipathy Toward Cuba’s Government

March 27 - Enraged as they are by their nation’s leaders, many of the protesters who have spilled onto Venezuela’s streets have their eyes fixed on another government altogether, one they resent perhaps just as bitterly as their own: Cuba’s.
The Cuban government and its president, Raúl Castro, they contend, have leeched off Venezuela’s oil wealth, grafted Cuba’s rigid brand of socialism onto their country and helped choreograph a broad crackdown on dissent.
Their rancor is echoed by the Cuban opposition, which has thrown itself behind the Venezuelan protesters’ cause with gusto, sharing photos and videos of protests and police abuse on Twitter, urging Venezuelans to resist and even rapping an apology for what they call Cuba’s meddling.
The fixation with the influence of Cuba in Venezuela’s affairs reflects how meshed the two countries’ economic and political realities remain a year after the death of Venezuela’s longtime president, Hugo Chávez, who was Fidel Castro’s closest foreign ally.

“We are invaded by Cubans,” said Reinerit Romero, 48, a secretary who attended a recent demonstration here to protest shortages of basic foodstuffs. The Venezuelan armed forces, she asserted, are infiltrated with Cuban agents dressed in Venezuelan uniforms.
At the same march, Carlos Rasquin, 60, a psychiatrist, carried a sign that read, “No to Cubanization.” By “Cubanization,” he said, he meant repressing dissident activity, quashing private enterprise and eliminating perceived enemies of the government in civil society.

Continue reading The New York Times


Venezuela arrests three air force generals 'plotting coup

March 25 - President Nicolás Maduro disclosed the arrest of three air force generals for allegedly plotting to overthrow his government amid nearly two months of protests that have roiled the country.
The president didn't name the generals nor did he offer details about their plot or capture. (Note - Venezuelan media is reporting tonight that the three generals are: Brigadier General Carlos Alberto Millán Yaguaracuto, Air Force Brigadier General José Daniel Machillanda Díaz and Air Force Brigadier General Oswaldo Hernández Sánchez)
Speaking at a gathering of South American nations here, Mr. Maduro said the suspects had been under investigation and were apprehended on Monday.
Mr. Maduro thanked the "powerful morality of our Bolivarian National Armed Forces" for the capture, saying the suspects had links to Venezuela's political opposition and had conspired to launch a coup this week.
Mr. Maduro, like his late predecessor Hugo Chávez, has several times announced alleged conspiracies against his government without offering proof. The government nor military officials returned calls seeking comment.
The military is a vital institution of support for Mr. Maduro's government and formed the backbone of the socialist movement started some 15 years ago by Mr. Chávez, who was a former tank commander.
"If Maduro begins to see members of the military that are starting to budge, starting to question the approach by the political folks in the government then you know they would be in trouble," said Carl Meacham, director of the Americas program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington.
Venezuela's government has arrested several opposition leaders while cracking down on a protest movement that erupted in early February as government critics vent frustration over a collapsing economy, rampant crime and shortages of basic goods. On Tuesday, the head of the national congress expelled from the parliament María Corina Machado, an opposition lawmaker who has spearheaded the demonstrations and who government supporters blame for stirring up unrest that has claimed the lives of at least 35 people.
Venezuela's troubling economic outlook threatens to "exacerbate the risk of social unrest given the high level of political polarization," analysts at Fitch Ratings said Tuesday as they lowered the country's sovereign-debt rating one notch further into junk territory to B from B+ and warned of further downgrades. Continue Reading The Wall Street Journal


Union head under fire for ‘educational’ trip to Cuba

March 24 - The head of the city public school union representing 23,000 parent coordinators, crossing guards and cafeteria workers is under fire for taking an “educational trip” to Cuba while his members have toiled for years without a contract.
Opponents of Local 372 president Santos Crespo Jr. are using the 2012 Cuba trip and other spending issues as ammo in their effort to oust him in upcoming union elections in June.
Meanwhile Crespo filed a motion in Manhattan state Supreme Court to keep secret the records regarding a legal payout and settlement the union made with its former political director, Monica Davids. Crespo fired Davids in a dispute but she filed counterclaims for more than $7,000 in back pay and plus $150,000 in legal expanses – and it is believed the secret settlement cost Local 372 tens of thousands of dollars.
“Cuba is on the international list of human rights violators. How can he go there under Local 372’s name?,” said Donald Nesbitt, a candidate for vice president. “What can he bring back from Cuba that will help our members with their issues? Absolutely nothing!”
The union has been without a contract since March of 2010.
Crespo — who opposes the US trade embargo and supports the campaign to help the convicted “Cuban 5” spies imprisoned in the U.S. – raved about his trip to the community country in a special Local 372 newsletter that included a picture of the Cuban flag and the heading “We are One – Somos Uno.”
“I was in awe and felt inspired,” Crespo, who is of Puerto Rican descent, gushed of his trip in the union newsletter. “The education system in Cuba is not a profit driven or politically driven system.”
Crespo said there’s “zero illiteracy and marveled that virtually all workers belong to the union – though failed to mention there’s no free speech and that talking against the government could lead to imprisonment.
Local 372 executive board member Shaun Francois is challenging Crespo for the presidency.
Crespo declined requests for comment.  New York Post


Thousands of protesters returned to Plaza Altamira, ignoring the soldiers sent by Maduro

March 17 - Thousands of peaceful demonstrators returned to the Plaza Altamira, hours after the regime of Nicolas Maduro sent more than a thousand soldiers and dozens of military vehicles to "liberate the Plaza."

The evening demonstration started with women dressed in white and praying the Rosary around 5 PM Venezuelan time.

They were later joined by thousands of peaceful demonstrators that surrounded the heavily armed soldiers.

People parked their cars on the street and joined the demonstrators.

"There were more demonstrators in Altamira tonight, than in any previous night", one of the demonstrators posted on Twitter.


Venezuelan regime ordered overnight the militarization of Chacao and Altamira (UPDATED)

March 17 - 9:30 AM - Venezuelan troops stormed a Caracas square on Sunday to evict protesters who turned it into a stronghold during six weeks of demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro.
National Guard soldiers fired tear gas and turned water cannons on hundreds of demonstrators who hurled rocks and some petrol bombs before abandoning Plaza Altamira, in affluent east Caracas, which has been the scene of daily clashes.
Some soldiers rode into the square on motorbikes, rounding up a dozen demonstrators, Reuters witnesses saw. One flashed a "V" for victory as he was driven away, another shouted "Help!" Read more Reuters


6 AM -Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro ordered the army to take over the Plaza Altamira in the pro-opposition Chacao district of Caracas, where anti-regime protests have been taking place daily for more than a month.

Soldiers in armored vehicles went into the Plaza overnight and removed barricades.

Diosdado Cabello, president of Venezuela's General Assembly of puppets, said at 5:30 AM on Monday, that Plaza Altamira and Chacao had been "liberated."

Freedom for Venezuela


Photo of the day: Venezuelan protesters stop armored vehicle with their bare hands

Feb. 18 - Thousands of police and National Guards have circled a park in Caracas where an opposition march was supposed to begin on Tuesday.

Soldiers backed by armored vehicles are blocking citizens from joining the protest. In this photo, several men are blocking an armored vehicle from reaching the area where the protesters are assembling.


Photos from Cuba: Activists delivering copies of the Web Paqs to friends and neighbors

Jan. 7 - These photos show activists of the Instituto Cubano por la Libertad de Expresión (ICLEP), giving copies of the Web Paqs for Cuba to their neighbors and friends, together with printed copies of  their publications Redecilla and Panorama Pinareño.

On January 1 in Santiago de Cuba, Raúl Castro dedicated part of his speech to complain about a campaign to allow youth in Cuba to have access to the Internet that is blocked by his regime.

Now we know why Raúl is so worried. It is very hard for him to block projects like Web Paqs for Cuba, that provide offline access to more than 55 websites with news and information about Cuba and the world.

You can learn more about Web Paqs for Cuba visiting our page: End Internet Blockade


Who said that brainwashing doesn't work?

Dec. 7 - Elian González after 14 years of brainwashing: "Fidel Castro for me is like a father. I don't profess to have any religion but if I did my god would be Fidel Castro. He is like a ship that knew to take his crew on the right path"


Videos: The Ladies in White protest in Havana and stopped from marching in Holguín

Dec. 3 - Video of a protest by the Ladies in White on Sunday December 1 at Parque Gandhi in Havana and an attempt to march in Holguin, but were stopped by Castro's police



Cuban lady is brutally attacked by Castro's police for expressing her opinions

Nov. 4 - Anonymous Venezuela has a warning: This is the future of Venezuela unless they get rid of Maduro and the other puppets under the control of the Castro brothers.


Yoani Sáncez's presentation at Google Ideas Summit

October 26 - Yoani Sánchez explains how Internet without Internet is used by Cubans inside the island.

Learn how you can help promote Internet without Internet in Cuba:

The Real Cuba  Also on Twitter: @WebPaqsforCuba  On Facebook: Paquetes Web Para Cuba


Learn about a new technology that allows Cubans in Cuba have access to websites banned by the Castro regime and how you can help:

The Real Cuba  Also on Twitter: @WebPaqsforCuba  On Facebook: Paquetes Web Para Cuba


Video of another act of repudiation against members of UNPACU

Oct. 9 - This took place in Cardenas on Sunday October 6, 2013

Click here to see the video


Yoani: Cuban authorities are worried about web paqs circulating inside Cuba

Sept. 13 - Tweet from Yoani Sánchez:

"Authorities worried because of "packages" or "combos" with a collection of audiovisuals in the black market"

As I have said before, projects like Web Paqs for Cuba are the best way to bypass the blockade at the Internet, put in place by the Castro dictatorship to prevent Cubans in the island from knowing what's happening inside Cuba and in the rest of the world.

You can learn more about Web Paqs for Cuba and how you can get involved in this project at La Singularidad Cuba (Español) The Real Cuba (English) Twitter and FaceBook


Video taken at the Hijas de Galicia Hospital, Luyanó, Havana, Cuba

July 8 - Video taken in April of this year at the Hijas de Galicia Hospital, one of the hospitals for Cubans who do not have hard currency to pay the Castro brothers.

Very different from the hospital where they took Micahel Moore and the hospitals that are used by foreigners who pay with dollars.

Click here to see the video


Clandestine video shows Bahamian guards brutally abusing Cuban rafters

June 15 - June 15 - This clandestine video taking inside a Bahamian jail, shows a guard kicking and insulting Cuban rafters who were trying to reach the United States and ended up in the Bahamas.
There should be a tourism boycott of the Bahamas, unless the Bahamian government orders the arrest and prosecution of this brutal thug and stops abusing Cuban rafters who are risking their lives in search for freedom.
Click here to see the video


Tweet from Yoani Sánchez about the Web Paqs for Cuba project


Learn more about Paquetes Web Para Cuba

Visit our page about Paquetes Web Para Cuba

You can also visit us on Facebook to find all information about the Internet Web Paqs for Cuba, a project to help the Cuban people have access to the websites that are blocked by the Cuban regime.

Make sure to click on 'Like" as a sign of support Paquetes Web Para Cuba


Spanish daily ABC has an article about the false myth of Cuba's healthcare

Foto de la versión impresa del reportaje en ABC

March 17 - On Thursday of last week, Carmen Muñoz a columnist for Spanish daily ABC, called me to ask for permission to use the photos at therealcuba.com for an article about the false myth of Cuba's healthcare.

I was able to send her many of the photos on high resolution to use on the print edition of the newspaper.

The article was published on Sunday on ABC and is also on their web page at ABC.es  (Spanish)


Twit by Cuban blogger Orlando Luis Pardo about Paquetes Web Para Cuba


Our new page: Fidel Castro, the World's oldest terrorist


My interview with Baseball PhD

March 29 - I was interviewed by Ed Kasputis, of Baseball PhD, about baseball in Cuba before Castro and about the two Cubas, the one for foreigners and the one for regular Cubans.
Ed did a previous program with Mr. Sports Travel of San Diego, CA, about the five top international baseball destinations and was surprised to find out that the #1 destination was Cuba.
He received some nice pictures of Cuba and was ready to book a trip when he saw therealcuba.com and changed his mind.
He interviewed me as part of a program about the new Marlins Stadium and I was able to talk about baseball in Cuba before Castro and then we had a long chat about what is the reality of life in Cuba under Castro.
The program lasts 53 minutes, if you are not a baseball fan and just want to hear my interview about Cuba use your mouse to move the dial to minute 25:35  Click here to listen


Listen to Fidel Castro

For those who think that the Cuban people chose the system imposed by the Castro brothers, here are some of the things that Fidel Castro said and promised when he gained power Click Here


Satellite photos of Cuba's prisons, missile installations, military bases and more


A look at Havana before the Castro brothers destroyed it Cuba B.C


Visit our updated page: The Useful Idiots


We have new photos of Havana taken in October of last year

Oct. 9 - A friend sent me around two dozen photos of Havana that he took at the beginning of this month.

Some of them are very sad, because they show how Havana has been completely destroyed by this gang of human termites.

Some others are hard to believe, including this one of goats having "lunch" off the dumpsters on a Havana street.

Click here  to see them


Socio-Economic Conditions in Pre-Castro Cuba

Dec. 17 - Cuba Facts is an ongoing series of succinct fact sheets on various topics, including, but not limited to, political structure, health, economy, education, nutrition, labor, business, foreign investment, and demographics, published and updated on a regular basis by the Cuba Transition Project staff at the University of Miami.

Click here to learn the truth about Cuba's Health, Education, Personal Consumption and much more in pre-Castro Cuba.


More photos showing how the Castro brothers have destroyed one of the world's most beautiful cities

Click here


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