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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 03:05 PM
Original message
Cuba: We Will Free 52 Political Prisoners
HAVANA, July 7, 2010
Cuba: We Will Free 52 Political Prisoners
Church Confirms Communist Country's Offer; Largest Mass Liberation

CBS/AP) Cuba's Roman Catholic Church said Wednesday that the communist government has agreed to free 52 political prisoners and allow them to leave the country in what would be the island's largest mass liberation of prisoners of conscience in decades.

The deal was announced following a meeting between President Raul Castro and Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the archbishop of Havana. Also participating was visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez.

In a statement, Ortega's office said that those offered freedom were members of a group of 75 leading political opposition activists, community organizers and journalists who report on Cuba in defiance of state controls on media. They were rounded up in a crackdown on dissent in March 2003.

Some had previously been freed for health reasons or after completing their terms, or were allowed into exile in Spain. But 52 have remained behind bars - most serving lengthy prison terms on charges of conspiring with Washington to destabilize Cuba's political system.


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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. "Political prisoners". Some people say.
I'm sure that the gov of Cuba said that it is releasing "political prisoners". Yeah. Right. :crazy:

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Political prisoners"? Says who? A Catholic cardinal?
More likely these are CIA spies and agents provocateur, and Miami mafia operatives, and the "crackdown" was on Washington/Miami-hatched destabilization and overthrow plots. Since it's CBS, which takes its dictates from Washington DC and the Vatican, apparently, the article is all about what the Catholic Church said, and what little ink CBS gives to Cuban leaders is framed this way, at the end of the article...

"Fidel Castro said Cuba held 15,000 political prisoners in 1964, but officials in recent years say none of their prisoners are held for political reasons - all for common crimes or for being paid 'mercenaries' of U.S.-funded groups trying to overthrow Cuba's government." --from the OP

After this extremely biased sentence, the article concludes with this: "According to a report released this week by the island's leading human rights group (???), the number of Cuban political prisoners has fallen to 167, the lowest total since Fidel Castro took power on New Year's Day 1959 - but that tally included those now set to be released as part of Wednesday's agreement." --from the OP

(my emphasis, my question marks)

No name is given for what CBS claims is "the island's leading human rights group." That would be ...ahem, the CIA? With a group name, we could at least trace funding to the USAID (i.e., CIA) or other plotters. This is a typical ploy of our corpo-fascist media--criticizing leftist governments (and leaders) without attribution, without quotes, without documentation. We most often have seen it in the phrase "his critics say"--i.e., "his critics say that Chavez is increasingly authoritarian." No quotation marks. No names. Anonymous "critics"--so casual readers won't know the likely tainted source, and careful readers have no clue for research.

The Catholic Church in Latin America--or rather, the upper prelates, the guys in royal robes--continues to support the most rightwing, militaristic and murderous elements in Latin American society. A frigging cardinal signed the "Carmona Decree" in Venezuela, in 2002, suspending the constitution, the national assembly, the courts and all civil rights, after they kidnapped President Chavez and overthrew his DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED government. Another Venezuelan cardinal--who spent most of his career in the Vatican finance office and was the only prelate ever fired by the Vatican (in the Italian banking scandals of the 1980s)--the one to whom I traced the Associated Pukes' first use of "his critics say" ("...that Chavez is increasingly authoritarian")--regularly railed against Chavez from the pulpit. The upper prelates of the Catholic Church are involved in a similar coalition with rightwing coupsters--also users of death squads--in Honduras. The Catholic Church has furthermore become notorious for widespread child sexual abuse, for covering up child sex abuse and for claiming--in the case of the Belgian upper prelates, recently--that the police have no right to raid Church offices and detain upper prelates in cases of suspected abuse. The Church in OUTSIDE OF and ABOVE the law, in their view--a position that has not been openly asserted since the late Middle Ages.

Some of the top leaders of the Catholic Church are notable scofflaws and fascists, and in some cases hideously criminal. So, how is it that the Catholic Church gets quoted, and THEIR coloration put on this news story, and Cuban leaders get "framed" with something Castro said in 1964, just after the Cuban Revolution?! The Catholic Church has more say than a secular government--a secular government recognized as the legitimate government of Cuba by virtually every other country on earth except the U.S.? The Catholic Church has more say than the Cuban leaders who released these prisoners obviously as a humanitarian gesture and not because they believe that their convictions were wrongful?

This article is crap journalism. This is what corporations DO to journalism. They twist and pervert it to their greedy corporate ends. In this case, they want us to forget that the United States of America has a notorious torture dungeon on the other end of the island of Cuba, and has been torturing prisoners around the globe--and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocent people in a war with no end--a war for resources and power. They want us to forget all this and believe that Cuba is oppressive--Cuba, where all citizens have the HUMAN RIGHT of FREE MEDICAL CARE and the HUMAN RIGHT of FREE COLLEGE EDUCATIONS; Cuba, where the people believe in sharing both the bounty and the burdens of society; where no one starves, where no one goes homeless; Cuba, which exports their excellent medical care system, while the U.S. exports war (--not to mention jobs).

That is why they frame this story this way: It is a propaganda piece to make us forget what THEY have done to our democracy, the human rights outrages of our own government that they have PROMOTED, and the exploitation and war profiteering that they are guilty of, and get us to swallow this tripe about Cuba and to think of Cuba as an "enemy." Believe me, the corporate rulers and war profiteers who are running this country are the "enemy," not Cuba.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thank you.
I was too disgusted by the headline and story to extrapolate. You did so beautifully and right on point. :thumbsup:


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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Wish I could rec your post
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. You have got to be kidding me....
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 02:45 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. About what? nt
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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Let's just say that I am utterly awed by your mental gymnastics. nt
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 05:59 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Above the fact the Catholic Church is very lively in Cuba rises the fact that our rabid
corporate media have told us for decades that Cuba has suppressed religious freedom. I'll bet if you asked people around you in your neighborgood or at work, or another public place if Cuba allows religious practise they would all say, "Oh, no! They're athiests!"

Cuba even has those fundie evangelistic churches, like the Pentacostals, informal, delusional, primitive, hysterical places where the worshippers wave their mitts around in the air while babbling, singing, "speaking in tongues." They probably have their own version of snake handlers as well, for all we know! That's big, too, among certain Christian fundamentalists.

But, due to constant feeding through the corporate propagandists most people here think Cubans are forbidden to go to church, that the "commies" closed down Cuban churches.

So now our media expects us to take the word of a man several years ago they claimed didn't even exist in Cuba: a religious leader. Take HIS view about the salaried, professional "dissidents" whom this country would NOT allow to operate here like that, and tell ourselves they are the downtrodden, political prisoners.

Cuba's most well-known "dissident," Marta Beatriz Roque
who was "outed" by a woman who worked as her secretary
for ten years, and handled all the money she got,
channeled through banks in Canada, etc., from U.S. sources.

She also has been on the payroll of the Miami Cuban "exile"
terorists, receiving money from terrorist Santiago Alvarez,
as proven by phone calls she made, made public.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. FYI, the Catholic church was never kicked out of Cuba, they pulled out due to lack of profits.
Edited on Thu Jul-08-10 08:08 AM by Mika
The post revolutionary government passed a constitutional amendment mandating universal and free education. No entity could charge for education. That took a hugh profit center out of the church business.

The CC stayed officially for long enough to create (along with the US CIA) the Pedro Pan exodus project - that so scared uneducated Cubans into thinking that the commies would force children into labor camps that they shipped their children to Miami via the Catholic Archdiocese in Miami, with the promise that they (the parents) would soon follow. Right after about 15,000 children were brought to Miami the Catholic church officially ceased operations in Cuba leaving the children separated from their parents. The kids were on their own with the child molesting priests in Miami. It was a nightmare for many thousands of these Pedro Pan child pawns.

Harming and abusing children has long been the tradition of the Batistanos and Castrophobes in their ignoble fight.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. So glad to see the perspective you've provided. The private school thing looks even more apparent,
in light the only intention binding all those Cuban "exiles" and their families together is to get back to Cuba, and destroy all aspects of the revolutionary system, removing ALL forms of socialized health care and education, etc., and returning everything to the hands of people who can make money from those services.

Geez. It almost makes you close to vomiting just recognizing it.

In Cuba before the revolution, if you were poor, you were lost for life. Period. You had NO way of acquiring a better, safer, more protected life. Hideous when you realize that's where Cuba would be headed if these people got back in charge.

I don't know what kept me from realizing the child abuse which has gone on in the US American Church would have fallen on these Pedro Pan kids like a ton of bricks when they arrived without the protection and supervision of their parents, as wards of the Church! Good grief.

The Church doesn't have a good record if we are to believe any of the many, many stories coming out now about what has befallen children raised in Church orphanages in Ireland, etc.

That old "send your kids to the States so Castro can't get'em" trick must have exacted a deadly toll, psychologically.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. A terrible form of abuse is the suffering brought about by poverty and inequity of....
Edited on Thu Jul-08-10 12:14 PM by Mika
.... rapacious exploitation and ber consumerism based economies.

Yeah, Cuba might have had the highest #s of TV's per capita pre-revolution (one TV in every suite of the plantation mansions), but the vast majority of Cubans were abjectly poor without any safety net whatsoever.

Now, despite being a small island economy under extraterritorial sanctions, Cubans have world class social infrastructures that treats and protects everyone well, but their per capita electronic gadgetry stats do lag somewhat compared to ber consumer economies.

Sadly, many seem to equate access and ability to afford electronic gadgetry to be one and the same with freedom and democracy.

Thanks for posting your observations. :hi:

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 04:13 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. I have seen that boast about how high the standard of living was before the revolution.
The people who did the boasting were Cuban "exile" posters from Miami who used to throw themselves frantically at the Cuba/US relations/Elian Gonazalez message board at CNN around 2000. They seemed absolutely oblivious to the fact the huge majority of Cuban people across the country had been living far, FAR differently, and had NO access to material trinkets of ANY kind.

That high "standard" was achieved only from averaging the people who had FAR more than they needed, to extravagant excess, with the enormous sea of people living with seasonal work, at best, throughout the rest of the ocuntry, the people living on the land formerly covered by vast plantations and ranches, living not only with NO TV'S, but also with NO RUNNING WATER, and NO TOILETS, etc.

It's the "I got mine" syndrome. Those suffering with it have no idea how ugly, and stupid they look to others.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Oh noes! I've looked at so many mispelled tea rally signs, I'm starting to spell like them.

This image link contains an illegal code

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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-07-10 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is good news and might help passage of the bill that lifts travel restrictions nt
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