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Bolton, Posada, Cuba Action Day and MORE!

by Walter Lippmann Saturday, Apr. 30, 2005 at 12:12 AM 323-667-3471

The struggle over John Bolton's confirmation, the presence of Cuban Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles in the United States, and a successful effort to lobby the US congress to end travel and trade restrictions against US citizens and businesses who wish to engage in normal commerce with Cuba


by Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

There's so much going on now related to Cuba that it's

difficult to keep all of the pieces in focus. Bear with

me, here are some of the main ones and I'm sure there

are others which could just as well be included. We can

perhaps say "a specter is haunting Washington", that of

the Cuban Revolution, which is involved in or related to

a massive array of events, issues and struggle which are

all going on at this moment.

Yesterday, Wednesday May 27, 2005, was Cuba Action Day in

Washington, D.C. An estimated seven hundred people joined

to lobby US congress members of both the Senate and the

House of Representatives. Those who weren't able to go to

Washington were able to phone in, as I did, and speak to

staffers at the offices of my Representative and both of my

Senators. The activity, coordinated by the Latin American

Working Group and others, and led by the tireless Mavis

Anderson and Phillip Schmidt got decent press in at least a

few places, like the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel.

Mavis Anderson sent out a great report about the day's

achievements. Read that here:

A new coalition in favor of ending the travel and trade

restrictions and moving toward normalized relations was

announced, headed by Kirby Jones. We've sent out their news

release. It's an important initiative which is being led by

corporations who want to do more business with Cuba. From

the Cuban side, Pedro Alvarez, the head of Alimport, the

Cuban entity which is responsible for all foreign

agricultural trade contracts was present via a telephone

hookup. Read their news release here:

On the opposite side, the rightist Cuban exiles have been

working hard to shore up support for keeping the blockade.

A group in Congress announced formation of a caucus devoted

to this purpose. A motion was passed in the House, by a

vote of 398-27 demanding that the European Union attack

Cuba. While the EU's hostility toward Cuba has been clear

in recent weeks, they may not appreciate being told what to

do by the United States Congress so we'll have to wait and

see what, if anything, comes of that.

The Wall Street Journal is on the rampage in favor of John

Bolton as well. There are three separate articles about

him today, including an editorial. The Los Angeles Times,

hedging its bets I suppose, has an editorial attacking him

and a column endorsing him, and the links to his positions

and allegations about Cuba are a connecting thread.

The Bush administration, in its relentless campaign against

Cuba, chose to intervene in Cuba Action Day in its own way,

by issuing yet another attack in Cuba. This took the form

of repeating the same allegations on Cuba and terrorism

which we've been hearing from them for quite awhile,

particularly from John Bolton. The main report issue is

137 pages long and includes the following few paragraphs:





APRIL 2005

EXCERPTS ON Cuba from this massive report:

Cuba Throughout 2004, Cuba continued to actively oppose the

US-led coalition prosecuting the global war on terrorism.

Cuba continues to maintain at the UN and other fora that

acts by legitimate national liberation movements cannot be

defined as terrorism, and has sought to characterize as

“legitimate national liberation movements” a number of

groups that intentionally target innocent civilians to

advance their political, religious, or social agendas. The

Notably, 2004 was marked by progress in decreasing the

threat from states that sponsor terrorism. Iraq’s

designation as a state sponsor of terrorism was formally

rescinded in October 2004. Libya and Sudan took significant

steps to cooperate in the global war on terrorism.

Unfortunately, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, and, in

particular, Iran continue to embrace terrorism as an

instrument of policy. Most worrisome is that these

countries also have the capabilities to manufacture weapons

of mass destruction and other destabilizing technologies

that could fall into the hands of terrorists. Iran and

Syria are of special concern for their direct, open, and

prominent role in supporting Hizballah and Palestinian

terrorist groups, for their unhelpful actions in Iraq, and

Iran’s unwillingness to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida

members it detained in 2003.


Shortly before leaving office in September 2004, President

Moscoso pardoned four foreigners arrested in 2000 and

jailed for illegal possession of explosives. The Government

of Cuba alleged that the suspects were plotting to kill

Fidel Castro, who was attending the Ibero-American summit

in Panama, and sought their extradition. Panama refused, on

grounds that they would not be accorded a fair trial in

Cuba. Upon their release, the Cuban Government suspended

diplomatic relations with Panama. Relations were later



State Sponsors of Terrorism Overview Iraq, as it

transitioned to democracy, ceased to support terrorism and

its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism was

rescinded in October 2004. Libya and Sudan took significant

steps to cooperate in the global war on terrorism in 2004.

Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria, however, continued to

maintain their ties to terrorism. Although some countries

in this latter group have taken steps to improve

cooperation with global counterterrorism efforts in some

areas, all have also continued the actions that led them to

be designated as state sponsors.


Cuban Government claims, despite the absence of evidence,

that it is a principal victim of terrorism sponsored by

Cuban-Americans in the United States. The Cuban

Government’s actions and public statements run contrary to

the spirit of the UN conventions on terrorism that it has


In 2004, Cuba continued to provide limited support to

designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, as well as

safehaven for terrorists. The Cuban Government refuses to

turn over suspected terrorists to countries that have

charged them with terrorist acts, alleging that the

receiving government would not provide a fair trial on

charges that are “political.” Havana permitted various ETA

members to reside in Cuba, despite a November 2003 public

request from the Spanish Government to deny them sanctuary,

and provided safehaven and some degree of support to

members of the Colombian FARC and ELN guerilla groups.

Many of the over seventy fugitives from US justice that

have taken refuge on the island are accused of committing

violent acts in the Unites States that targeted innocents

in order to advance political causes. They include Joanne

Chesimard, who is wanted for the murder of a New Jersey

State Trooper in 1973. On a few rare occasions the Cuban

government has transferred fugitives to the United States,

although it maintains that fugitives would not receive a

fair trial in the United States. FULL DOCUMENT HERE:



The State Department held a special press conference to

announce this new terrorism report which included this:

In the report you say that Cuba, North Korea, and Syria

have the capacity to manufacture weapons of mass

destruction. And I wonder if you could elaborate on Cuba.

How can Cuba -- I mean, in what way or --?

MR. ZELIKOW: If you expect me to walk into the minefield of

discussing the Cuban biological weapons program, I'm going

to disappoint you. (Laughter.) However --

MR. ZELIKOW: No. The Cuban Government has the capability to

manufacture some weapons of mass destruction. The U.S.

Government has discussed what those capabilities are in

other settings and I don't want to get into that here. The

same is true for Syria and the other countries we named.

What we're focusing on here principally is less what is the

WMD capability of the states, is simply what is the role of

those states in state sponsorship of terrorism. And then

please look at that against the background of what we have

already said publicly about the capabilities of those

states in the WMD world. And then you can draw some

inferences about whether that's disturbing or not.



Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has been traveling around

in Latin America. She's been attacking Cuba in front of many

different audiences, but we don't have any indication that

there has been any positive response to what she's been

saying by people like Lula. Indeed, Brazil's relationship

with Cuba is getting closer with the news that the Brazilian

state oil company Petrobras (they aren't privatizing such

things in Brazil, Condi!) will be joining the Venezuelan

PDVSA to engage in more oil explorations off Cuba's shores.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is visit Cuba again and

today he met with Fidel to open the new offices of PDVSA,

the Venezuelan oil company which will also be exploring for

oil and working on refining capacity as well with Cuba. And

these are in addition to a Venezuelan-Cuban trade fare which

is in progress. If you haven't had the time to look at the

important agreements which Fidel and Chavez signed when the

Venezuelan president visited Cuba in December, you should.

Cuba and Venezuela are moving closer and closer economically.

The island has opened up opportunities for investment from

Venezuela's private sector at strikingly favorable terms:

Thanks to our indefatigable translator Ana Portela we now have

the text of the speeches given by Elian Gonzalez and his father

Juan Miguel Gonzalez, at that at Cuban rally celebrating the

5th anniversary of Elian's rescue. Soon we'll have the rest of

the speeches at that event. Fidel Castro attended but he was

not one of the speakers.

We also have several other new translations to share with

CubaNews readers, including articles on Liberation Theology

and on the new and old popes by Frei Betto and Leonardo Boff.

Thanks to author Michael Munk, we have his review of Piero

Gliejes's CONFLICTING MISSIONS which was published in the

April 2005 issue of SCIENCE & SOCIETY magazine. Read that:

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