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Tag: Cuba

Song of a Prisoner

Alan GrossLast month, Alan Gross, a 61 year-old US aid contractor was sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison for crimes against the state. After a two-day trial, a panel of judges accused the American Jew of being involved in a US-funded “subversive project” to “topple the Revolution.” Actually, Gross was working for the Bethesda, Maryland-based Development Alternatives, Inc. on a USAID-backed democracy-building project. He was hired under an $8.6 million contract.

Bonnie Goldstein of PoliticsDaily.com, wrote last year, of the project, from the American perspective:

“Since 1996, a small effort to stick our thumb in the island’s eye developed with the formation of a “Cuba democracy program” within USAID to deliver “humanitarian aid” and “information” to “human rights and political activists” and families of dissidents. For years the democracy program’s budget, about $2 million to start with, was funneled into grants to Cuban American groups in Miami that ostensibly used the money to somehow promote freedoms for Cubans still on the island.”

Unfortunately, program funds were misused. A 2006 audit and investigation by the GAO highlighted taxpayer monies used to purchase Godiva chocolates, Nintendo GameBoys and cashmere sweaters. An alleged embezzlement scheme by another grantee was discovered in 2008, leading a member of the House to challenge USAID’s annual program allocation, which had by then grown to $45 million per year. The agency agreed to more closely monitor its contractors, and soon after Alan Gross was hired via DAI to travel to Cuba.

He was convicted of “acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state” for setting up covert Internet networks for Cuba dissidents utilizing “sophisticated” communications technology. The prosecutors sought a 20-year sentence for the worker, who has been jailed since his Havana arrest on December 3, 2009.

Immediately, the United States, who contended Gross was only setting up Internet access for the island’s Jewish community, came to his defense.

CubaThis week, former US President, Jimmy Carter, (famous for criticizing Israeli policy) is scheduled to meet with Jewish leaders in Cuba concerning Gross. According to the agenda, Carter is scheduled to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro and Roman Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega before leaving on Wednesday.

The trip is under the aegis of the Carter Center, who insist the trip’s aim is to discuss economic policies and improve relations between the US and Cuba.

US officials insist that the 15-year sentence imposed on Gross is a “stumbling block to any rapprochement…” between the nations.

In a statement welcoming Carter’s mission, Gross’s wife, Judy, said:

“If he is able to help Alan in any way while he is there, we will be extraordinarily grateful,” she said in the emailed statement. “Our family is desperate for Alan to return home, after nearly 16 months in prison. We continue to hope and pray that the Cuban authorities will release him immediately on humanitarian grounds.”

Last month, the Reverend Jesse Jackson also complained to Cuba concerning the situation; saying “granting him freedom on humanitarian grounds could open the door for better relations.”

He said:

“I am not making a legal case. I am making a humanitarian plea, a moral appeal…I hope that Raul [Castro] and the governing officials see the advantage of letting him go. Every time a prisoner is let go, it opens the door for increased dialogue and possibilities.”

Jon Stewart is a Bigot, Rick Sanchez Is Unemployed and Fidel Castro is a Zionist

Rick Sanchez
After he made tetchy rhetoric on a radio program, CNN has put the axe in one veteran news anchor Rick Sanchez.

According to Mr. Sanchez, Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” is a bigot.

The former CNN news anchor was born in Cuba and worked at CNN since 2004. He was host of the two-hour “Rick’s List” on CNN’s afternoon lineup. The prime-time version of that show ended when the time slot was filled by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker.

Sanchez often found himself the butt of Stewart’s jokes — other than frequent features on the show’s “Moment of Zen” segment, the most recent example of Stewart’s bigotry directed at Sanchez was when he said on the air that his show had received a tweet from House Republican leader John Boehner. Stewart said it was a case of “send a twit a tweet.”

In rebuttal, Sanchez told Pete Dominick in a satellite radio interview that:

“He’s upset that someone of my ilk is almost at his level,” he is bigoted toward “everybody else that’s not like him.” Jon Stewart “can’t relate to what I grew up with”.

alluding to his family’s needy fiscal findings and prejudice directed at his dad.

Dominick pointed out that Stewart, Jewish, is a minority too.

The response came,

“I’m telling you that everyone who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority?”

Sanchez added a sarcastic “yeah.”

“I can’t see someone not getting a job these days because they’re Jewish.”

Stewart was labeled by Sanchez as a member of “elite, Northeast establishment liberals “who ”deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier.”

Sanchez even talked about Jewish influence in the media:

“Very powerless people… [snickers] He’s such a minority…”

Here is Jon Stewart’s response:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Hurty Sanchez
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, former Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro lambasted Iranian Holocaust denial, supported the Jewish Country’s right to exist and had amicable wishes for Binyamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.

“I don’t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews…I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything.”

Said Castro:

“Now, let’s imagine that I were Netanyahu…that I were there and I sat down to reason through [the issues facing Israel], I would remember that six million Jewish men and women, of all ages were exterminated in the concentration camps.”

Castro also expressed an admiration for Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion, who is the foremost historian of the Spanish Inquisition in the world.

Strange, even for the former Communist dictator who was once a vehement supporter of the ultra-left movement to delegitimize the Jewish Country.

In a separate public announcement, Castro also recently pitted Israel and the US against Iran by cautioning about the could-be catastrophic effects on global climate change that could come as a result of a ‘nuclear winter’.

Meanwhile, this year according to Haaretz, 5,000 Israelis traveled to Cuba on vacation. A number that is sure to increase.

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