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Castros sabotage ending U.S. Cuba embargo: Clinton

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naaman fletcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 09:02 AM
Original message
Castros sabotage ending U.S. Cuba embargo: Clinton
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cuba's President Raul Castro and his brother, ex-leader Fidel Castro, have sought to sabotage U.S. moves to improve ties because they fear it will threaten their power, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday.
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Zorro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. Nothing significant will happen with US-Cuba relations
until the Castro boys take their dirt nap.

Bank on it.
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protocol rv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sounds like a reasonable interpretation
The Obama administration seems very placating, even though it is indeed forced to act with negativism due to the influence of special interests and the jingoistic media. But the Castros do seem to be blocking any atempt at reconciliation, they do realize their regime would fall if there's no excuse for their harsh rule.

I believe that, in any case, their regime is being undermined because Cubans travel to Venezuela in large numbers. And even though Venezuela under Chavez isn't exactly well run or normal, it's much better than Cuba. These Cubans see what happens in Venezuela, go home, tell their family and friends, and this will cause the unrest which will lead the Cuban people to overthrow their government. The Castros are just standing against the tides of history.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
3. Everyone should slowly and carefully read the article.
It's a masterpiece of bullshit.

Thanks for posting.

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naaman fletcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. To be clear,
I was neutral on posting this one, just thought it was interesting.
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protocol rv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. But it does ring true
I suspect the Castro regime is afraid of what may happen if they don't have the embargo to justify their economic failures. This is why I've felt the embargo should be dropped. I don't think the US does much good with such policies. I would drop it and then let the Castros deal with the consequences.
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naaman fletcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. That makes sense, but its still pure speculation. nt
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Speculation is one of P-RV's specialties. n/t
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protocol rv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Yes, I like to speculate
But i'm fairly close most of the time.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Never mind that upping funding for ops to overthrow the gov't is not placating anyone but gusanos.
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 12:16 PM by Mika
Never mind that Obama is going to attend a fundraiser sponsored who believes we should all celebrate and fondly remember the "glory days" of Cuba during the US backed blood soaked Batista days.

When Cuba attempts to overthrow the US gov't by supporting cells of traitors and aiders and abettors of terrorist murderers, then I will call-out Cuba as hostile to the US, but, for now, its the US that is continuing the hostilities against Cuba by doing just that very thing in Cuba.

The article is turd polish.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
9. God,that's such an old slimy claim, and she's spewing something which has been claimed
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 02:54 PM by Judi Lynn
by the GUSANO grifters in Miami for years and years and years.

As IF Cuba would be in these dire economic straights WITHOUT the embargo! Oh, ho ho ho ho ho. Vomit.

She should have ALSO admitted her dirtball brother is married to a hefty Cuban "exile" who is an attorney who works in immigration matters in Miami, herself a loud, pushy big (fat, as well) shot in the hardliner hog Miami community.
Similar to what happened with Iraq, where a disgruntled contingent of an exile community spun its own "intelligence" that helped lead us down the path of war, through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, the United States has allowed and underwritten a wealthy, politically entrenched subset of hardline, pro-embargo Cuban-Americans determine policy despite the best interests of much larger sectors of the population.

While Cuba evolves, U.S. policy will remain static as long as this special interest group sets the terms by which any opening can occur. These hardliners know U.S. ultimatums will never work to bring change to Cuba; they don't expect them to. The hardliners' goal is to punish the perpetrators of the Cuban revolution and create the chaos and institutional breakdown in Cuba that might allow them to regain a foothold on the lost island of their fantasies.

It's curious that the policy of our nation is set by members of Congress who have never set foot on the island, and Cuban-Americans who fled a civil war for the safety of U.S. shores so long ago

The United States has, in part, been unwittingly ensconced in a small-time family-feud with Fidel Castro. After all, the father of two members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida Republicans Lincoln Diaz Balart and Mario Diaz Balart was a close cabinet confidant to former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, whom the Revolution threw out. Their aunt was Castro's first wife, Mirta Diaz Balart, who left Cuba with Fidel's first son, initiating a custody battle that eerily presaged the crisis over the custody and residency of young Elian Gonzalez eight years ago.

Even Hillary Clinton's sister-in-law, Maria Victoria Arias, is a pro-embargo Cuban-American Miami lawyer responsible for the Clintons' campaign contributions and consequently hard-line views on Cuba. Florida Governor Jeb Bush, President George W. Bush's brother, ran the campaign for Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Cuban American member of Congress.


Regarding Bill Clinton, reference Maria Victoria Arias:
Four years ago, senior State Department diplomats hoped Clinton would breathe fresh air into U.S.-Cuban relations. Miami's fiercely anti-Castro Cuban-American community had long blocked any thaw, though the Pentagon had concluded that Havana posed no threat to the region, and Washington had made peace with almost all its cold war enemies. But half a dozen Cuban-American Democrats who raised huge sums for Clinton in 1992 convinced the new President he could win Florida in '96 if he became even more anti-Castro than Ronald Reagan or George Bush had been.

Senior Clinton aides call the cabal the "core group." It includes Maria Victoria Arias, a Miami lawyer married to Hugh Rodham, the First Lady's brother; and wealthy businessman Paul Cejas, who occasionally stays overnight at the White House. Arias telephones Hillary frequently and often sends Clinton clippings from Florida newspapers. In regular meetings at the Colonnade Hotel in Coral Gables or at Little Havana's Versailles Restaurant, the core group plans strategy and prepares appeals, which are sent by way of private notes to Clinton's top political aides. "When an issue comes up, we try to get a consensus and present a united front," says core-group member Simon Ferro, a Miami Democratic activist.

Clinton came to the Oval Office with his own Castro obsession. In 1980 he lost re-election as Governor partly because Cuban refugees rioted at an Arkansas Army post. As President he ordered the CIA to estimate the chances of an upheaval in Cuba during his first term: the agency said better than fifty-fifty. Clinton aides later pressed the cia to fund Cuban dissidents secretly. Burned by a dirty-tricks campaign against Castro in the '60s, the agency sidetracked the idea.

Clinton's foreign policy toward Cuba soon became snarled in bureaucratic battles between Administration hard-liners and moderates. In 1994 Castro allowed 33,000 Cubans to flee to South Florida, and the Administration began discouraging more escapees by detaining the rafters indefinitely at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The core group urged Clinton to punish Havana by halting airline flights to Cuba, but State Department moderates lobbied to maintain informal exchanges, including charter flights. Morton Halperin, the National Security Council's point man on Cuba, circulated a draft presidential speech offering carrots to Castro if he adopted reforms. Hard-liners, led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, Michael Skol, allied themselves with the core group and launched a guerrilla war against the conciliatory moves. Clinton shelved the carrots and embarked on the hard line.

By January 1995 the U.S. Atlantic Command chief, General John Sheehan, who had pressed to ease tensions with Havana, began badgering the White House to clear out the 20,000 Cubans at Guantanamo. Riots were possible, he warned, and by his staff's estimate, a permanent refugee camp would cost some $2 billion. Three months later, partly with that figure as ammunition, Administration moderates staged a policy coup. Under Secretary of State Peter Tarnoff began secretly talking to Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's legislature. The Guantanamo refugees would be sent to Florida. To stanch any new exodus, U.S. Coast Guard boats would intercept future rafters at sea and return them to Cuba on condition that the regime not punish them.

So that no one would catch on, Tarnoff had his wife book his airline ticket to Toronto, where he met with Alarcon in a hotel room to sign the deal. Tarnoff and Halperin were afraid the Cuban Americans might try to scuttle the talks. Indeed, a decision memo had to be sent to Clinton three times before he finally agreed to keep the negotiations secret from the core group. When the agreement was announced, however, angry Cuban Americans poured into the streets of Miami, and the core group retaliated by having Clinton oust Halperin as Cuba point man. The core group then hovered over every inch of policy. A Clinton speech in October 1995 announcing minor cultural exchanges took three months of vetting.

Meanwhile, hard-liners in Havana and Miami were edging both countries toward a crisis. Planes from Brothers to the Rescue, based in Miami, began buzzing Havana, dropping propaganda leaflets. Castro fired off angry notes to Washington warning "deadly force" would be used unless the flights stopped. In January, U.S. intelligence agencies spotted Cuban MiGs test-firing air-to-air missiles and practicing maneuvers to attack slow-moving aircraft similar to the Brothers' planes. The State Department, however, did not believe Castro would attack.

Hugh Rodham, and his brother-in-law.

Here she is with her family, on the right side of the photo, Billy Arias, Ral Montenegro y Elvirita V. de Arias.

Charlotte de Spiegel y Mara Victoria Arias

Another photo on this page:,5848363

However, the Clintons themselves have a family connection to right-wing Cuban Americans. Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother Hugh is married to Mara Victoria Arias, a Republican who mobilized for Clinton in Florida with groups such as Cuban American Women for Clinton. Hugh Rodham and Hillary's other brother, Tony, also worked for Clinton among Republican Cubans. They expect more Cubans to switch parties now that Clinton has the Presidency.
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Billy Burnett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. It's all about the money.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. It's so damned sad! And it's OUR taxdollars which gets shuffled off to Cuban "exile" NGO's
which then gets given to U.S. politicians who create programs or bills to send it right back to the Cuban "exile" hardliners under one guise or another. It's OUR money! Ouch, dammit! Not to mention the bleeping INSULT of having this going on right behind our own backs, even almost in front of our own eyes.

Jorge Mas Canosa's standing under the clock. Henry Kissinger is gracing their presence. Jorge Mas "advises" Ronald Reagan.

So President Obama does business with the kid, Jorge Mas Santos. Sad.

Here's one I just found for the DU members who also haven't seen it:

Celia Sanchez is on the right.

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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. Hugh Rodham looks like a piece of work, yeech! nt
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 04:02 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Oh, yeah! They're a couple of winners, all right! There's more of them to admire! n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
10. Bullshit.
Normalizing relations would be the capstone on their legacy.
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