Disparates - (español)
I suppose the Latin American term for an apples and oranges comparison is peras y manzanas. [Pears and apples.] Somehow it doesn’t have quite the same ring. In Spain, the expressions are funnier. No hay que confundir el culo con las témporas. [No need to confuse the ass with the temporal bones]. No confundir churras con merinas. [Don't confuse the sheep that produces itchy wool with the sheep that makes merino].
But at the moment, thinking of Rene González and Alan Gross, I prefer the Spanish no mezclar la velocidad con el tocino [don't mix up speed and bacon], because it’s an expression that highlights the absurd, and nothing is more absurd than the comparisons that are being marketed by the mainstream U.S. press on behalf of the State Department about these two men. Continue reading
Posted in Cuba, Cuban Five, media terrorism
Tagged BGANs, brothers to the rescue, Cindy Sheehan, Cuban Five, dai, fernando gonzález, gerardo hernandez, jay weaver, jose basulto, Judy Gross, maggie khuly, Peter Kahn, U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, USAID
Here at Machetera’s vast publishing empire, we believe in being gracious. Which means we’ll take yes for an answer from the Miami Herald on its “correction/clarification” regarding its shamelessly poor reporting on Gerardo Hernández’s habias corpus appeal. Yes, they did get it horribly wrong.
When you issue a correction and clarification, you should do your best to be complete and accurate, not dig yourself a new hole. Even when the correction is buried and microscopically small. Continue reading
No evidence exists that Hernández had any advance knowledge whatsoever regarding Cuban Air Force shoot down of Brothers to the Rescue planes – inferences made at trial were “tragically, utterly false” – español
“Gerardo Hernández never did receive due process of law either on the part of the prosecutors or his own defense.”
Attorneys for Gerardo Hernández, a Cuban citizen serving two consecutive life sentences plus 15 years in the maximum security wing of the US Federal Penitentiary at Victorville, California have filed his final appeal in the US legal system. The evidence supporting his right to a new trial is staggering.
Hernández is one of ten Cubans who, like the Russian agents arrested in the summer of 2010 in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, were arrested by the FBI in Miami in 1998 and charged with failing to register as agents of a foreign government, as well as conspiracy to commit espionage. Unlike the Russians, who were swiftly deported and never faced a trial, five of the arrested Cubans quickly pled guilty and were rewarded with reduced sentences and green cards, while the remaining five, including Hernández, were thrown into separate solitary confinement cells for nearly a year and a half to await their court date. All the evidence for, against, and irrelevant to their cases was locked away by federal authorities under cover of national security. The government’s manipulation of the evidence is one of the issues raised in the appeal. Continue reading
Posted in Cuba, Cuban Five, gerardo hernandez, media terrorism, Terrorism
Tagged bay of pigs, brothers to the rescue, cuban air force, george buchner, icao, jose basulto, juan pablo roque, judge kravitch, judge lenard, leonard weinglass, madeleine albright, miami herald, operation venezia, paul mckenna, radio marti, satellite imagery, saul landau, shoot down, tv marti, victorville
On Sunday, December 28, Jay Weaver filed a story for the Miami Herald about the habeas corpus appeal for Gerardo Hernández, one of the “Cuban Five” who is currently serving a double life sentence in the maximum security federal prison at Victorville, California. The article was subsequently translated for publication in the Herald’s Spanish language subsidiary, El Nuevo Herald. The story and its headline (“In about-face, Cuban spy says planes were shot down over international waters”) made the sensational claim that in his appeal, Hernández had made a 180 degree turn, and is now contradicting the Cuban government’s position regarding the events of February 24, 1996, when two light aircraft belonging to the Miami group “Brothers to the Rescue” were shot down by Cuban fighter jets after being led toward Cuban airspace by their commander, José Basulto.
Sensationalism certainly attracts readers. But it is not a substitute for a well-researched story, or the truth. A careful reading of Hernández’s appeal does not lead to the conclusion stated by Weaver or the Herald. I will write further about this in upcoming posts. For now, these are my comments at both the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald (Spanish below). Continue reading
Posted in Cuba, Cuban Five, gerardo hernandez, media terrorism
Tagged brothers to the rescue, Cuban Five, defense misconduct, El Nuevo Herald, gerardo hernandez, habeas corpus appeal, icao, international waters, jay weaver, jose basulto, maggie khuly, miami herald, shootdown, u.n. security council, victorville
Wilfredo Cancio’s Desperate Effort to Keep Gerardo Hernández Down - español
Really, the desperation is the saddest part.
The recent news about Gerardo Hernández being sent to the “hole” in the federal prison at Victorville, abruptly pre-empting the lab tests that had been ordered for him by the prison’s doctor after a 3 month wait, has raised alarm in certain circles in Miami. Not out of any particular concern for humane treatment of prisoners, however. To the contrary, the fear seems to be that Hernández, Miami’s trophy captive from the absurd trial of the Cuban Five staged there nearly 10 years ago, may be slipping away as part of a U.S.-Cuba prisoner exchange.
Wilfredo Cancio Isla, a Miami Cuban who, after a 10 year peregrination through Miami’s anti-Castro obsessed media has finally landed at a blog called CafeFuerte [strong coffee], is participating in the campaign to destroy Hernández by incarcerating him until death, and then incarcerating him again. Continue reading
The holiday season behind us at last, Machetera can finally turn her attention back to her vast publishing empire and her overflowing mailbox.
As faithful readers know, occasionally I’ll elevate a letter from the comment section to a post of its own, if it merits a point by point response. The writer of this particular letter, a certain Matt Lawrence, writing from an email address created in homage to the amusing name of his “fictional” pilot character, Trig Combs, has begun copying and pasting his letter not only to Machetera but to other solidarity activists writing on behalf of the Cuban Five. Copying and pasting is sheer laziness – if you’re going to defend terrorists like Brothers to the Rescue, the least you can do is try to be original – but then again, that camp has never been known for its excess of brainpower. (Note to Lawrence: hangar is spelled with an “a” unless it’s the kind you put in your closet.)
Lawrence’s primary purpose in writing appears to be to hawk his book. To borrow Obama’s pet phrase, let me be clear. That’s not going to happen here. His secondary purpose is to smear the courageous Cuban Five. That’s really not going to happen here.
Now let’s begin: Continue reading
First, a brief word of apology to Jefferson Morley, whose excellent and meticulously researched book, Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA was first mentioned here almost exactly one year ago, with the promise of a review to come…like so many other worthy projects, the review ended up on the back burner (the saltmine beckons and is unusually active at present), but it has not been forgotten. In the meantime, Machetera will say this: the book is terrific – engagingly written, carefully corroborated, it is a must-read for anyone curious about the CIA’s long reach in Mexico, particularly during the period in the fall of 1963 when the CIA did and then didn’t know about Lee Harvey Oswald’s visit to Mexico City in his failed search for a Cuban visa. So get the book, now.
Second, José Pertierra has just published an exclusive interview with Morley at Cubadebate. Continue reading
Posted in Cuba, English translations, Guatemala, Mexico, propaganda, Terrorism
Tagged alberto muller, brothers to the rescue, canf, david phillips, dre, enrique "harry" ruiz-williams, ernesto travieso, fidel castro, george joannides, howard hunt, jacobo arbenz, jefferson morley, jmwave, john f. kennedy, jose basulto, juan manual salvat, kennedy assassination, lee harvey oswald, librería universal, national security, psyops, robert f. kennedy, terrorism against Cuba, winston scott
CORRECTIONS: The news that Gerardo Hernández received on his birthday, June 4, 2008, was not that the Supreme Court would refuse to hear the Cuban Five’s case, but that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had reinstated his two life sentences, after a previous ruling had overturned them. The Supreme Court’s announcement of the refusal to hear the Five’s case would come a year later, on June 15, 2009. In a sense, the timing was even more cruel, petty and personal than outlined below. The interview with Adriana Pérez, Gerardo’s wife, attributed in the article below to California’s La Opinión, was actually an Associated Press interview, from which La Opinión collected selected excerpts.
A State Department at the Service of Petty Interests:
Visa Denial as a Form of Torture
When the U.S. Government announced that it would deny Adriana Pérez a visa for the tenth time in eleven years in order to come from Cuba to the United States and visit her husband, Gerardo Hernández, incarcerated at the federal prison in Victorville, California, it carefully chose the date to break the news. The denial was announced on July 15, the couple’s 21st wedding anniversary. When the Supreme Court announced that it would refuse to hear the case of the Cuban Five, of whom Hernández is one, and the one facing the largest sentence, it chose the date with equal care: June 4, Hernández’s birthday. The timing of both events was as certainly deliberate as it was petty – a stamp of the U.S. State Department, where cruelty and pettiness abound.
Pérez has not seen her husband for almost twelve years, starting since almost a year before a SWAT team tore down the door to his tiny apartment in Miami in September of 1998 and arrested him, answering his question about why he was being arrested with a snarling “You know why.” So much for due process. It would be only the first violation of its kind in a never-ending chain. Continue reading
Posted in Cuba
Tagged adriana pérez, Angola, atilio borón, barack obama, bob menendez, brothers to the rescue, congris, Cuban Five, fabio di celmo, fidel castro, gerardo hernández nordelo, hillary clinton, john mccain, leonard weinglass, livio di celmo, luis posada carriles, mireya moscoso, mitt romney, olga salanueva, rene gonzález, shootdown, top secret recipes, visa denials
A story filed by Associated Press journalist Anita Snow last Tuesday, April 21, included the following sentences: “Obama could suffer serious political fallout if he agreed to swap the so-called Cuban Five — communist agents who were convicted of espionage in Miami in 2001. The ringleader was implicated in the death of four exiles killed when Cuban military fighters shot their planes down off the island’s coast in 1996.”
In a reflection published soon afterwards, Fidel wrote, “Isn’t that…an indirect threat to the president of the United States?”
Indeed it is a curious comment, detached from any person interviewed in the story, and therefore presumably Snow’s original creation. Nevertheless, the fallout Obama might expect to encounter through such a swap would likely rest with the minority of Cuban exiles in Miami who never voted for him in the first place. He won Florida without, or despite, them, and most U.S. citizens outside of Miami have little memory of the February 24, 1996 shootdown and less still of the Miami trial of five Cubans, five years later, where the U.S. Government, the families of the downed pilots and Cuban exiles with a long history of terrorist action against Cuba joined in a simmering fury in search of a victim.
Ultimately they found five victims, but their rage was focused on one in particular: the one Snow pejoratively calls the “ringleader,” Gerardo Hernandez. Continue reading
By Diana Barahona
July 19, 2008
La Habana – The offices of Granma, are neither large nor elegant. They have the Spartan look one expects of the “Official Organ of the Communist Party of Cuba.” Granma is the least pretentious national daily in a world full of pretentious newspapers. On Friday it devoted one of its sixteen pages to Fidel’s reflection and another to the text of decree No. 259, signed by President Raúl Castro, dealing with the distribution of unused land for agricultural production. This may not seem like big news, but with the new prioritization of food security and incentives offered, many ordinary people are interested in taking up farming.
The paper’s editor-in-chief, Lázaro Barredo, is also a member of the National Assembly. His office has a brightly colored painting of Che Guevara, and a poster-sized reproduction of a letter Fidel wrote to his comrade-in-arms Celia Sánchez in 1958. The letter’s content reflects Barredo’s interest in Cuba’s security in the face of U.S. aggression: “Upon seeing the rockets they fired at Mario’s house, I have sworn to myself that the Americans are gong to pay dearly for what they are doing. When this war ends, for me a much longer and greater war will begin: the war that I am going to wage against them. I realize that that is going to be my true destiny.”
Barredo had written an editorial celebrating the death of Jesse Helms (R-NC), in which he said that the senator “felt a profound hatred for the Cuban Revolution […] and supported all the actions undertaken by the U.S. administration to overthrow it and assassinate Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro.” When we met, he asked if we were familiar with the events leading up to the passage of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which tightened the economic blockade against Cuba. Continue reading