Author Archives: machetera

Rubio envia a Jacobson un Hellfire. Jacobson responde con un Minuteman.

3-grand-forks-afb

El pasado 8 de enero el Senador por la Florida de origen cubano y candidato a la Presidencia de los EE.UU Marco Rubio envió a la Secretaria Asistente del Departamento de Estado Roberta Jacobson una misiva solicitandole explicaciones sobre la presencia en Cuba del Misil Hellfire que la prensa diera a conocer el dia 7 de enero.

A continuación le describimos la carta enviada por el Senador Rubio y la respuesta de la Secretaria Asistente Jacobson, para que ustedes puedan hacer sus propias valoraciones.

La misiva del Senador Rubio se encuentra publicada en el sitio web del Senado y está completamente confirmada. La respuesta de la Jacobson no la hemos podido confirmar.

Estimado Senador Marco Rubio:

Me alegra conocer que usted está consiente que la proliferación de la tecnología sensible estadounidense es uno de los deberes más importantes llevados a cabo por el Departamento de Estado. Me es grato constatar que usted conoce que hay Oficinas dentro del Departamento de Estado encargadas de cumplir con esas funciones. Lo que sí es muy extraño es que usted y los líderes del Congreso estén leyendo por la prensa que en Cuba puede existir un misil de fabricación norteamericana que llego allí de forma todavía no esclarecida.

Todavía me parece mucho más extraña su preocupación por este penoso incidente cuando han ocurrido más de 1500 divulgaciones de violaciones potenciales para el Control de Exportaciones de Armas en EE.UU durante el año pasado y usted no ha mostrado la más mínima preocupación por el destino de estos medios que en muchos casos han podido ir a manos de grupos terroristas que combaten abiertamente contra EE.UU y contra los que EE.UU utiliza actualmente todo su poderío militar.

EE.UU no está en guerra con Cuba, aunque así lo piense o desee parte de la comunidad cubana que radica en Miami a quienes usted representa.

Yo estoy conociendo por su misiva que existen un grupo de interrogantes que usted, e imagino que también sus votantes, tienen necesidad de que yo les responda.

Aquí están las respuestas.

¿Cuándo fue informado el Departamento de Estado que un misil Hellfire estadounidense había sido enviado a Cuba?

Al parecer no fue la prensa por la que usted se enteró del tema pues esos mismos reporteros que de forma desconocida se enteraron del asunto informan con claridad que la entidad proveedora del misil la “Lockheed Martin Corp”, informó al Departamento de Estado en Junio del 2014 sobre su desaparición.

¿Cuándo fue informado el Departamento de Estado que un misil Hellfire estadounidense había sido enviado a Cuba?

Al parecer no fue la prensa por la que usted se enteró del tema pues esos mismos reporteros que de forma desconocida se enteraron del asunto informan con claridad que la entidad proveedora del misil la “Lockheed Martin Corp”, informó al Departamento de Estado en Junio del 2014 sobre su desaparición.

¿Cuándo fue informada por primera vez de este asunto y por quién?

Al parecer usted pretende personalizar en mí la falta de información de los Congresistas de un asunto que, según usted, compete al Departamento de Estado y no al Congreso. Sería muy pretencioso de mi parte interesarme por las interioridades del Congreso, ¿porque debería entonces informarle a los Congresistas de un asunto que compete al Departamento de Estado? ¿Imagina usted como sería el trabajo del Congreso si cada actividad que realizamos aquí y en otras agencias estadounidenses se informaran al Congreso? ¿Por qué no le preocupan las otras 1500 violaciones de este tipo que han ocurrido y de repente esta desolado por la que ocurrió con Cuba?

No obstante responderé su pregunta: Fui informada en el momento oportuno y por la persona indicada.

¿Qué se ha hecho para obtener el regreso del misil por el gobierno cubano?

Lo que se debe hacer según las reglas internacionales y cuando se respeta la soberanía de otros países, reclamar por las vías diplomáticas establecidas al país receptor y esperar o negociar la solución más viable para ambas partes. Al fin y al cabo no fueron los cubanos los que cometieron el error, fuimos nosotros.

¿Qué entidad específica del gobierno cubano se encuentra actualmente en posesión del misil?

Es evidente que su carta tiene más un carácter publicitario que oficial. Lo tiene el Gobierno cubano y es el responsable ante la comunidad internacional sobre lo que ocurre en su país y carece de importancia que entidad lo custodia o en que almacén o anaquel está colocado. Es con el Gobierno cubano con quien hay que negociar y nada más.

¿Sírvase proporcionar una lista de las ocasiones específicas en que usted u otros funcionarios del gobierno de Estados Unidos ha planteado esta cuestión con el régimen de Castro?

Ante todo debemos explicarle que nosotros negociamos este asunto con un Gobierno instituido y reconocido por las Naciones Unidas y no empleamos en el lenguaje oficial el término de régimen. Guarde esas expresiones para sus mítines en Hialeah.

Le puedo decir que según las normas internacionales las negociaciones entre Gobiernos no se divulgan y solo es competencia del ejecutivo llevar la política exterior del país. No obstante le puedo asegurar que hemos conversado el tema con la parte cubana las veces necesarias para que la contraparte conozca nuestra posición y provea una solución.

¿Por qué no se obtuvo el regreso del misil como resultado de las negociaciones que llevaron al presidente Obama al 17 de diciembre 2014 anunciar el cambio en la política de Estados Unidos hacia Cuba?

Señor Congresista, quizás usted tenga dificultades para saber lo que ocurre en el Congreso por las continuas ausencias que tiene en las labores de este para discutir los problemas que le competen o no ha tenido tiempo de dedicarse a conocer la enorme cantidad de legislaciones que obstaculizan las relaciones con Cuba y que dificultan cualquier gestión de restablecimiento de relaciones por parte del ejecutivo. Como piensa que podríamos además incluir un asunto del cual somos nosotros responsables y que de una forma u otra explicaría la incompetencia de nuestras instituciones.

Deseo recordarle que durante más de 50 años los EE.UU han confiscado aviones, lanchas, barcos y hasta niños, bajo el sacrosanto derecho de que llegaron a EE.UU y por lo tanto, lo sentimos, pero es su problema si alguien los trajo para acá. Ahora son de nosotros.

Los cubanos podrían decir lo mismo con el misil. No es su culpa, deberían ser más cuidadosos.

¿Por qué no fue el regreso del misil una condición para la eliminación de Cuba de la lista de estados patrocinadores del terrorismo?

Porque eso pretendería ser un chantaje, que cualquiera con dignidad no aceptaría. Le recuerdo que es precisamente el Congreso a donde usted pertenece el que ha aprobado reiteradamente partidas de presupuesto para los “combatientes” por la democracia que por causas que desconozco ahora se han convertido en terroristas. Podría perfectamente Cuba solicitarnos que para restablecer relaciones deberíamos de abstenernos a continuar abasteciendo de armas a esos grupos.

¿Por qué el regreso del misil no es una condición para el establecimiento de embajadas en La Habana y Washington?

Porque Cristóbal Colon llegó antes que nosotros a las Antillas y por eso los cubanos tienen sangre española y carácter latino y no se chupan el dedo.

¿A que miembros del Congreso hubieron de informar de este problema durante sus sesiones de información y testimonios sobre la política de Estados Unidos hacia Cuba en los últimos 18 meses?

Repito, realmente lamento el poco tiempo que usted tiene para ocuparse de los asuntos que le competen, si revisa las actas de las sesiones del Congreso podrá conocer todo lo referente a esta duda. Por favor dese una vueltecita por su local de trabajo y léase los documentos, de seguro no tendrá tantas interrogantes.

¿Sabe el Departamento de Estado si el gobierno cubano compartió el misil o su diseño con cualquier gobierno extranjero?

Desgraciadamente estimado Senador, no tenemos acceso a la información de la NSA y la CIA. Pero si su institución lo solicita oficialmente podríamos mandarles una cartica a todos los Jefes de Gobierno del Mundo para que nos respondan esa tan evidente interrogante. Es posible que Suazilandia, o el Mónaco o quizás las Islas Fiyi tengan información sobre ello.

Por ultimo le recuerdo que no solo Cuba tiene relaciones con China, Rusia y Corea del Norte, también las tienen los EE.UU y no por ello podríamos inferir que los cubanos piensen lo mismo.

Cada país tiene el derecho de tener relaciones con quien desee y este es un principio soberano recogido en el Derecho Internacional y consagrado por la carta de las Naciones Unidas.

Espero que su vergüenza no se encuentre afectada por tal motivo, en definitiva usted no se avergüenza de haber roto el record de ausencia a las votaciones del senado, ni se avergüenza por el usó descontrolado de la tarjeta de crédito del Partido Republicano cuando era el líder de la organización en la Cámara de Representantes de Florida y que utilizo para ir al cine, o pagar la reparación de su camioneta o vacaciones familiares, ni se avergüenza de la compra de un yate de lujo que no puede justificar con sus ingresos, ni se avergüenza de su participación en los negocios sucios de las cárceles, etc, etc, etc. En fin usted no se avergüenza.

Por eso le pido que aparte de esas interrogantes que tan fuertemente le quitan el sueño, dedique su tiempo a cumplir con los ciudadanos que lo eligieron y gastaron su dinero en su elección.

Por su parte déjenos a los que nos dedicamos a la compleja tarea de conducir las Relaciones Exteriores de los EE.UU, cumplir con nuestras labores entre las cuales se encuentra la necesidad de resolver el tema del misil perdido en Cuba.

Le aseguro que no cejaremos en el esfuerzo por defender los intereses del país en que nacimos y el de nuestros conciudadanos.

Atentamente,

Roberta S. Jacobson

Secretaria Asistente del Departamento de Estado

Rubio Sends Hellfire to Jacobson; Jacobson Responds With Minuteman

DF-SC-83-10646

A Minuteman III missile takes off from Launch Facility 26.

The day after the Wall Street Journal released a story (January 7, 2016) about a Hellfire missile erroneously sent to Cuba, Senator Marco Rubio sent a letter to Roberta Jacobson, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, demanding answers.

The following is a letter sent in response from Jacobson to Rubio; readers can draw their own conclusions. Rubio’s letter can be found at the Senator’s website and has been thoroughly confirmed.  Machetera has been unable to confirm the authenticity of the response from Jacobson.

Dear Senator Rubio:

I am pleased to learn of your awareness that the proliferation of sensitive U.S. technology is one of the most important issues managed by the U.S. State Department. I am gratified to see that you understand there are offices within the State Department specifically designated to handle this question. What I do find strange is that you and other congressional leaders say you found out through the press that there might be a U.S. manufactured missile in Cuba which arrived there in a way that has still not been totally clarified.

Stranger still is your concern for this embarrassing incident when more than 1,500 such potential violations of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act were revealed last year and yet you did not express the least concern for the destination of any of those devices, which have often ended up in the hands of terrorists fighting against the U.S. and against those to whom the U.S. has lent all its military might.

The United States is not at war with Cuba, much as a part of the Cuban community that you represent in Miami might believe or desire.

As your letter contains a number of questions that you, and I imagine, your constituents would like answered, I will do my best to respond.

When was the State Department informed that a U.S. Hellfire missile had been sent to Cuba?

Your claim to have learned about this from the newspapers is evidently untrue, since the very reporters who discovered it through unknown sources clearly stated that the missile’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corporation, informed the State Department about the missing missile in June of 2014.

When were you personally first informed of this matter and by whom?

It would seem that you are trying to hold me personally responsible for not informing Congress about an affair that you yourself acknowledge is within the jurisdiction of the State Department, not Congress. It would be very pretentious of me to take an interest in the workings of Congress; therefore why should it occur to me to inform Congress about a matter that is handled by the State Department? Just imagine what a workload Congress would face if every activity undertaken here and in every other government agency were reported to Congress? Why are you not concerned about the other 1,500 violations that have taken place and only suddenly upset about the one that occurred involving Cuba?

Nevertheless, I will answer your question. I was informed at the appropriate time by the proper person.

What has been done to obtain the missile’s return by the Cuban government?

What has been done is what ought to be done, according to international procedure, and with respect for the sovereignty of other countries: a claim is presented to the receiving country through established diplomatic channels while we await or negotiate the most workable solution for both sides. After all, it was not the Cubans who made the mistake, it was us.

What specific entity of the Cuban government is currently in possession of the missile?

Your letter demonstrates very clearly that its objective is publicity rather than official business. The Cuban government has the missile, and is responsible before the international community for what occurs in Cuba, therefore the entity or warehouse or shelf where it might be located is completely irrelevant. The Cuban government is the party with whom to negotiate, period.

Please provide a list of the specific occasions on which you or other U.S. Government officials have raised this issue with the Castro regime.

First of all, I should explain to you that we are negotiating with a government established and recognized by the United Nations, and in official discourse we do not use the term “regime.” Please save such expressions for your meetings in Hialeah.

I can tell you that according to international norms, negotiations between governments are not revealed publicly and that it is strictly the Executive branch which implements the country’s foreign policy. Nevertheless I can assure you that we have discussed the subject with our Cuban counterparts as often as necessary for them to be aware of our position and to seek a resolution.

Why was the return of the missile not obtained as a result of the negotiations that led to President Obama’s December 17, 2014 announced change in U.S. policy toward Cuba?

Senator, perhaps it is difficult for you to be aware of what is happening in Congress, due to your continual absences from the chambers where problems within the Senate’s domain are discussed, or perhaps you have not been able to spend the time to familiarize yourself with the enormous number of laws that have created obstacles in our relations with Cuba and complicate any kind of effort by the Executive to re-establish those relations. What would cause you to believe that we should also include an affair for which we are responsible, and that more or less shows our own institutions to be incompetent?

I should like to remind you that for more than 50 years, the United States has confiscated Cuban planes, boats, ships, and even children, under the sacrosanct rule that they had shown up on our shores, and sorry, but if someone brought them here, that wasn’t our problem. Now these things were ours.

The Cubans could say the same about the missile. “Not our fault; you should have been more careful.”

Why was the return of the missile not a condition of removal of Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list?

Because that would be blackmail, which no-one with any dignity would accept. Let me also remind you that it is actually the Congress to which you belong, which has repeatedly approved specific budgets for “democracy activists” who for reasons unknown to me have become terrorists. Cuba might just as well ask that we also refrain from continuing to supply weapons to such groups, in order to re-establish relations.

Why was the return of the missile not a condition of establishment of embassies in Havana and Washington?

Because Christopher Columbus got to the Antilles before we did, and as a result the Cubans have Spanish blood and a Latin temper and are not thumb-sucking infants.

What members of Congress did you inform of this issue during your briefings and testimony regarding U.S. policy toward Cuba over the last 18 months?

Once again, I am truly sorry that you have so little time to concern yourself with the matters under your purview, but if you review the records of Congressional sessions, I’m sure you will find everything you need to know in regard to this question. Please spend a little bit of time at your workplace and read the documents, and surely you will not have so many questions.

Does the State Department know if the Cuban government shared the missile or its design with any foreign governments?

Unfortunately my dear Senator, we do not have access to NSA and CIA information. But if the Senate were to officially request it, we could send a letter to all the heads of state around the world so that they might answer such an obvious question. It’s possible that Swaziland, or Monaco or perhaps the Fiji Islands may have some information about it.

Finally, I would like to point out to you that it is not just Cuba that has relations with China, Russia and North Korea, but the U.S. does as well. Nevertheless that does not mean that we can draw the inference that the Cubans think the same way we do.

Every country has the right to have relations with whoever they wish; this is a sovereign principle recognized under international law and endorsed by the United Nations charter.

I hope that you are not somehow ashamed by this; in reality you are not ashamed about having broken the record for absences from Senate votes, nor were you ashamed about the uncontrolled use of the Republican Party’s credit card when you were the Republican leader in Florida’s House of Representatives and used it to go to the movies, or repair your truck, or go on family vacations. You were also not ashamed about the purchase of a luxury yacht that could not be justified by your income, nor were you ashamed by your participation in the dirty dealings in the prisons, and so on. As a matter of fact, you have no shame.

For that reason I suggest that rather than focusing on these questions that evidently keep you up at night, you dedicate your time to responding to the citizens who voted for you and spent their money to make sure you were elected.

Meanwhile, you can leave us to carry out the complex assignment of managing U.S. foreign relations, and doing our jobs, one of which includes resolving the problem of a missile lost in Cuba.

I assure you that we will not cease in our efforts to defend the interests of the country in which we were both born, to the benefit of the rest of our fellow citizens.

Sincerely,

Roberta S. Jacobson

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs

The Establishment proposes catching up in Cuba by ignoring its government

La Alborada – May 20

Tr-bigstick-cartoonA group of former diplomats –including some very interventionist ones–, former members of the US legislative and executive branches, retired military officers, current bankers and corporate officials, NGO heads, and some others, have sent an open letter to President Obama asking that he take action to facilitate the penetration of the Cuban economy through actions that are within his power to take.

Somehow, this is being dressed up as an effort to improve relations with Cuba. It is hardly that, however. It looks more like recommendations that might be advanced by Freedom House, USAID, DAI, NSA, CIA, NED, NGOs, and other members of Washington’s alphabet soup. The difference seems to be that these actions would be authorized openly to facilitate involvement in Cuba’s economy, in particular the developing small-business sector, by “US NGOs and other organizations.”

There is no mention whatever of doing any of it with the approval or cooperation of the Cuban government, except in one paragraph at the end of the list, which proposes that the US “engage in serious discussions with Cuban counterparts on mutual security and humanitarian concerns,” and that in so doing it “leverage these talks to press Cuban officials on matters such as the release of Alan Gross and on-going human rights concerns.”

The last part about Alan Gross is a nod to the current US posture that no improvement in relations is possible unless Gross is released unilaterally, but it does not matter: the proposals seek no improvement in relations, but only a new effort to get into Cuban business now. There is nothing urging the President to negotiate an exchange with the remaining three prisoners of the Cuban Five, nor to remove Cuba from the list of sponsors of terrorism. There is no suggestion of doing away with the blockade.

The underlying motivation is revealed in one phrase: “…the U.S. is finding itself increasingly isolated internationally in its Cuba policy.” That is to say that, while the US government and the media argue that the new Cuban economy is not going anywhere, that the Mariel EDZ will draw no investors, and that Raul Castro is incapable of making the economy work, an important sector of the US establishment recognizes that if they don’t get on the bus now they may have to wait a long time before the next one comes by.

These are some of the signers:

– John Negroponte, former Deputy Secretary of State; former Director of National Intelligence, and –based then in Honduras– coordinator of US intelligence and activities in Central America during the wars of the 1980s.

– John Adams, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Retired); former Deputy U.S. Military Representative to NATO; former Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, U.S. Army.

– Admiral James Stavridis, Commander of U.S. Southern Command 2006–2009; Supreme Allied Commander NATO 2009–2013; Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University.

– Paul Cejas, former U.S. Ambassador; President and CEO, PLC Investments, Inc. (management of portfolio investments as well as investments in real estate and venture capital projects).

– Andres Fanjul, Fanjul Group (big sugar).

– Moises Naím, a minister under Carlos Andrés Pérez in Venezuela and currently a right-wing alarmist and proponent of taking down the governments of all of the ALBA countries. (Cuba is, of course, a founder of ALBA.)

– Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

– Ambassador Charles Shapiro, former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, where he actively assisted coup plotters before, during, and after the coup of 2002; President, Institute of the Americas.

– George Weiksner, Vice Chairman, Credit Suisse – the same bank that yesterday agreed to pay $2.6 billion in penalties for helping wealthy US clients evade taxes in a scheme federal investigators said spanned decades.

What do they propose? Here are some examples (emphasis is ours):

– Allow unlimited remittances to non-family members for the purpose of supporting independent activity in Cuba and expand the types of goods that travelers may legally take to the Island to support micro-entrepreneurs.

– Establish new licenses for the provision of professional services to independent Cuban entrepreneurs.

– Allow U.S. NGOs and other organizations to lend directly to small farmers, cooperatives, self-employed individuals, and micro-enterprises in Cuba.

– Allow Cuban entrepreneurs to participate in internships in U.S. corporations and NGOs.

– Authorize the sale of telecommunications hardware in Cuba, including cell towers, satellite dishes, and handsets.

The signers may not be aware of the ZunZuneo debacle and of the way that NSA spies on other countries through back doors built into US hardware, but it seems that they just don’t care what the Cuban government thinks of these ideas. They want Obama to open the gates for intervention.

It’s hard to come to a different conclusion given the character of the proposals. They’re not a good approach to improving relations.

 

Alan Gross’ Fasting Folly

By Max S. Cruz

Alan Gross’ fasting folly

healthshakeTwo weeks ago, Alan Gross, a USAID subcontractor arrested in Cuba in 2009 for activities aimed at overthrowing the Cuban government, desperately announced that he was beginning a fast in an attempt to get the attention of US President Obama, who has basically abandoned Mr. Gross:

“I am fasting to object to mistruths, deceptions, and inaction by both governments, not only regarding their shared responsibility for my arbitrary detention, but also because of the lack of any reasonable or valid effort to resolve this shameful ordeal.”

All major news sources rushed to tell the world that a man had gone on hunger strike.

“Fast” and “hunger strike” are not interchangeable terms. Continue reading

Cuba’s Updated Migration Policy Totally Confounds the United States and the Micro-Republic of Miami

tumblr_ls54y12Nd81qa0pmyo1_500Cuba’s Updated Migration Policy Totally Confounds the United States and the Micro-Republic of Miami español aquí

Edmundo García

Translation: Machetera

On Monday, January 14, Cuba’s updated migration policy went into force and one of the listeners of my radio program, La Tarde se Mueve (Afternoon Moves) called in to say that it was as though the floor had been yanked right out from under the Miami critics of the Cuban revolution. They can’t figure out where to stand; they’re completely adrift in the comments they’re making on the radio, TV, and other regular press outlets. Continue reading

The Cubans are coming! The Cubans are coming!

Panic in Washington: The Cubans are coming! 

Jean-Guy Allard

English translation: Machetera – (español)

Now they don’t even bother to hide their worry: the same politicians who slandered Cuba for decades, saying Cubans “can’t travel,” and even going so far as to draft laws meant to push disaffected Cubans to hurl themselves into the sea, are now rushing to figure out how to stop Cubans from arriving in the United States and, in case they manage to arrive, how to stop them from returning to Cuba.

Victims of the traps they themselves set at the height of the Cold War, when the Cuban Revolution, criminally isolated by the blockade, was forced to protect itself by any means, including restrictive migration laws, the Cuban American members of Congress and their clan have suddenly realized that they’ve shot themselves in the foot.  The political structure manufactured to serve U.S. annexationist plans toward Cuba is on red alert and desperately seeking a solution to what it has announced is a dangerous and unexpected invasion by those it has pretended to be defending. Continue reading

Department of double standards: Ángel Carromero

Carromero's deathtrap

Carromero’s deathtrap

Ángel Carromero: How the Spanish media are covering the legal impunity of a homicidal driver

José Manzaneda

Translated by Manuel Talens/Edited by Machetera – (español)

Imagine a man who had his driver license revoked after 46 traffic tickets, 6 of them for high-velocity speeding. Imagine that he then caused the death of two people as a result of driving at excessive speed in a construction zone. [1] The Spanish Criminal code defines this action as “reckless driving resulting in death” and imposes a sentence of several years in prison. [2] No one would believe that such a reckless driver could have TV news and leading newspapers at his beck and call, demanding his release without being countered in any way. Continue reading