Héctor Pesquera on the loose in Puerto Rico

Héctor Pesquera, Puerto Rico’s new Police Chief

Héctor Pesquera, Official Mafioso Hitman Against the Cuban Five, is Chief of Police for Puerto Rico español

Jean-Guy Allard

Translation: Machetera

Puerto Rico’s governor, Luis Fortuño, has officially named Héctor Pesquera, the former head of the FBI in Miami and the mastermind of a conspiracy that led to the arrest of five Cubans who’d infiltrated terrorist groups in Florida, as the new Superintendent of the Puerto Rican police.

Puerto Rico is facing its most serious wave of crime, violence and corruption in many years.

Pesquera arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on a flight from Fort Lauderdale, and was immediately escorted by FBI agents to the Federal Building, his “alma mater,” at Chardón Street in Hato Rey, where the federal agency is headquartered.

It was at the request of the Mafioso Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart that Héctor Pesquera directed, organized and carried out the arrest of the Cuban Five, who had been sent to Florida from Cuba in order to fight the terrorist campaigns being waged against the island from that city.  The five were transformed into spies through a huge media show.

Pesquera ordered the mistreatment, solitary confinement, and rigged trial of the five Cuban patriots who remain kidnapped in US territory.

This policeman with multiple connections to Cuban American terrorist fauna, is of Puerto Rican origin, the black sheep of a family with deeply held nationalist convictions. Continue reading

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Burson-Marsteller, Alan Gross, and the light at the end of the tunnel

The lesson at the Salpêtrière (1887), by Pierre-André Brouillet (1857 - 1914)

PR as Valium español, traducido por Manuel Talens, de Tlaxcala

Machetera

Saltpêtrière is a legendary Parisian hospital.  Built in the 17th century, it was known as the cradle of neurosciences for having hosted great teaching doctors such as Charcot, Babinski and Freud.  In the image above, a famous painting by Pierre-André Brouillet, the French doctor Jean-Martin Charcot is portrayed explaining how to diagnose hysteria in a female patient whose name has gone down in the annals of medical history: Blanche Wittman.

The scene is unmistakably sexist: a roomful of men deciding how to treat a woman for a condition whose very etymology reveals its sexism.  Simply by virtue of the fact that she is a woman, she is at the mercy of their decisions. A victim.  The two nuns waiting to catch Blanche as she collapses are mere voiceless spectators.  The men in this image know everything, the women, nothing.

A century and a quarter later, the story behind this painting suggests nothing so much as the case of Judy Gross, the wife of the USAID contractor imprisoned in Cuba. Paternalism remains very much alive, and both The New York Times and Washington Post confirm this through their participation in the inane media campaign to pressure Pope Benedict XVI to counsel Cuba to exchange Rene González for Alan Gross.  Counseling Cuba, as though it were an unruly child, not a sovereign country, is offensive enough.  But it’s nothing new.  The counsel that Judy Gross is receiving on the other hand, is another matter.  Instead of being treated as an active subject, capable of taking her future into her own hands, Judy’s campaign to bring her husband home is being managed and reported by people who have their own, very different priorities. Continue reading

Rene González and Alan Gross: speed and bacon

Disparates – (español)

Machetera

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

The Cuban Five and the Tricks Ahead

The Cuban Five and the Tricks Ahead español

By Edmundo García

Translation: Machetera

I’d like to begin this article by making something perfectly clear: If the Government of Cuba agrees to allow Alan Gross to travel to the United States, for whatever period of time or reason, I believe that not even the bones of the anti-terrorist fighter Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, who is currently serving a double life sentence plus fifteen years, will ever see the sun of Cuba again.  That’s what I think, and now I’ll explain. Continue reading

The Marketing of Yoani Sánchez: Translation as invention

Machetera and Manuel Talens español

“There are no accidents.” – Sigmund Freud

As one might have expected, Bloomberg and Reuters dutifully shaded their reports on the recent visit to Cuba of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff with mentions of the Yoani Sánchez Twitter campaign to pressure Rousseff to intercede on Sánchez’s behalf and persuade the Cuban government to grant her an exit visa to attend a propaganda event in Brazil.

That’s not so surprising.  Sánchez is an egomaniac, for sure, insisting that anyone should care in the first place, when her compatriots Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez O’Connor have been denied entry visas by the United States for more than a decade to visit their husbands (Rene González Sehwerert and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, two of the Cuban Five) unjustly imprisoned in the U.S.  – but if all she has to do is tweet and the press come running, judging the tweet as equal in value to Rousseff’s criticisms of the U.S. gulag at Guantánamo, well, that’s not really her fault – it’s just part of a marketing plan that counts on press complicity. Continue reading

Soviet rubles, Cuba’s debt, the Paris Club and simple math

Marc Frank, writing for Reuters, reports today that the Paris Club is looking to re-open negotiations with Cuba regarding its foreign debt, and mentions Cuba’s outstanding debt to Russia of 20 billion Soviet rubles as a stumbling block.

In 2001, when the Economist wrote about Cuba’s Soviet ruble debt, it pegged the value of that 20 billion debt at $690 million USD, while pointing out that in 1991, 20 billion rubles equaled $11.8 billion.  If you check the Russian ruble -> USD conversion rate today, you’ll find that a 20 billion Russian ruble debt is currently worth $662 million.  What will it be worth next year?  What was it worth in 1997? Continue reading

Sticky fingers at “Ladies in White” in Cuba

Cuban “Ladies in White” Suspect Recently Deceased Leader of Embezzling $20,000español

Jean-Guy Allard
Translation: Machetera

Rumors in Havana circulate at lightning speed.  Sources close to the “Ladies in White” [Damas de Blanco] reveal that upon taking charge of the mini-group and reviewing its finances, Berta Soler had the disagreeable surprise of learning that some $20,000 was missing from the organization which is openly funded by the United States.

The “Ladies” founder, Laura Pollán, died on October 14 at the Calixto Garcia Hospital, at the age of 63, victim of cardiac arrest “aggravated by diabetes, hypertension and dengue.”

The discovery of the group’s missing funds came about in a meeting where the 48 year old Soler, who’d acted as second in command until Pollán’s death, was confirmed as the new leader.  The rivalry between the two women who competed for favors from the U.S. diplomatic post in Havana (known as the U.S. Interests Section – USIS) was well known. Continue reading