Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Kennedy assassination: Someone knew in advance

Attempts to implicate Cuba in the Kennedy assassination continue, but in fact it was the consummation of a coup d’état plotted by CIA military chiefs and other U.S. ultra-conservatives. The assassination not only affected the United States, but to a surprising extent Cuba and the rest of the world. Close to 50 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the dramatic event is still present in the contemporary world, and the CIA is attempting to postpone for another 25 years the declassification of certain documents concerning the crime committed November 22, 1963. Part of this strategy of concealment is the book Castro’s Secrets, by Brian Latell, CIA officer for Latin America from 1990-94. After participating in CIA operations against Cuba since the 1960s, he is trying to mask the most scandalous conspiracy of the 20th century. President Fidel Castro was possibly the first statesman to denounce the assassination as a conspiracy, speaking on Cuban television the following day. "We can state that there are elements within the United States who are defending ultra-reactionary politics in all fields, as much in terms of international politics as in national politics. And these are the elements which stand to benefit from the events that took place yesterday in the United States." The Cuban leader read one of the first agency cables: "Dallas, November 22 (UPI).—Police agents today arrested Lee H. Oswald, identified as president of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, as the main suspect in the assassination of President Kennedy." Four days later, on November 27, Fidel analyzed the Oswald as lone gunman theory and his alleged pro-Castro sympathies, which nobody was questioning at that point. He quoted Hubert Hammerer, Olympic shooting champion, who stated that it was highly unlikely that anyone firing with a repeater carbine fitted with a telescopic sight could hit a target three times in the space of five seconds, when firing at a moving target at a distance of 180 meters, traveling at 15mph." On the basis of his own experiences in the Sierra Maestra, with weapons fitted with a telescopic sight like the one Oswald was said to have used, Fidel added, "Once you fire at the target it is lost – due to the effect of the shot – and you have to find it again quickly (…) with this kind of weapon it is really very difficult to fire three consecutive shots. But, above all, difficult to hit the target like that. Almost impossible." (1) The Cuban President analyzed how the most reactionary circles were pushing Kennedy toward war by with heavy campaigns, bills and resolutions in Congress pushing the government, because of what they themselves described in 1961 as the Bay of Pigs debacle, to the point of taking the world to the verge of a nuclear war in the October Missile Crisis. Fidel, then Cuban Prime Minister, also spoke about Kennedy’s stand on civil rights, such as ending segregation and racial discrimination, and the policy of peaceful coexistence he was promoting with Khrushchev. These actions had unleashed unforeseen forces against President Kennedy and made Fidel think that his assassination was the work of certain elements in disagreement with the U.S. leader’s politics, particularly in relation to Cuba, which they considered not sufficiently aggressive, given that Kennedy was resisting direct military intervention. Fidel observed that it was obvious, "If Oswald was the real killer, clearly those behind the assassination were carefully preparing their alibis. They sent this individual off to Mexico to ask for a visa to Cuba. Just imagine… that the President of the United States was assassinated by this individual after just returning from the Soviet Union via Cuba. It was the ideal alibi (…) to plant the suspicion in the heads of the U.S. public that it was a communist or an agent of Cuba and the Soviet Union, as they would say." (2) In 1978 it was demonstrated that Fidel was correct. The U.S. Congress Select Committee investigating the assassination concluded, "The committee considered the possibility that an imposter visited the Soviet Embassy or Cuban consulate during one or more of the contacts in which Oswald was identified by the CIA in October of 1963." (3) The Committee report came to the conclusion that it had nothing to do with Oswald, while Oswald was small and slight, "The subject of the photograph was described as approximately 35 years old, 6 feet tall, with an athletic build, a balding top, and receding hairline." (4) Suspicions were aroused in part when the FBI showed Oswald’s mother the alleged photo of her son. She said that it wasn’t a photo of Lee, but of Jack Ruby, the man who killed him. In fact there was no resemblance, the Committee report added, the man in the photo was neither Oswald nor Ruby. The FBI agreed. In a memo to the Secret Service it recorded, "These special (FBI) agents are of the opinion that the individual of reference in the photo is not Lee Harvey Oswald." Fidel had every reason to be alarmed by the insinuations and accusations, a typical CIA strategy. Even now, Latell is trying to banish suspicions about those really responsible for the crime, attempting to revive CIA lies implicating Cuba. He denies that there was any conspiracy on the part of those defending ultra-reactionary politics. The lone gunman theory is not only wielded in the case of Oswald in 1963, but also in relation to Sirhan H. Sirhan, the alleged killer of Robert Kennedy in 1968, at the very moment when the latter was elected to run against Richard Nixon, already a suspect in the Kennedy assassination. The truth has been slowly disclosed since then. The most recent details came to light in 2005, through the book by journalist David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, with its sensational revelation that Robert was probably assassinated after he stated that, if he were elected President, which he was close to achieving, he would reopen the case. Latell takes refuge in the discredited lone gunman theory of the Warren Commission, set up by Lyndon Johnson to investigate the assassination, when he succeeded Kennedy as President. One of the most recent and convincing refutations of this theory is a note sent by Oswald to Howard Hunt, also suspected of taking part in the assassination and the famous organizer of the Watergate break-in. Sent November 8, 1963, 14 days before the Kennedy assassination, it reads, "Dear Mr. Hunt: I would like information concerning my position. I am asking only for information. I am suggesting that we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me or anyone else. Thank you. Lee Harvey Oswald". (5) Researcher Paul Kangas explains that Oswald’s note was obtained by writer and journalist Jack Anderson in New Orleans, where the "lone gunman" was living with Clay Shaw and Cubans Félix Rodríguez, Bernard Barker and Frank Sturgis, also investigated by the House Select Committee and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. Anderson affirms on video that Hunt and Shaw asked Oswald to meet with them to plan the position he would take up in Dallas for the attack. When he received no answer from Hunt, Oswald told James Hosty, his FBI agent, that Hunt and a bunch of Cubans from the Miami CIA office were plotting to kill Kennedy in Dallas, on November 22, 1963. According to Kangas, Hosty sent a telex to FBI Director Hoover informing him about the assassination attempt and he passed it on to all Special Agents in Charge. Judge Garrison states that Waggoner Carr, Attorney General of Texas, presented evidence in a secret session of the Warren Commission on January 22, 1964, revealing that Oswald was FBI secret informant No. 179 and had received a salary of $200 a month from the Bureau starting 1962. The evidence was given to Carr by Allan Sweat, head of the criminal division of the Dallas sheriff’s office and published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Houston Post, and The Nation, but the Warren Commission did not call Sweat or the journalists who wrote the articles. Garrison admits that if Oswald was an FBI informant in Dallas and New Orleans, one could believe that his work consisted of penetrating organizations like Fair Play for Cuba and Guy Bannister’s group involved in the conspiracy to kill the President. "The question which tormented me and maybe tormented Oswald was: if the Dallas police, the sheriff’s office, the Secret Service, the FBI and the CIA were potentially implicated in the conspiracy, who were the authorities behind it all?" (6) When Robert Blakey, chief counsel of the House Select Committee, discovered to his rage in 1990 that the recently deceased George Joannides (a CIA officer assigned by the agency to inform him about the Kennedy assassination) had concealed from him that he (Joannides) had worked closely with Oswald and the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil terrorist group in New Orleans, he called it an obstruction of justice. Now, he no longer believes anything the CIA told the Committee. It is no surprise that the Warren Commission evaded discovering the truth; it was no coincidence that that it was headed by Congressman Ed Ford, one of Nixon’s men, Nixon also being a suspect. Allen Dulles, the omnipotent CIA director, manipulated the members appointed by Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded to the presidency after Kennedy’s death, thanks to the effective coup d’état which was the assassination of the Kennedy brothers. (1) Revolución newspaper, November 28, 1963. (2) Ibidem. (3) The Final Report of the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations, Bantam Books, New York. 1979, P.320 (4) Ibidem. (5) Granma, April 13, 2012, P. 9. (6) Jim Garrison. JFK: Tras la pista de los asesinos, Ediciones B. Barcelona, 1988, Pp. 296-301. Taken from Granma International and Written by Gabriel Molina Franchossi

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Venus to pass across the sun on June

A rare cosmic phenomenon will be visible to every continent on June 5, the day on which Venus will pass across the Sun, revealing its shape over nearly seven hours. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), transists of the second planet of the solar system are very rare, and happen two at a time, 2004-2012, so that something similar will happen again only in 2117. However, experts advise steps to the observation, which should not be done directly, but using a sunscreen, or sunglasses, although the ideal would be enjoying the event with appropriate telescopes. On June 8, 2004 there was a show like this. Modern solar telescope captured a beautiful view of the Venus atmosphere backlit by the bright orange of the sun. But experts say that the transit of Venus this time should be even better, cameras and solar telescopes are of higher resolution and technology. In fact, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), of NASA will be ready for it. Taken from Prensa Latina

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cristal "Preferred Beer of Cuba"

Cristal Beer has been the favorite of consumers from this Caribbean island for over 75 years because of its taste, frothy and light texture, qualities that make it very palatable. The crisp, clean taste of the cristal has historically dominated the Cuban market. It is easy to see why. It's the perfect beer for a hot summer day. But when the sun sets on Cuba and Latin music fills the air, it shows a different heat. It's definitely time to find a bottle of cold Cristal. This beer is produced in the province of Holguin and it is not only light, but sweet, with a minimum bitter taste with some pinches of salt and sour point. Its alcohol content is ten degrees. This combination of flavors determines the body of this beer, as well as its appearance, aroma and quality. It is obtained from the finest quality malt and the clear waters of Cuba. In 2007, the Crystal received the Gold Medal at the International Monde-Selection for its excellence and flavor that is 80 years old. Made in the Holguin Brewery Bucanero SA, Cristal beer is part of a long and proud Cuban tradition that values quality, integrity, people and innovation. With a 4.9% alc. / Vol, this beer has a clear golden color that complements its refreshing taste. It is commonly known as "The favorite of Cuba" and is available in 350ml bottles, 355ml cans and in stainless steel barrels. Now you know why Cristal is the preferred of the largest Caribbean island. Cristal is Cuba. With information of

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Holguin advances in stem cell transplantation

Specialists at the Lucia Iñiguez Landin hospital surgical clinic of the province of Holguin performed successfully the fourth hematopoietic stem cell transplant in eastern Cuba. According to Dr. Fernando Cruz Tamayo, head of Oncohematology and Hemotherapy Service in this medical institution, this is the first surgical procedure of this type performed on a man among the four conducted in the eastern region. He added that the 38 year old patient, resident in Banes, about 90 kilometers north of the provincial capital, is improving after surgery. This complex transplant on Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was tolerated optimally by the patient, both in the previous steps as in the extraction of more than one thousand milliliters of blood from the bone marrow, in just 30 minutes. Now the patient is undergoing the postoperative stage in a strict isolation regime to ensure his recovery, said Cruz Tamayo. He noted that this operation, like the previous three, is also of the autologous type, consisting of the transfusion of his own stem cells. The specialist noted that prior to this final moment, the patient was ready to receive cells after high doses of chemotherapy aimed at destroying the tumor that causes damage to the bone marrow, which provides the red and white cells and platelets. For this reason, he said, it is necessary to neutralize this effect, achieved by a transfusion of stem cells to restore hematopoiesis or formation of red blood cells, leukocytes and platelets. The patient was operated by hematologists Leonardo Laguna, Jaime Martinez and Luis Niebla, along with specialists Yaritza Labañino and Yaité González from the province of Guantanamo, as part of their specialized training. The Guantanamo doctors have been participating in the three transplants performed this year and will be ready to face the hematology patient care in that province from June. Such operations are only performed in Havana, Villa Clara and in Holguin, said Cruz Tamayo. Cuba has achievements that are real contributions to international scientific literature in this area, as it is the experienced improvement in individuals with chronic lymphedema of the lower limbs, and the favorable result in a child suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, in whom the treatment based on stem cell graft avoided the need for a lung transplant. Stem cells are those capable of experiencing unlimited divisions and give rise to different cell types that exist in the body. They are able to regenerate tissue damaged by disease, trauma or aging, and may be obtained from the bone marrow, peripheral blood, cornea, brain, lung, endometrial, and other organs and tissues. With information from AIN

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cuba’s Hemingway Int’l Nautical Club to Host Coastal Fishing Tournament

A coastal fishing tournament for amateurs will take place on Saturday at Havana’s Malecon seafront, organized by the Hemingway International Nautical Club as part of several activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its foundation on May 21. Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich, Commodore of the Club, told ACN that registration for the competition will begin early on Saturday in the areas near the National Hotel and that they expect the participation of 300 fishermen, members of the Cuban Federation of Sports Fishing. Activities for the Club’s 20th anniversary have included a regatta, a rowing competition, the creation of the first Jose Marti and the Sea club, and a ceremony in which awards were presented to outstanding former and active Cuban canoeists and kayak experts. Currently, the Havana-based Hemingway International Nautical Club has more than 2,500 members from 60 countries, including the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Cuba May Be the Most Feminist Country in Latin America

Cuba may just be the most feminist country in Latin America. It ranks No. 3 in the world when it comes to the political participation of women in Parliament, according to a United Nations survey on women in politics. And it’s the only nation in Latin America to rank in the top 20 in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2011. The Female Factor Examining the role and impact of women in society In sheer numbers and percentages, Cuban women’s advance is notable. Cuba has a high number of female professional and technical workers (60 percent of the total work force in those areas) and in Parliament (43 percent), as well as high levels of primary, secondary and tertiary education enrollment, according to the Gender Gap report. In contrast, Brazil, the region’s economic behemoth, ranks 82nd overall in the world, according to the report, though it moved up three places last year with improvements in women’s wages, estimated earned income and the election of a female head of state, President Dilma Rouseff. What explains Cuba’s record? Sarah Stephens, the director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, a Washington-based advocacy and research organization that focuses on Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations and opposes the U.S. embargo, is working on a report on the status of women in Cuba. “Cuban women tell us that they feel lucky to have come of age since 1959,” she says. “Before 1959, women comprised only 5 percent of university graduates and only 12 percent of the work force, often holding menial jobs.” Today, she says, women make up 41 percent of the Communist Party, half of the island’s work force, the majority of students in high schools and universities, 60 percent of university faculties and the majority of provosts and department heads (but not presidents). And women hold top portfolios in ministries and in key provincial positions. “Fidel Castro called for women’s rights as a ‘revolution within a revolution’ and this commitment became tangible through changes in legislation and policy,” Ms. Stephens says. But, that said, “women within the system argue strongly for what remains to be done, and they criticize the gaps between rhetoric and practice,” Ms. Stephens says. “Women speak to us about a ‘gender paradox’ in Cuba — a nation legally committed to equality but harnessed to a historic structure of patriarchy.” Going forward, in the more market-oriented economic restructuring that will lay off thousands of state workers, women fear they will lose their jobs and will not find non-state employment in jobs traditionally held by men, Ms. Stephens says. “Women also worry that the aging of Cuba’s population will increase family burdens, and hence women’s burdens,” she says. “As the reforms to the economic model take place, and Cuba stops, for example, lunch programs at work, more food will need to be prepared at home, and that will land on women.” Politically, there’s a glass ceiling, Ms. Stephens says. “It’s evident by looking at Cuba’s most senior leadership around President Raúl Castro.” My Page Two column shows how women’s advances across Latin America are surpassing the United States and matching Europe. / Taken from en/

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Canadian Friends in Holguin

On May 1st, a Canadian brigade made up by 45 members, including students, workers and retired people, arrived in Holguin to participate in the May Day celebrations along with our people. In these days, these friends in solidarity with our country have been developing several activities such as visit to schools, exchange of ideas with citizens and workers and the participation in productive works for the construction of housing for people affected by hurricane Ike in the province. They also participated in las Romerias de Mayo Festival that concluded Tuesday. This is a cultural event that take place every year in Holguin, gathering local and foreign artists, mostly young people representing different cultural manifestations, faithful exponents of the culture of their people. That's why this event has turned into the festival of Young Art. The brigade of solidarity attended an International Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba and learned details of the case of the five Cuban antiterrorists unjustly held in the United States since 1998. On May 9, they will travel to Santiago de Cuba to visit historic places such as the former Moncada Garrison, the Jose Marti mausoleum, and the Vilma Espin memorial, among others. Their 15-day stay in Cuba will also serve to understand well the daily life of Cubans and mainly of the people of this eastern city.