Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tough days for some Christians in Cuba

(My new American Thinker post)

My friend Carlos Eire, Cuban-American author and professor at Yale, brought this one to my attention via Babalú Blog:
President Obama’s announcement that the United States would begin normalizing relations with Cuba’s communist regime has been criticized as a gift to an authoritarian government that hasn’t changed its ways.
Then, after the announcement in December, Obama doubled down, telling a Reuters interviewer he hopes to open an embassy in the repressive nation where persecution of Christians still is being documented.
The documentation comes from Voice of the Martyrs, an organization that works with persecuted Christians around the globe.
“Although recent reports seem to indicate many improvements for those living in Cuba, its government still severely restricts the freedom of its people, including Christian worship,” the group reported.
One recent display of repression, the organization said, was the detainment of the son of a pastor.
“Accused of writing a song against the government, Gabriel Leyva, 19, is now being held in a military prison with little recourse. He was arrested with only four months to go in his mandatory military service,” VOM reported.

By the way, this is happening just 90 miles south of Key West, or a bit less than the distance between Waco and Dallas.


The persecution of Christians is nothing in a communist and totalitarian regime.  The Castro regime went after the churches early on, such as closing all of the religious schools and discouraging young people from attending mass or other services.  In other words, the regime always saw the church, and especially the confidential relationship between priest and parishioner, as a threat to its total control of media and education.

Despite the persecution, brave Cubans attend mass and practice their faith.  Of course, they do so under threats and even thugs attacking them, as we've seen with The Ladies in White, who peacefully march calling for the release of their husbands, sons, and brothers from political prisons.

Am I the only one who thinks that "la versión cubana de hope and change" is no change and hopeless?

And this is the regime that we want to normalize relations with?  It's hard to see how legitimizing this regime is going to make life easier for Christians thrown in jail recently.

P.S. You can hear my show (CantoTalk) or follow me on Twitter.




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The Obama/Holder way: Get Menendez but say nothing about Chesimard


(My new Babalu Blog post)

It smells really bad, specially coming after Senator Menendez criticized the Obama administration approach to Iran, Cuba and Ukraine.   
On the other hand, the citizens of New Jersey should know that the Obama administration has not been banging the table about Joanne Chesimard, a woman who killed a state trooper years ago.   In fact, the Castro dictatorship has said no:  
"Cuba said Monday that it has a right to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, the clearest sign yet that the communist government has no intention of extraditing America's most-wanted woman despite the warming of bilateral ties.  
Gov. Chris Christie has urged President Barack Obama to demand the return of fugitive Joanne Chesimard before restoring full relations under a historic detente announced by Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro last week.    
Chesimard was granted asylum by Fidel Castro after she escaped from the prison where she was serving a sentence for killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 during a gunbattle after being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike.  
Asked if returning fugitives was open to negotiation, Cuba's head of North American affairs, Josefina Vidal, told The Associated Press that "every nation has sovereign and legitimate rights to grant political asylum to people it considers to have been persecuted. ... That's a legitimate right."  "We've explained to the U.S. government in the past that there are some people living in Cuba to whom Cuba has legitimately granted political asylum," Vidal said.   
"There's no extradition treaty in effect between Cuba and the U.S.," she added.  In a letter to the White House made public Sunday, Christie said Cuba's asylum for Chesimard, who has changed her name to Assata Shakur, was "an affront to every resident of our state, our country, and in particular, the men and women of the New Jersey State Police, who have tirelessly tried to bring this killer back to justice.""
So let's get Menendez but "silencio" about Chesimard.
Am I the only one who thinks that this is a bit strange?



Tags: Senator Menendez, Joanne Chesimard  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

The latest on US-Cuba talks with Jorge Ponce



GUEST:  Jorge Ponce, Cuban American writer and contributor to Babalu Blog.....we will look at the latest developments in the on-going US-Cuba talks.....we will also get Jorge's perspective on government employees using personal accounts to do business....Jorge spent over 35 years in the US federal government....and is the Obama administration out to get Senator Menendez for criticism of US-Cuba talks...


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Tags: The latest on US-Cuba talks, public sector emails  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

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