CubaBrief: Is Havana weaponizing Cuban migration? A look at Castro family hierarchy. Castro regime commits political plagiarism. Canadian call for Cuban solidarity.

The Sandinista government in Nicaragua announced that on November 22, 2021 it would lift visa requirements for Cubans traveling to the Central American country. Sebastián Arcos spoke with José Díaz-Balart of NBC News to discuss this new policy from Daniel Ortega that would open a new path for Cuban migrants to reach the United States, and create an even greater crisis on the U.S. Mexican border. “If we allow this to take place, not only we’ll have a growing problem in the southern border, but we’ll have again a Cuban regime firmly in control of the situation in Cuba,” says Arcos. “And it will only kick the can down the road for another crisis in Cuba, and with Cuban immigrants.”

Notice that beginning on November 22, 2021 Cubans will not need a Visa to enter Nicaragua

Story Maps offers an analysis of what happened in 2015 with a bridge setup in Central America for thousands of Cubans to travel through, and asks if this is a “hybrid attack” against the United States.The answer appears to be yes, and there is a long historical pattern.

Kelly M. Greenhill, an American political scientist and an associate professor at Tufts University, in her 2002 paper “Engineered Migration and the Use of Refugees as Political Weapons: A Case Study of the 1994 Cuban Balseros Crisis” described how a pattern was first established in the Camarioca crisis during the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration by Havana using “coercive engineered migration” to create instability in the United States. CubaBrief looked at this question back on June 3, 2021 and how the pattern continued with Mariel in 1980, the 1994 rafter crisis, and through Central America during the second Obama Administration.

There is still time for the Biden Administration to prevent a greater humanitarian disaster on the U.S.-Mexican border.

Cuban migrants in Costa Rica in 2015

Family discord: death threats, drug addiction, and a looming power struggle when the “dinosaurs” die.

Yale Professor and author CarlosEire writing in Babalu Blog highlights news of the inner workings of the Castro dynasty and the belief of Carlos Alejandro Rodríguez Halley, the disaffected nephew, now living in Spain, of Raul Castro’s ex-son-in-law, “forced into exile due to death threats from his drug-addicted cousin, Raulito Castro, a,k.a. ‘The Crab’, who serves as King Raul’s bodyguard.

Nephew of Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja reveals Castro family secrets

These threats were issued after he committed the mortal sin of siding with the July 11 protesters. His uncle is not only the father of some of King Raul’s grandchildren, but also the oligarch who runs GAESA, the Castro, Inc. monopoly that controls the entire Cuban economy. Now in exile, this privileged child of the so-called Revolution is giving glimpses of life at the royal court, and predicting a fierce power struggle in the near future, as soon as King Raul and all the other elite “dinosaurs” who have been ruling Castrogonia finally die.”

Castro regime commits political plagiarism on fifth anniversary of Fidel Castro’s death

Embassy of Norway posts photo with children with foreheads scrawled “Yo Soy Fidel” [I am Fidel]

The Castro regime claims there is no cult of personality encouraged around Fidel Castro, but school children have their foreheads scrawled with the phrase “I am Fidel” with marker, and posted above by the Embassy of Cuba in Norway on their Twitter account. Important to remember that this was the same Embassy from which a Cuban diplomat emerged to insult, threaten and bite a young Norwegian-Cuban woman who was filming her mom in 2010 when she was engaged in a peaceful protest remembering Cuban prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died on hunger strike on February 23, 2010. This is the face of Castroism that too many Cubans know.

On Thursday for a “Walk for Fidel” to observe the fifth anniversary of Castro’s death. Officials “insist that it is an action that has been repeated ‘every year’ since 2016, the walk has awakened not a few misgivings because it is very similar to what the Archipelago Group intended to do on November 15tt that State Security blocked in a nationwide crackdown in which 80 dissidents were arbitrarily detained. Participants in the regime activity were asked to wear “white shirts and bring a white flower,” which is what the playwright Yunior Garcia wanted to do. Today he is in Madrid, where he arrived on Wednesday the 17th. During the activity participants will carry a artisan Granma” boat which they will throw into the sea.

In the face of the criticism that officials received for the similarity with the Archipelago group’s plan, the organization edited the invitation posting a link to a video they claim is from the first march and another with photographs of others taken in other years. In addition on November 25th in some neighborhoods of Havana loudspeakers were placed “at full volume with the voice of the deceased [Fidel Castro] giving speeches, accompanied with songs by Silvio Rodríguez and the entire musical repertoire that for years has accompanied the official acts of the regime.” In several schools in Revolution Plaza municipality, teachers called on students to write the hashtag #YoSoyFidel [ #IAmFidel] with chalk on the ground, and to paint, draw or write texts ‘in homage to Fidel.'”

Despite these and other efforts by regime officials “Cuba’s streets show less enthusiasm each year to commemorate the death of the architect of the Cuban Revolution,” reports Luz Escobar in 14ymedio.

Using young children as political props with signs saying “Yo Soy Fidel” [I am Fidel] should raise concerns.

Thankfully, the horrendous actions of the dictatorship are leading people of good will to say enough, it is time to stand in solidarity with Cubans.

Kelly Cuan Edwards in the Ottawa Citizen on November 24th in an OpEd titled “It’s time to stand up for human rights in Cuba” outlines the repression visited on Cubans over the last year and asks Canadians to reconsider their travel plans to Cuba highlighting that it is the dictatorship that received the bulk of the money spent, and calls for solidarity with Cubans.

Canada is well-known as a country that stands up for democracy and human rights. It is time that we, too, say enough is enough. I hope that you will stand with me in condemning the violence of the Cuban state. And when choosing your vacation destination this winter, I urge you to consider your options carefully, bearing in mind the bulk of tourist dollars end up in the hands of the state. Change can only come from within, but showing solidarity from afar can surely help the cause.

Now is the time to support Cubans on the island and isolate the dictatorship. The Christian Liberation Movement has outlined eleven measures in the campaign “For Solidarity with Freedom of Cubans Campaign” that offer concrete measures some of which can be taken by individuals, others by NGOs, and others by governments to reject the dictatorship while embracing Cubans with solidarity.

NBC News, November 26, 2021

Andrea Mitchell Reports

Sebastián Arcos: New Nicaraguan policy could create ‘another crisis in Cuba’

Associate Director for Florida International University’s Cuba Research Institute Sebastián Arcos joins José Díaz-Balart to discuss a new policy from Nicaragua that could make it possible for Cuban migrants looking to escape the communist regime and make it to the United States. “If we allow this to take place, not only we’ll have a growing problem in the southern border, but we’ll have again a Cuban regime firmly in control of the situation in Cuba,” says Arcos. “And it will only kick the can down the road for another crisis in Cuba, and with Cuban immigrants.”

https://www.msnbc.com/andrea-mitchell-reports/watch/sebastian-arcos-new-nicaraguan-policy-could-create-another-crisis-in-cuba-127249477846

Babalu Blog, November 26, 2021

Member of Cuba’s most powerful family flees into exile, reveals intimate secrets about life at the top of communist hierarchy

November 26, 2021 by Carlos Eire

From our Bureau of Life at the Tippy-Top of the Utopian Dream

The nephew of Raul Castro’s ex-son-in-law has been forced into exile due to death threats from his drug-addicted cousin, Raulito Castro, a,k.a. “”The Crab”, who serves as King Raul’s bodyguard. These threats were issued after he committed the mortal sin of siding with the July 11 protesters.

His uncle is not only the father of some of King Raul’s grandchildren, but also the oligarch who runs GAESA, the Castro, Inc. monopoly that controls the entire Cuban economy.

Now in exile, this privileged child of the so-called Revolution is giving glimpses of life at the royal court, and predicting a fierce power struggle in the near future, as soon as King Raul and all the other elite “dinosaurs” who have been ruling Castrogonia finally die.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Uncle Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja (chief of GAESA); cousin Raul (El Cangrejo, King Raul’s drug-addicted bodyguard); and cousin Arturo Lopez-Levy (spy, agent-provocateur and noted “Cuba expert” in U.S.)

Abridged and loosely translated from Periodico Cubano

Carlos Alejandro Rodríguez Halley, nephew of the powerful military man Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja, president of the GAESA conglomerate of companies, revealed plans of the leadership that leads the country from the shadows.

According to the actor, who gave an interview to the International Institute of Artivism “Hannah Arendt” (INSTAR), directed by the artist Tania Bruguera, both his uncle and the oligarchs who surround him “are waiting for all those dinosaurs to die” to share the country, as happened in the former Soviet socialist republics, where when the system fell, state leaders took control of private companies that were previously state-owned.

“How many dinosaurs are there? In other words, Raúl Castro, José Ramón Machado Ventura, Ramiro Valdés, Guillermo García Frías… are people who are – I believe – more than 90 years old, ”commented the nephew of the Division General, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba ( PCC) and deputy to the National Assembly for the municipality of Remedios.

From the spontaneous social outbreak that the Cuban people staged against the dictators on July 11, the young man called on his family to initiate a process of democratic transition, but his decision has brought threats from his cousin Raúl Guillermo Rodríguez Castro (El Cangrejo).

“‘ Take care, you worm, I’m put up for you. ’ It is a threat, Luis Alberto can kill me as well as some enemy of his so that people think it was him ”, revealed the artist, based in Spain.

About his cousin, whom he refers to as Raulito, he said that he is a drug addict. “I do know that Raulito takes drugs. I’ve seen him drugged heavy in front of me ”, he specified about El Cangrejo, who acts as a bodyguard for his grandfather.

Whole story HERE

https://babalublog.com/2021/11/26/member-of-cubas-most-powerful-family-flees-into-exile-reveals-intimate-secrets-about-life-at-the-top-of-communist-hierarchy/

14ymedio, November 25, 2021

Official Tributes to Fidel Castro Wasted in the Absence of Popular Enthusiasm for his Figure

In several schools, the teachers called on the students to write the hashtag #YoSoyFidel with chalk on the ground and to paint, draw or write texts “in homage to Fidel.”

14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 25 November 2021 — Several Cuban government organizations called this Thursday for a “Walk for Fidel” to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Castro’s death. The initiative, sponsored by Proyecto Nuestra América, has as its starting point, at 4:30 pm, at Quijote Park and plans to reach the Malecón in Havana.

Although the announcement insists that it is an action that has been repeated “every year” since 2016, the walk has awakened not a few misgivings because it is very similar to what Yunior García Aguilera intended to do on November 14, which State Security prevented.

It is not similar just because of the route, but because the organizations ask the protesters to wear “white shirts and a flower,” which is what the playwright wanted to do. Today he is in Madrid, where he arrived unexpectedly on Wednesday the 17th.

During the activity, to which has been joined by the Asociación Hermanos Saíz and the Museo Orgánico de Romerillo, the participants will carry a artisan Granma” boat, made in collaboration with the plastic artist Alexis Leiva Machado Kcho which they will throw into the sea.

In the face of the criticism that Proyecto Nuestra América received for the similarity with García Aguilera’s plan, the organization edited the invitation post by posting a link to a video that they claim is from the first march and another with photographs of others taken in other years.

Another commemorative action this Thursday was the placement, in some neighborhoods of Havana, of loudspeakers at full volume with the voice of the deceased giving speeches, accompanied by songs by Silvio Rodríguez and the entire musical repertoire that for years has accompanied the official acts of the regime.

Similarly, in several schools in the Plaza de la Revolución municipality, teachers called on students to write the hashtag #YoSoyFidel with chalk on the ground, and to paint, draw or write texts “in homage to Fidel.”

The authorities waited for this November 25 for the inauguration of the Fidel Castro Ruz Center, destined “for the study and dissemination of the thought and work” of the former president, which is located at Paseo y 13th, in Havana’s Vedado district. They specify that “access will be by invitation” and will take place in the Turquino amphitheater, located in the same building, with an event in which the La Colmenita Children’s Theater Company will participate with a play “created especially for this occasion.”

Outside of these initiatives and the pages of the official press, where this November 25, as in the last five years, the face of Fidel Castro multiplies on the covers, Cuba’s streets show less enthusiasm each year to commemorate the death of the architect of the Cuban Revolution.

https://translatingcuba.com/official-tributes-to-fidel-castro-wasted-in-the-absence-of-popular-enthusiasm-for-his-figure/

Ottawa Sun, November 24, 2021

Cuan Edwards: It’s time to stand up for human rights in Cuba

Among Canadians, Cuba is known for its beautiful beaches and wonderfully hospitable people. But most do not realize the oppression Cubans face on a daily basis.

Author of the article:

Kelly Cuan Edwards

Publishing date:

Nov 24, 2021

Cubans living in the Dominican Republic demonstrate in support of the Cuban opposition in front of Jose Marti Park in Santo Domingo, on Nov. 15, 2021. Photo by ERIKA SANTELICES /AFP via Getty Images

Nov. 15 was a significant day for Cuba. It was the day the island reopened to tourism. It was also the long-awaited day of the Civic March for Peace, a protest for the Cuban people to peacefully stand together and call for change, organized by Cuba’s Archipelago Group.

The peace march, also known as N15 (for Nov. 15), is the culmination of grassroots protests that began last Fall with the Movimiento San Isidro — an artists’ collective that went on hunger strike to protest the imprisonment of Cuban musician Denis Solis Gonzalez — and became the rallying cry for freedom of speech.

Then came July 11, 2021. Sparked by frustration at the lack of freedom and human rights and desperation from the scarcity of food and basic necessities, the situation in Cuba hit a breaking point, leading to impromptu protests that swept the island like wildfire.

Since that point, there’s been no turning back. Despite severe crackdowns by state authorities, including intimidation, beatings, detention and imprisonment, every day more and more Cubans are standing up to say enough is enough. Artists, intellectuals and students are at the front lines of the fight for freedom, a new generation that feels completely detached from the ideology touted by previous generations over the past 62 years. According to numerous human rights groups, hundreds of Cubans have been arrested for as little as speaking their minds; an estimated 683 political prisoners have been detained over the last 12 months alone.

The N15 march has been condemned by the Cuban state as evidence of U.S. subversion in Cuba, common rhetoric employed to defer blame for any problems facing the country. The N15 organizers followed all the prescribed steps to advise authorities of the march, but since it contravenes the constitutional provision that “the socialist system is irrevocable” it was deemed illegal.

Even more unbelievable, President Miguel Díaz Canel appeared on national television encouraging citizens to take up arms against anyone participating in peaceful manifestations. Could you imagine any of our politicians inciting violence among the citizenry? It would be unthinkable. And yet, our Cuban neighbours are in this very situation.

Among Canadians, Cuba is known for its beautiful, white sandy beaches, wonderfully hospitable people and unlimited Cuba Libres (an ironic misnomer). But most do not realize the oppression Cubans face on a daily basis. Beyond food shortages and lack of basic necessities, the inability to buy homes, browse the internet, earn a living wage or travel, Cubans are unable to utter even a word of complaint about the government or any aspect of life in Cuba, without fear of reprisal; they may be kicked out of school, lose their job, be ousted from their homes, beaten or thrown in jail.

Canada is well-known as a country that stands up for democracy and human rights. It is time that we, too, say enough is enough. I hope that you will stand with me in condemning the violence of the Cuban state. And when choosing your vacation destination this winter, I urge you to consider your options carefully, bearing in mind the bulk of tourist dollars end up in the hands of the state. Change can only come from within, but showing solidarity from afar can surely help the cause.

Kelly Cuan Edwards is a public servant who studied and lived in Cuba, and whose spouse and family are Cuban.

https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/cuan-edwards-its-time-to-stand-up-for-human-rights-in-cuba