Skip to comments.
The Cuba trip / Jesse should ignore Bush bullying
Minneapolis Star Tribune ^
| September 10, 2002
Posted on 09/10/2002 1:12:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Edited on 04/13/2004 3:37:11 AM PDT by Jim Robinson.
It's good that Gov. Jesse Ventura knows something about bullies -- because political bullying is what he is getting from the Bush administration about his scheduled Sept. 25-28 trade mission to Cuba. Ventura has stood his ground nicely thus far. He will need to keep it up.
(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: huckster; showboating
Otto Reich to Ventura: Cancel Cuba trip
*** "First, I would ask them not to participate in sexual tourism, which is one of the main industries in Cuba," Reich replied. The reply stunned an official who monitors U.S.-Cuba trade. "It's disgusting and abhorrent that an official of this government would imply that representatives of U.S. companies would travel to Cuba to engage in such horrific activity," said John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, a nonprofit group. "He should apologize."***
Cuban President Fidel Castro congratulates young teachers at their graduation ceremony late September 2, 2002, at Havana's Karl Marx Theater. Castro met with teachers after they successfully completed training programs, on the eve of the start of the new school year. REUTERS/Rafael Perez
Yankee Doodle Castro***Havana recently topped Bangkok as "child-sex capital of the world." Consider the human tragedy, the desperation of poor people driven to such things in such numbers, and after 43 years of "liberation" and "national dignity." 18,000 riddled by firing squads. Half a million incarcerated. 50,000 drowned or ripped apart by sharks in the Florida Straits. Thousands more slaughtered in Africa for Moscow. Two million exiled. And we wind up with a nation that in 1959 had a higher living standard than Belgium or Italy, had a lower infant mortality rate than France, had net immigration, as child prostitution capital of the world. Friends, are you beginning to understand why we get a trifle "emotional" or "unreasonable" when we hear some imbecile professor or boneheaded politician yapping about "the good things" Castro has done for Cuba?***
Al Neuharth: Why is China OK, but Cuba 'enemy'?
To: Cincinatus' Wife
Ventura sees the world in a very ugly way. He understands the reality of free enterprise, not falling for 'economic utopia'. On the other hand, he wants to stop alleged population growth by hook or crook. He's a slave to science, even with regard to human sacrifice.
To: Cincinatus' Wife
I said this a long time ago about Ventura - he started off by promising a fresh approach to politics, instead he brought bufoonery.
posted on 09/10/2002 2:33:19 AM PDT
Yessir, Jesse V. is a Fresh Buffoon, just like his buddy Jesse J...
posted on 09/10/2002 4:02:34 AM PDT
Yessir, Jesse V. is a Fresh Buffoon, just like his buddy Jesse J...
posted on 09/10/2002 4:04:43 AM PDT
Should American Taxpayers Subsidize Fidel Castro?
by Frank Calzon
At the end of July, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on two amendments, each approved by 95 vote margins, to end restrictions on travel and lift restrictions on financing exports to Cuba. The Senate will consider the legislation soon.
While the White House has threatened to veto any legislation that would bolster the Cuban dictatorship, the anti-Embargo lobby argues that US tourism will benefit Cubans without strengthening Castro, and that trade with Havana will mean substantial American profits. These arguments are misguided at best and disingenuous at worst.
Fidel Castro is broke, and at issue is not trade, but extending American export credit and export insurance to his regime, both of which are funded by American taxpayers. Since last year, American companies are allowed to trade with Castros government on a cash and carry basis. But when Castro defaults on his purchases, under the proposed policy American taxpayers will have the burden of picking up his tab.
Nine American presidents, from both political parties have supported restrictions on travel to Cuba. And while the anti-Embargo lobby and many editorial pages across the nation try to explain away this long-lasting U.S. policy in terms of domestic political considerations (i.e., the Cuban American vote), the facts prove otherwise.
In a July 11th letter to the House Committee on Appropriations, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of the Treasury Paul ONeill said that: Trade by other nations with Cuba has brought no change to Cubas despotic practices, and it has frequently proved to be an unprofitable enterprise.
Unprofitable, indeed. France, Spain, Italy and Venezuela have suspended official credits to Castros Cuba -- not because of the Cuban communities in those nations -- but because Cuba has failed to make payments on its debt, including debt incurred on agricultural purchases. Powell and ONeill wrote that, two governments have approached the U.S. to complain that Cubas payments of cash for U.S. agricultural products have meant that they are not getting paid at all.
Reuters reported on July 8, 2002 that, Direct foreign investment in Cuba plummeted to $38.9 million in 2001 from $488 million the year before. And earlier in the year, despite Castros tantrum, Russia closed its spy facility near Havana, thus denying his government $200 million per year in rent payments.
Castros current creditors are far from happy with these circumstances, as many have not received payment on interest or principal credit since 1986. Without even counting Castros debt to Russia, which he will not pay because he declares his debt as to a country that no longer exists, Havana owes billions of dollars to western banks and former socialist countries.
The situation in Cuba is thus much more a problem of policy than politics. President Bush announced his U.S. Initiative for a New Cuba on May 20, 2002, and declared that, Cuban purchases of U.S. agricultural goods ... would be a foreign aid program in disguise. And who pays for aid to foreign governments, but the American taxpayers who will eventually foot the tab for the defaults on his debts.
If this is not enough evidence, those lobbying for American credits and imminent subsidies should ask the Canadians for their advice. On August 7, 2002, the Montreal Gazette reported that, Lilac Islands, a 15,000 ton Cuban-owned ship, has been held in the port of Conakry, the Guinean capital, for the past month while an Ontario company, armed with legal judgements, pursues Cuba for more than $3 million U.S. Last week, Guineas Court of Appeals upheld the continuance of the steel-laden ships detention-pending the payment of more than $275,000 in debt to Adecon Ship Management of Mississauga. Adacon claims the total debt on several judgements exceeds $3 million. Imagine U.S. companies chasing down Cuban cargo ships in international waters to collect payment, while American taxpayers sit on the sidelines knowing that theyll pick up the bill when the debtor doesnt pay.
Trade with Cuba does not represent trade with Cuban business owners, entrepreneurs or consumers; Trade with Cuba is trade with the Castro government itself, which monopolizes virtually all enterprises and exploits Cuban workers as their sole employer. Said Condoleezza Rice, President Bushs national security advisor, In Cuba, Fidel Castro is still the one man through whom everything has to go. Any trade that goes through Cuba is going to strengthen Cubas regime.
Regime Supporting Terror
While the anti-Embargo lobby insists on the right of American tourists to travel to Cuba, they ignore other rights and national security considerations. Each right must be weighted against its impact on other rights. As John Stuart Mill once said, one mans right to swing his arm ends where my nose begins. And in the case of Cuba, the desire to travel must be weighed against the risks inherent in subsidizing a regime that poses a national security threat to the United States.
Consider: In their July 11th letter to the Appropriations Committee, Secretary Powell and Secretary ONeill said that, A relationship of continuing hostility exists between Cuba and the United States; that Cuba has long been listed by the State Department as a state-sponsor of terrorism; and that, [Cuba] continues to harbor fugitives from the American justice system, and it supports international terrorist organizations. Castro has provided a safe haven for more than 70 fugitives from U.S. justice, including several accused of killing American police officers.
Due to the end of Soviet subsidies and his disastrous economic policies, Castro is bankrupt. His lack of cash restricts his ability to engage or support anti-American actions around the world.
But his anti-American commitment remains. On May 10, 2001, Agence France Presse quoted Castros speech at the University of Tehran, where he stated: Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees.
What, specifically, does Castro have in mind? In a May 6th speech, John Bolton, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, warned Americans that Cuba has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort ... [and] has provided dual-use biotechnology to other rogue states. Few are demanding that the administration produce a smoking gun to prove its assessment of the threat posed by Iraq, Iran, or North Korea, but the evidence is surely in on Castro, who needs American tourism to make up for Soviet money lost, so he can once again pursue a more active anti-American role in the world.
What Opening the Travel Ban Will Do
Some say that the opening of U.S. tourism to Cuba will bring the two cultures together, but the reality is far different. Currently, Castro sets aside hotels, beaches, stores, restaurants, and even hospitals for foreigners, and prohibits his own people from staying in those hotels and patronizing those facilities. U.S. tourism under current conditions would freeze in place Castros tourist apartheid, and likely exacerbate it. People-to-people contact under Castros regime is far from likely.
But contact between cultures of a different, and often nefarious, kind is much more likely. A March 2002 report released by Johns Hopkins University says that Cuba is increasingly reported to be a major destination for sex tourists from North America and Europe. The increase is attributed to a concurrent drop in political restrictions on travel to Cuba and a crackdown on sex tourism in Southeast Asia, causing sex tourists to seek out alternative destinations. According to general news reports, Cuba is one of many countries that have replaced Southeast Asia as a destination for pedophiles and sex tourists ... Canadian sex tourism is also cited as largely responsible for the revival of Havana brothels and child prostitution.
In their same May letter to the House Appropriations Committee, shortly before the body passed two amendments ending restrictions on travel and financing exports to Cuba, Secretaries Powell and ONeill stated that, Current economic circumstances in Cuba do not support changing our position on trade with Cuba. Moreover, the lack of a sound economic rationale makes it more likely that Castro would use any liberalizing of our trade position for his political benefit.
Providing trade benefits to Americas enemies, especially those on the State Departments list of terrorist nations, makes as much sense as selling U.S. scrap metal to Japan in the 1930s -- some of which was used to build up the Japanese military and, later, attack Pearl Harbor.
But apart from security policy, one of the greatest advantages of the U.S. embargo on Cuba is that it has saved U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars in unappropriated export insurance and subsidies. American banks arent among the consortium of creditors, like those in France, Spain and Canada, who have been waiting for years to be paid what they are owed.
Fidel Castro is broke. He cant pay his debts, and several of his most important trading partners have suspended credits and export insurance. Yet, like the second to last scene in a bad Hollywood western, some are out trying to muster a cavalry to save his regime. This time, it is a cavalry of American tourists and special interests whose objectives will only strengthen the Western Hemispheres most enduring dictatorship.
Capital markets lie only when con artists run the show. And forcing American taxpayers to subsidize Cuba, which has seen a 92% decrease in foreign investment (from $488 million in 2000 to $39 million in 2001) is a leap from a precipice trumping Enron and Worldcom combined. A policy of moving exports from a cash-and-carry basis to credit extensions is like sentencing taxpayers to investing in Enron or WorldCom right before those stocks plummeted. American taxpayers did not have to bail out those companies. And they should not be forced to bail out the head of an openly hostile government, especially when his default is more a question of when than if.
If you are interested in contacting your senator or representative on this important issue, please write to:
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Your Representative
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
You can also call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 225-3121, and ask for your senator or representative by name.
Frank Calzon is executive director of Center for a Free Cuba.
posted on 09/10/2002 8:18:26 AM PDT
To: Cincinatus' Wife
GREED VS. EMBARGO
By Agustin Blazquez
with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton
Armando F. Mastrapa III
La Nueva Cuba
Septiembre 14, 2002
The recent corporate collapses and scandals in the U.S. business community have exposed the evils of greed when it becomes the basis for decision-making. Greed is certainly a bad adviser, as it tramples the moral and ethical principles on which America was founded.
Greed and illusory dreams of profits were the foundations of the July 23, 2002, vote - 262 to 167 - in the Republican-led House of Representatives in favor of easing the economic embargo against the Castro regime and letting American tourists visit Cuba.
For some time now, Castro has been able to buy goods from the U.S. on a cash-only basis - no credit. But the legislation passed by the House will allow Castro to buy on credit.
In 1986 he began suspending all payments of his international debt, debt to both governments and businesses. Since he is the only businessman in Cuba, he can do that. As a result, many countries have withdrawn their permission for him to buy on credit.
Absolutely nothing has happened to suggest that he has changed his tune and will now begin to take his debts seriously. So, for the U.S. to now begin to sell to his regime on credit is an abysmal mistake.
Cuba's Foreign Debt
"Cuba's Foreign Debt," released on Aug. 19, 2002, by the Cuba Transition Project (distributed by La Voz de Cuba Libre), offers an accounting as of the end of 2001: owed to the European Union, $10.893 billion; to the former Eastern Europe, $2.2 billion; to the former Soviet Union, $25 billion; to England, $196 million; to Japan, $1.7 billion; to China, $400 million; to Argentina, $1.58 billion; to Mexico, $380 million; to Venezuela, $142 million; to Canada, $73 million; to Chile, $20 million and to South Africa, $85 million.
From the same report: "Cuba's foreign debt owed to numerous countries remains unpaid. The Castro regime lacks the resources to even pay interest on these obligations. Several European governments are now refusing to provide further export credit to Cuba. According to a Reuters report on July 6, 2002, 'the island is notorious for paying its debts late ... and public and private creditors report that the situation has grown much worse in recent months.' As The Economist noted in May 2001, 'France, Italy and South Africa have recently cut off further credit to Cuba, in a bid to claw back some of what they are owed.' "
I am willing to say it out loud: If the U.S. government allows farmers to extend credit to Cuba, and, true to form, Cuba doesn't pay, the U.S. government will be obligated to save the U.S. farmers who (seemingly) put their trust in the U.S. government by extending the credit. I say "seemingly" because, now that I've said it out loud, the U.S. farmers know the dangers of selling to Cuba on credit.
Once the U.S. government pays Castro's debts for him, then our tax money will be used to support a tyranny. Isn't there a little moral issue here?
But greed is very powerful. And apparently our businessmen and farmers don't care about who will eventually be paying, as long as they make their profits. Our politicians, supposedly, must protect the interests of their constituency, who are taxpayers and who ultimately will be faced with the bill for the irresponsibility of this small but powerful special-interest group.
Soon in Congress, with the help of the well-financed pro-Castro lobby on Capitol Hill, politicians will try to pass - and probably will, with flying colors - another similar action in favor of easing the U.S. embargo, giving another victory to the old and now "untouchable" tyrant-for-life of Cuba. That victory will be one more defeat for the Cuban people, since it will prolong their suffering.
But there are no moral principles driving our businessmen's greed. Just look at China, which, thanks to American businessmen, has become more powerful and threatening to the U.S. than ever and the three decades of "engagement" have not brought the oppressed Chinese people any closer to democracy.
Castro's 'Engagement' With the World
Usually unmentioned during times of "I know, let's lift the embargo!" the U.S. embargo says nothing about Cuba's trade with the rest of the world. Has his "engagement" with the rest of the world made him change his political posture, improve human rights or the living conditions for the Cuban people? Obviously not. Any benefit Cuba gains from the engagement are for Castro, not the people.
Has international business engagement brought a change in Castro's intentions about the future of Cuba? Obviously not, as he continues with his tired, old "Socialism or death!" which Cubans on the island changed to "Socialism is death!"
So, where is the logic in the argument that lifting the U.S. embargo, giving his regime credit and flooding his bankrupt economy with U.S. tourist dollars will encourage him to mend his ways?
The fallacious engagement theory that Castro's apologists, supporters and lobbyists on Capitol Hill, accompanied by the greedy U.S. business community, have been using to justify their despicable actions is that it will bring change and improve the living conditions in Cuba. Also the naïve concept that exposing Cubans to American tourists will bring new ideas and will foster a tilt toward democracy is simply unrealistic.
Cuba is an apartheid society where ordinary Cubans are not allowed in the tourist areas - except as servants and security agents to keep tourists under control and separated from the rest of the population. Ordinary Cubans are penalized for mingling with tourists.
Cubans are painfully aware of who has been helped by "engagement." The ventures with foreign companies are all administered by the armed forces and the secret police. The payoff is only for Castro - keeping him in power and repressing the people. Ordinary Cuban citizens are not allowed to enter into partnerships with foreigners.
The Cubans who work in these international businesses are aware that these foreign companies pay salaries in U.S. dollars to Castro and he in turn pays them a very small fraction in worthless Cuban pesos. They are aware that as workers for these foreign companies, they have no bargaining rights. They are aware of the differences between the opportunities of foreigners and those of the ordinary natives - thus their hatred for the resulting apartheid.
This whole process sets up a hatred for the foreign exploiters, because ordinary Cubans are taken advantage of not only by Castro but also by the international business community.
Canadians, Mexicans, Spaniards and other Europeans vacation in Castroland and have the audacity to buy vacation places there while Cubans are risking their lives - 85,876 deaths so far - trying to escape from that "foreigners-only paradise."
And apparently the greed extends to U.S. businessmen, swamping the moral issues of the welfare of the expendable little Cubans.
The 'Politically Correct' Mantra
Many U.S. businessmen keep trying to join the herd of profiteers by pressuring the Bush administration to change U.S. policy toward Cuba. The efforts of the pro-Castro lobby in the U.S. have been to convince politicians, and the American people - with the full collaboration of the U.S. media and academia - that lifting the embargo against Castro will foster change in Cuba toward democracy.
That has become the "politically correct" mantra, while "politically correctly" maligning, censoring and discrediting those Cuban-Americans who oppose lifting the U.S. embargo.
This heavily orchestrated campaign has succeeded in thoroughly disinforming the American people to a point where they've become insensitive to the Cuban tragedy. And Americans traveling illegally to Cuba through third countries has become "chic." To encourage this illegality, Castro's immigration officials do not stamp their U.S. passports.
I often think how ironic it is for Americans to want to visit a country that 90 percent of the enslaved population wants to get the hell out of. The happy-go-lucky vacationers seem to have no problem with being served by the slaves.
American politicians have also fallen victim to the fad, as they have become a staple in Castro's anti-embargo propaganda ploy. The politician currently garnering favorable publicity by participating in this parade of fools is Minnesota Wrestler-Governor Jesse Ventura, who plans to be in Havana from Sept. 26-30 - and meet with Castro, of course.
In his elected position, Gov. Ventura, as well as other visiting U.S. politicians, must know that Cuba is a virulent anti-American terrorist country that for 43 years has been waging a covert war against the U.S. Cuba remains a threat to our national security. Castro's Cuba is a training ground for terrorists and is allied to international terrorism directed against the U.S. Castro's Cuba is not a friendly nation.
It should be considered un-American and unpatriotic to visit there, much less to lend an economic hand. There are a lot of reasons not to visit Cuba.
After 43 years of the most brutal tyranny in Cuba's history as well as in the Americas, it seems that the drive should be for the continuation of a policy based on moral principles and scruples against a criminal and illegitimate regime that has raped the Cuban people of their right to live with freedom and dignity.
Sadly, the Europeans and others have shown themselves totally insensitive to the Cuban tragedy and behave without principles and scruples in their dealings with the Castro regime. But I believe that America is different and we should not descend to those levels. We must not act like them.
"Disinvestment" was the right moral principle for the international business community in the case of South Africa. Why do the opposite for Cuba?
Demanding a unilateral change of policy from the U.S. without demanding that Castro and communism must go from Cuba is hypocritical and a crime against the suffering Cuban people. Lifting the U.S. embargo is not the answer; disinvestment is the moral thing to do.
By exploiting the situation in Cuba because of greed, the U.S. business community becomes a collaborator and partner in Castro's crimes.
Cubans are crying for an end to their misery and are not going to forget and forgive those who collaborated with their oppressor.
The people who love freedom and democracy in the U.S. should want the same for Cuba. They should urge all those politicians responding to the pressures of the pro-Castro lobby on Capitol Hill and greedy U.S. businessmen yearning for the imaginary profits promised by the propaganda machinery of a bankrupt regime, to stop their immoral drive and instead help by disinvesting in Cuba to get rid of the last tyranny in the Americas.
© 2002 ABIP
posted on 09/15/2002 11:01:17 AM PDT
To: Cincinatus' Wife
Excerpts of Jeb Bush's letter to Gov. Ventura
I want to share some information that I hope will provide you with a broader and more-realistic picture of life in Cuba. While I don't expect you to cancel your trip, I strongly believe doing so would be the right thing to do. I encourage you to consider other options as you look for opportunities to expand international trade for your state.
Recently, it has become politically popular for U.S. elected officials to travel to Cuba. But we should never forget that the people of Cuba don't share the same basic freedoms and rights that the residents of Florida and Minnesota enjoy. The reason: Fidel Castro denies them the opportunity to exercise the unalienable rights that we have come to take for granted in America.
Speaking out against government policies, fighting for what you believe, or attempting to change the established order to create a better society will make you an ''independent'' or ''maverick'' in the United States. In Cuba, you become a ''dissenter'' and an ''enemy of the revolution'' and are summarily thrown in jail.
As a strong supporter of worker rights, you should be aware of the abysmal conditions that hard-working Cubans must endure. For example, when foreign companies use Cuban laborers, the companies pay the Castro government in dollars or other hard currency, but the workers are paid in near-worthless pesos. In effect, Castro skims off the top and leaves the workers with a tiny fraction of what is rightfully theirs. He uses the difference to finance his oppressive regime and ensure its continued existence.
While in Cuba, ask about the Varela Project, a petition initiative --legal under the Cuban Constitution -- that calls for a referendum on open elections, freedom of speech, protection from state-sponsored political retribution and the establishment of free enterprise.
The initiative is led by the courageous Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, who is being honored by the National Democratic Institute with its 2002 Democracy Award. The award is scheduled to be presented to Payá in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30. So far, he has not been granted a visa from the Cuban government to travel to the United States. Ask every Cuban official you meet, including Castro, when Payá can expect to receive his visa.
Because your trip concerns the establishment of trade agreements, it should be noted that Cuba is not the economic windfall some U.S. companies are hoping for, nor is it the kind of business partner that Minnesota corporations are accustomed to working with. The Cuban government repeatedly fails to pay its bills, and many nations have stopped doing business with the island. The current business state of affairs in Cuba has been described as ''uneasy, unreliable and uncertain.'' That should not come as a surprise from a failed economic system that still considers private business and profits as evil. The result is a standard of living for Cubans that has gone in just a few decades from one of the highest in Latin America to one of the lowest.
Now is not the time to encourage expanded trade and grant unrestricted tourist travel to Cuba. Dollars generated from such activity are funneled into the coffers of the Cuban military and internal security forces. In fact, expanding tourism travel was exactly what Castro did in 1991 after he lost his stipend from the collapsed Soviet Union -- a stipend he earned by spying on the United States and inciting revolution throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Moreover, Cuba is a bad credit risk. Even the European Union, with many current and former Castro allies among its members, complained to the Cuban government about ''delayed payment, excessive government fees, and inconsistent and sometimes outlandish rules.'' France, Spain, Italy and Venezuela have suspended official credits after being left holding the bag filled with millions of dollars in IOU's.
I will commit to working with you in searching for new business and trade opportunities with nations other than Cuba. I will direct my office to research potential overseas ventures from which Florida and Minnesota can mutually benefit. There are many more-lucrative markets with countries that believe in democracy, free trade and respect for human dignity.
In a recent letter to Congress, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neill reminded lawmakers that the relationship between the United States and Cuba remains one of ''continued hostility.'' Cuba continues to harbor criminal fugitives and supports international terrorist organizations. While our military are protecting us from terrorists, Castro's government claims that the U.S. operation in Afghanistan has engaged in ''war atrocities.'' This type of rhetoric normally would be dismissed as absurd if it weren't so offensive to our uniformed personnel.
President Bush announced on May 2his''Initiative for a New Cuba,''a series of steps that the United States expects Castro to implement in return for a more-normalized diplomatic and trade relationship. While no one expects Castro to cede power, he continues to be unwilling to make even the most basic changes. We should not participate in his continued oppression of the Cuban people.
While in Cuba, meet with dissidents and other human-rights defenders. You will get another view and insight, directly from those who suffer under Castro's totalitarianism. They will tell you that lifting the trade embargo and allowing unrestricted travel will serve only to maintain the status quo and delay the peaceful transition to democracy and free enterprise that the Cubans have been waiting for and so justly deserve.
posted on 09/15/2002 11:07:12 AM PDT
VOICE OF AMERICA SILENT AS TERRORIST THREAT LOOMS SOUTH OF THE BORDER
Armando F. Mastrapa III
La Nueva Cuba
Septiembre 23, 2002
A Castroite with extensive ties to international terrorism is leading in the polls in Brazils current presidential campaign, and thanks to Clinton holdovers in Washington, the U.S. is not able to reach the Brazilian people with the truth about the front runner and the dangers he represents to his country and the entire Western Hemisphere.
If Luis Inacio da Silva is elected next month, it will add Brazil to Fidel Castros Cuba and Hugo Chavezs Venezuela as nations right in our own backyard who pose a threat to the security of the post-9/11 United States.
Whats more ironic is that several months ago, the Voice of Americas governing board made a decision to cut its broadcasts to Brazil in Portuguese, the dominant language in that country. That means that just as terrorist-friendly regimes increase in this hemisphere, the U.S. voice is muted.
"It was a preposterous decision, stormed Robert Schadler, a onetime chief of staff at the U.S. Information Agency, predecessor to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), now dominated by Clintonites, which presently oversees VOA. Schadler also formerly held a variety of responsible positions at VOA itself.
"Brazil, I think, is the seventh largest country in the world, added Schadler, now a leader of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, "Its clearly the dominant country in South America.
In an interview with NewsMax.com, Schadler said, "A Voice of America that gives an American perspective on America and international issues [in Brazil] is absolutely vital and very inexpensive.
Writing in the Washington Times August 7, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Constantine C. Menges said if da Silva is elected, "the results could include a radical regime in Brazil re-establishing its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, developing close links to state sponsors of terrorism such as Cuba, Iraq, and Iran, and participating in the destabilization of neighboring democracies.
Menges, a former member of the National Security Council, points out that this could lead 300 million people in six countries coming under the control of radical anti-U.S. regimes and the possibility that thousands of newly indoctrinated terrorists might try to attack the United States from Latin America.
"With Mr. Castros support, Menges writes, "Mr. da Silva founded the Sao Paulo forum in 1990 as an annual meeting of communist and other radical terrorist and political organizations from Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. This has been used to coordinate terrorist and political activities around the world and against the United States.
The Sao Paulo Forum is still very much in business and pursuing its goals. Its last meeting was held in Havana, Cuba in December 2001. That meeting sharply condemned the Bush administrations leadership in the war against international terrorism after 9/11.
When Menges talks about the threat from a Brazil under da Silvas leadership, he is not merely theorizing. The Brazilian presidential candidate has said Brazil should have nuclear weapons and move closer to China, which has actively courted the Brazilian military.
Free Congress Foundation President Paul Weyrich notes that the Clinton loyalists dominating the BBG have persistently thwarted the objectives of the Bush administration. "even deciding to practically shut down broadcasting in Latin America without consulting Assistant Secretary of State Otto Reich, who argued it was important to maintain a U.S. presence on the airwaves there.
Schadler told NewsMax that he has good reason to suspect that budget considerations drove this move.
. that this issue was tied to the idea that they need to have a major initiative in the Middle East with music [programming], he said.
That raises another issue that can backfire against the U.S. that NewsMax.com will deal with it in separate report.
Suffice it to say that the terrorist threat against the United States is increasing in Latin America, and the U.S. voice is missing in action, so to speak.
On Thursday, NewsMax.com e-mailed the International Broadcasting Bureauthe sister organization of VOA with an inquiry. The spokesman was referred to us by the State Department under whose umbrella both the VOA and IBB operate at the direction of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The question read as follows:
"It is my understanding Portuguese language broadcasts to Brazil were cancelled due to budget constraints. Now that a Castroite is up in the polls to lead that country in the upcoming election
. in hindsight, should those broadcasts to Brazil have been given a greater priority? Will they be reinstated?
We gave the IBB a deadline to respond, with over 24 hours to come up with an answer. As we went to press late Friday, no reply had been received.
posted on 09/23/2002 10:47:08 AM PDT
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson