Brazil Helps Cuba Violate International Refugee Law Also

Saturday, August 24, 2013
This week, Brazil announced its plan to help Cuba violate international labor law by contracting for 4,000 doctors (with absolutely no rights) at a 98% profit margin for the Castro brothers.

This contract has been denounced by Brazil's physician's union and is being investigated by its chief prosecutor for labor fraud.

Today, adding insult to injury, Brazil's Attorney General announced that any Cuban doctors who decide to defect will be denied asylum and immediately sent back to the island.

This is obviously a warning being sent by Brazil's government -- in collusion with Castro's dictatorship -- to deter any Cuban doctors from defecting.

However, it is an overt violation of international refugee law.

Has Brazil's government lost all respect for international law?

Consider Taking a Trip to Jamaica -- Not Cuba

A thoughtful piece by Mike Collazo in The Tallahassee Democrat:

(Editor's Note: We understand the impact that Cuban-Americans can have on their brethren on the island. However, the cost-benefit of unlimited Cuban-American travel has clearly tilted in the Castro regime's favor -- for it's reaping millions of dollars a day from these trips, while keeping its most vocal exiled critics on an "unwanted list" and denying them entry.)

Don't count on seeing the 'real' Cuba

Re: “Trips offer a special way to connect with Cuba” (My View, Aug. 19).

While in part I share Elizabeth Ricci’s enthusiasm for visiting Cuba (my parents were born in Cuba, I still have family there, and I recently visited them), and I appreciate her efforts to bridge the cultural gap between the U.S. and Cuba, I’m concerned that her piece may have given readers an incomplete picture of life for the average Cuban citizen.

Cuba is one of few remaining totalitarian states. Both Amnesty International, which has been monitoring the human rights situation in Cuba for decades, and Human Rights Watch confirm that the Cuban government continues to enforce a wide array of repressive laws aimed at preventing political dissidents and human rights defenders from exercising their freedom of expression, association and assembly. According to Human Rights Watch, “The government of Raúl Castro continues to enforce political conformity using short-term detentions, beatings, public acts of repudiation, travel restrictions, and forced exile.”

These conditions remain as problematic today as they were before 2008, when Fidel Castro resigned the dictatorship due to ill health in favor of his little brother, Raúl.

The Washington Post recently detailed the case of Cuban political dissident Oswaldo Payá and youth activist Harold Cepero, who were killed in a car crash in July 2012. Eyewitnesses say the crash was caused by a car with government plates that had been following them all morning. U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, and more than 100 public figures from around the world, have called on the United Nations to investigate.

The “Ladies in White” (Las “Damas de Blanco”), a group of women who campaign for the release of political prisoners every Sunday after Mass, regularly face arbitrary arrest and physical attacks by government operatives and paramilitary thugs. Why? Because they protest the imprisonment of their loved ones and others, by marching silently through the streets of Havana, dressed in white, as they hold weapons not of aggression but of peace: tender gladioli.

In her My View, Ricci recounted how a woman in Havana, upon realizing that Ricci’s group was from the U.S., told her dog to bite Ricci’s mother. Ricci also noted how the editor of the Cuban newspaper La Mujer described Cuban-Americans in Miami as “a cancer.” One might ask: Why the hostility?

I suppose it’s because Cuban-Americans like me have much more at stake in Cuba’s future than the average American citizen, and therefore we zealously and unapologetically advocate for Cubans on the island to enjoy the same fundamental rights and freedoms we enjoy stateside. For the Castro regime, Cuban-Americans represent a far more subversive group than the average American tourist because of their familiarity with Cuban culture, ability to speak to friends and relatives on the island, and ability to influence their views on the Castro regime and on the U.S. Accordingly, the government has engaged in more than 50 years of institutionalized propaganda to undermine the opinions of Cuban-Americans like me and other gusanos (“worms”) who advocate for a free Cuba.

In contrast, the assumption that the Castro government would allow U.S. tourists or businesses to subvert the revolution via approved “cultural” exchanges and personal interactions with “average” Cubans is at best naïve. The truth is that American visitors on these exchanges have limited contact with average Cubans, because hotels and resorts are generally off limits to the average Cuban and controlled by Cuba’s security apparatus. If you do meet a Cuban scholar, environmentalist, artist, musician, community organizer or author on one of these trips, you will almost certainly do so only because the Cuban government has determined that the person’s political views are sufficiently orthodox to permit interaction with foreigners.

Over the past decades hundreds of thousands of Canadian, European and Latin American tourists have visited the island, but Cuba isn’t more democratic. If anything, the state and its control apparatus have been strengthened by tourist dollars. And according to the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami, even though more than 60 percent of Cubans on the island are black or mulatos, the Cuban government actively discriminates against them for jobs in the tourist industry, believing that tourists prefer to deal with whites and light-skinned people. As a result, a cultural exchange trip to Cuba will include more than just mojitos and walks on the beach — one will also experience racial discrimination at its worst.

If you wish to connect with the real Cuba, follow and support prominent Cuban political dissidents like Yoani Sánchez (@yoanifromcuba) (English) and Rosa María Payá (@RosaMariaPaya) (Spanish) and human rights organizations like Human Rights in Cuba (@FHRCuba) (English) on Twitter. You also could read “Take Me With You,” a novel by Palm Beach Post columnist Carlos Frías, which recounts his personal experiences in Cuba.

But above all else, consider taking a trip to Jamaica — not Cuba.

Irony: Brazil's Workers' Party Helps Cuba Violate Labor Rights

Friday, August 23, 2013
Here's what happens when ideology trumps integrity.

Brazil's government, led by Dilma Rousseff of the Workers' Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, "PT"), signed an agreement this week to funnel over $280 million to the Castro regime -- via the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) -- in exchange for 4,000 doctors (deprived of their fundamental rights).

The Castro brothers will earn a 98% profit margin, per doctor, in violation on international labor norms.

This agreement has been denounced by Brazil's physician's union and is now being investigated by Brazil's chief prosecutor for labor fraud.

So much for the trabalhadores.

Brazilian Prosecutor Investigates Labor Violations in Cuban Doctors Deal

In The Miami Herald:

Brazilian prosecutor wants to check deal for 4,000 Cuban doctors

A Brazilian prosecutor said Friday he will investigate a government contract for 4,000 Cuban doctors and other medical personnel to work in poor and remote areas of the Latin American nation because of "visible irregularities" in the agreement.

The first 400 Cubans began arriving Friday under the Mais Medicos (More Doctors) program, which was made public on Wednesday and will cost the Brazilian government more than $200 million.

But the agreement will have to be reviewed for possible violations of Brazil's labor laws and regulations, said Jose de Lima Ramos Pereira, chief prosecutor in the labor fraud section of the Office of the District Attorney.

"After we analyze the documentation, we will take the required steps... because already there are some visible irregularities," he was quoted as saying in Brazilian news media reports.

One aspect of the agreement that raises "a very large legal uncertainty," he said, is the use of the Pan American Health Organization, a Washington-based branch of the World Health Organization, as the financial middleman between the Brazilian and Cuba governments.

Prosecutors also will check whether the contract means the Cubans will be paid less than the minimum required by Brazilian law, and whether the no-bid contract was properly awarded, Ramos Pereira was quoted as saying.

Quote of the Week

Rosa Maria Paya defends freedom, Mariela Castro defends a dictatorship.
-- Jaime Trobo, Uruguayan parliamentarian, title of his column in Patria, 8/22/13

Cuba Covers Up Cholera at Home, Yet Sends Doctors Abroad

Here's another one of the absurdities of Castro's Cuba (and the complicit blindness of its allies):

In the last year, the Castro regime has gone out of its way to cover-up a cholera epidemic in Cuba.

It even imprisoned the independent journalist, Calixto Martinez Arias, who fist revealed the outbreak.

(Note cholera was previously eradicated in Cuba in 1882.  Another example of how the Castro regime has taken Cuba back to colonial times.)

This week, the U.S. issued a travel warning regarding this epidemic in Cuba.

Yet, instead of taking care of its own people, the Castro regime continues trafficking its doctors abroad (this time to Brazil).

Why?

Because each Cuban doctor abroad (no matter how poorly trained) represents a 98% profit margin for the Castro brothers. 

As for Brazil, why would a country that has eradicated cholera import doctors from a country that is suffering from the epidemic and has tried to cover it up (in gross disregard for its own people)?

Brazilian Labor Union Denounces "Slave Labor" of Cuban Doctors

Brazil's National Federation of Physicians (FENAM, in Portuguese), has denounced the Brazilian government's contract to import Cuban doctors -- and funnel payments to the Castro regime through PAHO -- as a violation of international labor norms.

According to FENAM, "the contracts of the Cuban doctors have the characteristics of slave labor and only serve to finance the Cuban government."

FENAM is studying the possibility of presenting a formal complaint to the International Labor Organization ("ILO").

Yesterday, we had posted why this is -- indeed -- a violation of international labor norms.

A Hero's Welcome Home

This picture is worth 1,000 words.

Over a hundred people gathered this week in Santa Clara to welcome home Cuban pro-democracy leader, Guillermo Fariñas, after his visit to the U.S. and Europe, where he belatedly received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

Tweet of the Week

Thursday, August 22, 2013
By Cuban photographer and independent journalist William Cacer Diaz:

#Cuba Half of the Cuban people believe that the leader of Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya, was murdered. The other half know it. 

PAHO Helps Cuba Violate ILO Norms

Brazil has signed an agreement with the Pan-American Health Organization ("PAHO"), for 4,000 Cuban doctors to be sent by the end of the year.

Under the agreement, Brazil's government will pay PAHO a monthly salary of 10,000 Brazilian reals ($4,098) for each Cuban doctor -- totaling over $208 million.

In turn, PAHO will channel the money to Cuba's regime.

Brazil's Minister of Health, Alexandre Padilha, said he ignores what percentage of the salary will actually be paid to the Cuban doctors.

Let's help him.

The Castro regime pays its doctors about $25 per month. When serving overseas, they get an additional $50-per-month stipend -- both paid to their dependents while they're abroad.  This is to lessen the possibility of defection.

Note that Cuban doctors are forbidden from working outside their state position. Moreover, they have no say in their assignments, salaries, hours or work conditions.

Thus, each Cuban doctor will receive around $75 per month out of the $4,098 per month Brazil will channel to Cuba's government through PAHO.

That' a 98% profit margin for the Castro brothers -- or $203 million (out of $208 million in net profit).

This is clearly in violation of international legal norms, including the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the International Labor Organization's ("ILO") Convention on the Protection of Wages.

U.S. Issues Travel Alert to Cuba

From the U.S. State Department:

This message is to inform U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Cuba that media reports have indicated that cases of cholera have been identified in the city of Havana, possibly linked to a reported outbreak of cholera in eastern Cuba.

The Panamerican Health Organization (PAHO) issued an epidemiological alert noting the presence of cholera in Cuba and confirming that foreign travelers have contracted cholera during recent trips to Cuba.

Eating or drinking fecally contaminated food or water is the main risk factor. Unsterilized water, food from street vendors, raw fish dishes (e.g. ceviche) and inadequately cooked (e.g. steamed) shellfish are common sources of infection.

We urge you to follow public health recommendations and guidelines, such as safe food and water precautions and frequent hand washing to help prevent cholera infection. The Cuban Ministry of Public Health is urging people to comply with sanitary measures associated with personal hygiene, water and food.

The Truth About LGBT Rights in Cuba

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Cuban LGBT rights leaders Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada were on Cristina Radio's "From Washington al Mundo" to discuss the Castro regime's repression, state-sponsored discrimination and the deceit of the Cuban dictator's daughter, Mariela Castro.

Listen to the podcast here.

Don't be Fooled by Castro's "Reforms"

By Cuban dissident and former prisoner of conscience Normando Hernandez for the Bush Institute's Freedom Collection:

Let's Not be Fooled

Recent news may cause casual Cuba-observers to believe that democratic reform has finally begun on the island. Earlier this year, American pop icons Beyoncé and Jay-Z caused a stir when they vacationed in Havana. Meanwhile, a change in the regime’s travel policy has allowed some dissidents like the Ladies in White leader Berta Soler and renowned blogger Yoani Sanchez to travel abroad.

Unfortunately, little has really changed on the island.  Take freedom of expression, an inalienable right of all people. As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this “includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Apparently, the Castro brothers and their regime disagree.

Suppressing freedom of expression is actually enshrined in Cuba’s constitution. Article 53 states that “citizens are granted freedom of speech and press in accordance with the aims of the socialist society.” Additionally, Article 39 states that “any artistic creation is free provided that its content is not contrary to the revolution.” It doesn’t take a scholar to interpret that any dissent against socialism or the so-called Cuban revolution is prohibited.

Likewise, draconian legislation such as Law 88 and the Law of Protection of the National Independence and the Economy of Cuba (also known as the “Gag Law”) punishes “those actions designed to support, facilitate, or collaborate with objectives” directed against “the Socialist State and the independence of Cuba.” Violating Law 88 comes with a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment.

The state controls all information on the island including the press, radio, cinema, television and the Internet. The latter is rarely accessible within the homes of ordinary people. Most are reliant on cyber cafes for access to the web.

While it’s true that the Cuban government recently opened 118 of these cafes where citizens can surf the Net through the national portal “Nauta,” the cost is an exorbitant $4.50 per hour, or approximately 24 percent of the average Cuban’s monthly salary. What’s also not being said is that the Internet in Cuba is still monitored and censored by the regime. Connections are easily hacked, and those who dare advocate for greater rights and democracy online can be punished. Moreover, Cubans can’t access web pages and digital blogs critical of the Castro brothers or the government. Those pages are blocked.

Such actions demonstrate that the regime’s policies remain identical to those of the last fifty years. Despite suggestions to the contrary, little if anything is changing in Cuba.

Castro's Travel Blackmail

The Castro regime only "wants" subservient Cuban-Americans (with hard-currency) to travel to the island.

Cuban-Americans that dare criticize the dictatorship are placed on an "unwanted" list and prohibited from entering the island.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration's travel policy is playing right into Castro's lucrative blackmail.

The regime is getting all of the benefit, at none of the cost.

Excerpt from Yoani Sanchez's most recent column in The Huffington Post, "Cuban Exiles on the 'Unwanted' List Can Never Go Home Again":

With the new Immigration Reform, which came into effect on January 14, the pre-flight inspection has become more complex. Now airlines flying to Cuba have to check if the passenger is within the range of a 24-month stay abroad allowed by the current law. For those who emigrated in previous years, everything is even more difficult.

The person could belong to the large group of those who are prohibited from entering the Island. Almost always for ideological reasons. Having made critical statements about the government, being a member of an opposition party, engaging in independent journalism, making a complaint to some international organization, deserting from an official mission, or being a target of the whims of power, are some of the causes that block the entry of thousands of our compatriots.

A few days ago, the case of Blanca Reyes, a member of the Ladies in White who lives in Spain, jumped into the headlines when she was denied the possibility of visiting her own country. With a 93-year-old father and a family she hasn't seen in more than five years, Blanca requested an entry permit for the country where she was born. At the Cuban Consulate in Madrid the reply was terse: "denied." So her passport was left without that other sticker of shame known as "enabled." On the corresponding page there is no stamp on the watermarked paper that would allow her to return to Guayos, her little village in the central province of Sancti Spíritus.

Today on "From Washington al Mundo"

Making the Case Against "Moral Hemiplegia"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
"It is 'moral hemiplegia' to condemn dictatorships based on political leanings.  Dictatorships are neither of the left, nor the right, they have no political color.  We hope that both the left and the right will begin to recognize that Cuba is a dictatorship and that we live without rights. A coherent posture would be to fall on the side of rights."

-- Rosa Maria Paya, Cuban dissident (2013).

"To be of the left is, as to be of the right, one of the infinite number of ways available to people for choose how to become an idiot; both are, actually, forms of 'moral hemiplegia.'"

-- Jose Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher (1937).

From the Ashes of Her Father, Arises a Leader

This week, we have been following Rosa Maria Paya, the daughter of deceased Cuban pro-democracy leader Oswaldo Paya, during her visits to Chile and Uruguay, where she has met with dignitaries and journalists, supporters and detractors.

Judging by her courage, poise, persuasion and grace, it is clear that we are witnessing a leader in the making.



Quote of the Week

We used to listen every day, every single day, [to] Voice of America [in Cuba]. [It] was a shortwave radio program, and they play everything in jazz music. That was the only way we have to hear that kind of music and to be connected with the music we love. I was in the obligatory military service for three years when the sergeant [caught] me listen[ing] to the Voice of America, and then they put me in jail because I was listening to the voice of enemies.
-- Arturo Sandoval, Cuban-American jazz virtuoso and soon-to-be Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, NPR, 8/20/13

Help Save a Cuban Political Prisoner's Life

On July 30th, Ivan Fernandez Depestre, a 40-year old Afro-Cuban democracy activist was arrested for participating in a peaceful protest and displaying anti-regime posters in the province of Matanzas.

He was arbitrarily handed a 2-year prison sentence for "preemptive social dangerousness."

Fernandez Depestre has been on a hunger strike since his arrest over three weeks ago and his health is seriously waning.

The Castro regime is hoping the world will not notice this young, courageous and relatively unknown activist's imprisonment (or potential death from hunger strike).

Raise your voice for Ivan Fernandez Depestre.

Cuban Intelligence Signal to U.S.-Based Agent Intercepted

Some Cuban "numbers stations" have been recently intercepted in the U.S.

A "numbers station" is a type of shortwave radio station characterized by unusual broadcasts, reciting streams of numbers, words, letters, tunes or Morse code.

It is a common method used by Cuba's intelligence services ("CuIS") to communicate with its agents in the United States.

Encrypted messages are sent through powerful shortwave transmitters that are located in Cuba. These messages are series of numbers in voice or Morse. The clandestine agent decrypts them into readable text, providing him/her with instructions on gathering intelligence, exchange of information, operational activities or meetings with his/her handler.

(Learn more about Cuban intelligence communications, including their use by the infamous WASP network, former Defense Department official Ana Belen Montes and other spies, from cryptology expert Dirk Rijmenants here.)

Click below to listen to a recently intercepted broadcast (courtesy of Cuba Confidential):

Paya's Family Files Suit Against Cuban Regime

Monday, August 19, 2013
From AFP:

Dissident's family sues Cuba in Spain over his death

The family of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya launched a lawsuit in Spain on Monday accusing Cuban secret service agents of involvement in his death, his human rights group said.

Paya, a joint Cuban-Spanish national, and another Cuban dissident, Harold Cepero, died on July 22, 2012 in southeastern Cuba after their car went off the road and crashed into a tree.

Paya's wife Ofelia Acevedo and his daughter Rosa Maria Paya presented a suit at Spain's high court against two state security officials named as Lieutenant Colonel Aguilas and Colonel Llanes, said a statement from Paya's rights group, the Christian Liberation Movement.

The lawsuit also targets anyone else "that the court might find, in the course of its investigation, to have taken part in the crimes against humanity that led to the death of Oswaldo," the statement said.

"This suit is necessary and indispensable," it added.

"The current Cuban regime cannot continue persecuting, mistreating, lying, assassinating and intimidating society with impunity."

The driver of the car, Angel Carromero, a leader of the youth wing of Spain's ruling Popular Party, was convicted in Cuba of vehicular homicide. He returned to Spain to serve a four-year sentence and was granted conditional release.

Carromero alleged in a newspaper interview published this month that the crash was not an accident and that Paya was "assassinated" by the Cuban secret service.

Oswaldo Paya was the lead organiser of the Varela Project, a drive for a referendum on guaranteeing rights such as freedom of speech and assembly in Cuba.

Cuba is Now Exporting Cholera

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO):

[I]n the past several weeks, there has been five cases (Italy (1), Venezuela (2) and Chile (2)) of cholera reported, all related to travel to Cuba.

Read here to find out why Cuba's silence (cover-up) on its cholera epidemic is dangerous to your health.

Castro Trafficking in Cuban's Blood (Literally)

By Juan Juan Almeida, the exiled son of General Juan Almeida, Castro's former Vice-President and close confidant:

Blood for Export

I was born in the bosom of power, a world of abundant lies. I was reared and educated among the corrupt who, even as they pretended to be simple guardians of virtue, in certain private circles often forgot to guard their terrible secrets and told horrific stories with tremendous ease. This is how I heard in detail about those sentenced to death and their physical condition as they faced the firing squad. They described men who were drowsy, sweaty, weak, whose breathing was irregular and whose color was corpse-like.

At the time I did not realize and even questioned how much the terror, the trauma, the effects and consequences of the perverse path that the dark mechanism they call “revolution” can have on an individual or group. While it was logical to think that having the nerves to confront death could lead to a collective symptomology, my obtuse non-conformity compelled me to find an explanation. Asking questions, I discovered an explanation that was both simple and terrifying. Before being executed — as though that were not enough — the condemned had their blood extracted.

I know this is hard to believe. Therefore, I would like to add that there are confirmed accounts and important testimony on Cuba Archive, the website of an organization which, for reasons unrelated to financial gain, has carried out a serious investigation on the subject and tried to document the deaths and disappearances of men — guilty or not — whose biographies remain inconclusive; men whose broken lives once had owners; men who even today await the trial that will vindicate them.

My motive for writing this is not to lodge an accusation, though clearly that is what this is. It is somewhat more. It is to alert readers, scholars, jurists and investigators to a nebulous, little-discussed  subject that remains shrouded in secrecy. And I am not referring to some clumsy foible but to evidence of criminal actions. Unless a document exists that shows the condemned agreed to these procedures, this constitutes a crime against humanity according to the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute.

Fidel Castro publicly acknowledged these actions when, in a long-winded speech on February 6, 1961, he said — and I quote — “Don’t think that just because counter-revolutionaries die in disgrace before a firing squad they are not of use to the Cuban revolution. The blood of these traitors is extracted before execution in order to save the lives of the many militiamen ready to die for the Fatherland.”

But wait, there is more. All Cubans know that to be admitted to a hospital on the island — whether it be for a simple check-up or a surgical procedure — or to even see a doctor or staff member, one is required to show proof of having donated blood. Only then may the patient make use of the benefits of free hospital care in Cuba. In most cases this blood is turned into a commodity to be sold overseas without the knowledge or consent of the donors.

The story is as real as the missiles hidden in containers of sugar. Just a few days ago, before the conclusion of an official visit by President José Mujica to the largest country in the Caribbean, the newspaper El País de Uruguay reported that the leading export in 2012 from Cuba to the honorable Oriental Republic of Uruguay was human blood, the kind with a Cuban surname.

Courtesy of Translating Cuba.

Attacks Against The Ladies in White Intensify

The Castro regime's repression against the peaceful democracy group, The Ladies in White, intensified this weekend.

And so did the courageous female activist's peaceful defiance.

Over 200 of The Ladies in White marched together to attend Mass and other gatherings throughout Cuba's biggest cities.

In Santiago de Cuba, state security officials attacked the home of Maria Elena Matos, where over 57 of The Ladies in White had gathered for a "literary tea."

They threw rocks at the house, broke windows and forced open the door. Some of the women were dragged out of the house by force and arrested. One of them, Joanna Formigo Galeano, was taken to the hospital due to the injuries sustained.

Santa Fernandez Diaz and Keylan Ramos Suarez remain detained.

In Matanzas, the following Ladies in White were arrested: Sayli Navarro, Asuncion Carrillo, Lazara Rodriguez, Yanelis Perez, Tania Echeverria, Maria Teresa Castellanos y Mayra Garcia.

Pro-democracy leaders Angel Moya, Ivan Hernandez Carrillo y Felix Navarro, who had gone to support The Ladies in White, were also arrested and dumped in a swamp over 50 kilometers away.

Meanwhile, in Havana, nearly 90 of The Ladies in White peacefully marched.

Why is the Castro regime so afraid of these women?

Castro's Reforms = Timbiriches and Repression

Tweet by Cuban pro-democracy leader Antonio Rodiles:

#Cuba Castro's reforms = timbiriches (small street stands), repression. Oh sorry, and golf courses.

Video: North Korea Celebrates "Cuba Solidarity" Month

Sunday, August 18, 2013
You can't make this stuff up.

This week, U.N. inspectors have been in Panama, where they are investigating the smuggling of Cuban weapons (from missile systems to anti-tank RPGs) to North Korea.

Meanwhile, in North Korea, the Kim dictatorship has been celebrating "Cuba solidarity" month.

Just imagine how these regime will be emboldened if they are not sanctioned for flouting international law.

Here are some segments from North Korean state media:

"A meeting and film show took place at the Taedonggang Diplomatic Club here on Tuesday on the month of solidarity with the Cuban people. Present there on invitation were German Hermin Ferras Alvarez, Cuban ambassador to the DPRK, and his embassy officials. Present there were So Ho Won, vice-chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries who is vice-chairman of the Korean Committee for Solidarity with Cuba, officials concerned and others."

"The Korean people will as ever stand in the same trench with the fraternal Cuban people in the just struggle to beat back the U.S. imperialists' moves for aggression and intervention and defend socialism. The Cuban ambassador said that the international solidarity activities are of great significance now that the imperialists are becoming all the more pronounced in their counterrevolutionary offensive."

"The friendly relations between the two countries have grown strong in the protracted and rigorous struggle against the U.S. imperialists, the common enemy, and become a model for the world people, the Cuban Ambassador noted."

"He expressed belief that Korean people would always win victory in the struggle to shatter the U.S. moves for stifling the DPRK, defend the sovereignty of the country and achieve national reunification. At the end of the meeting its participants watched a Cuban feature film."

And here's a video of the event: