Assad and Castro Are Simply Glorified Terrorists

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Syria's Bashar al-Assad, alongside Russia and Iran, has managed to outwit the international community (including some Republicans and Democrats in the United States) by using ISIS as a scapegoat to salvage his brutal dictatorship.

The fact remains ISIS must be defeated -- plain and simple.

But Assad is no better than ISIS. Actually, Assad has even more blood on his hands than ISIS.

Estimates of people murdered by ISIS are around 10,000. Meanwhile, Assad has murdered over 250,000.

Before ISIS and al-Qaeda, the world's most celebrated (Marxist and Islamic) terrorist was Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, infamously known as Carlos "the Jackal," who is (ironically) serving two life sentences in France -- one for the murder of three French counter-intelligence agents and another for a slate of bomb attacks in train stations that killed 11 and injured 150 people.

Carlos "the Jackal" was the Castro regime's most celebrated pupil. He received his training at one of the Cuban intelligence services ("DGI") training camps near Havana, where he learned guerrilla warfare, sabotage techniques and bomb-making.

Altogether, Carlos "the Jackal" has admitted to being responsible for over 100 attacks that resulted in some 2,000 deaths.

During the 2011 trial that resulted in his second life sentence, Carlos "the Jackal" was asked if he believed that he had made mistakes.

He replied that his crimes were minor. After all, "Fidel Castro has killed more people."

He's half right -- Castro has easily murdered tens of thousands more, but that doesn't make Carlos' crimes "minor."

Yet, this is the same terrorist regime that the Obama Administration is now unconditionally embracing. Moreover, it's the same DGI that now controls the monopolies with whom the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other unscrupulous business lobbyists now want to do business with.

No amount of "whitewashing" will change that. Thus, let's not lose perspective on either front.

Quote of the Day: How Castro 'Works' Hostages

They threatened to hang me. They threatened to pull out my fingernails. They said I’d never see the light of day.
-- Alan Gross, American development worker taken hostage by the Castro regime and exchanged by President Obama for a host of concessions, Reuters, 11/27/15

From the Left: The Cuban Exodus Is Due to Lack of Freedom

Cuban dissidents of all ideological stripes agree -- along with anyone who has an inkling of historical reference -- that the current migration crisis has nothing to do with the Cuban Adjustment Act.

By former Cuban diplomat and social-democratic critic, Pedro Campos, in 14ymedio:

The Exodus Is Due To The Lack Of Freedom

The current immigration crisis created by the presence of thousands of Cubans in Central America in transit to the United States has put the issue of human rights in Cuba back in the international arena, in particular the civil, political, social and economic rights of Cubans.

The government of General Raul Castro and a part of the international press emphasize the idea that it is a legal issue, related to the Cuban Adjustment Act. The Cuban government also links it to the maintenance of the blockade-embargo, which analysts say is an attempt to pressure the US government to repeal both laws.

However, it is not possible to hide, behind the Cuban exodus, the fundamental problem in Cuba: the dissatisfaction of hundreds of thousands of Cubans with the economic and political situation in our country, which remains essentially unchanged thanks to decisions taken by the government — which has been in power for more than half a century – in the name of socialism, which has never existed.

No, we Cubans are not starving, because really there is no generalized crisis of that type in Cuba. Although for many nutrition is precarious, the fundamental appetite Cubans have is for rights and freedoms, for democracy, because the “dictatorship” – supposedly of the proletariat – established in Cuba and always led in the same direction by the Communist Party, continues to insist on its political and economic model of monopolistic State capitalism; by its nature anti-democratic, exclusive and retrograde.

Despite the public discourse of an “opening,” in reality economic activity outside the State is constantly limited by laws, regulations and provisions at all levels and by high direct and indirect taxes. Autonomous work, or self-employment, continues to be restricted to a group of activities and cannot be exercised by professionals in medicine or law, for example. To establish a cooperative requires permission from the Council of State.

But above all, State monopolies in domestic and foreign trade and the limited access to international communications networks, hinder non-State economic activity.

But what most oppresses Cubans, along with the daily problems of housing, transportation or poor-quality food, is the repressive philosophy of the State that impedes the freedom of expression, of association and elections, which obstructs any democratic alternation in power of forces and figures different from the governmental clan, forces and figures that could bring another focus to politics and get the country out of the stagnation in which it finds itself.

This is definitely a massive and flagrant violation of the civil, political, economic and social rights of the Cuban people, by a government that has spent more than half a century in power, with the methods and mechanisms to guarantee its indefinite existence. And this is the real cause of the exodus and of the current crisis.

It is true that the internal problems of Cubans must be resolved by Cubans ourselves, but when these problems affect other nations it is logical that they would take action in the matter and try to influence events through international means established by multilateral institutions recognized by the States.

The Central American community has met to discuss the crisis, but it should go beyond the legal and border problems involved and evaluate it in its entirety. The Inter-American system should also take action on the issue and the United Nations itself should involve itself, because as long as there is no resolution to the internal problems in Cuba, the system imposed by this “eternal Government” is going to continue to generate regional tensions related to immigration, be it in Central America, South America or the Straits of Florida.

Some believe that the current immigration crisis caused by the presence of thousands of Cubans in Central America is a land version of the Rafter Crisis of 1994. Any attempt to put a plug in the Cuban exodus across the continent could lead to a situation like that one, if democratic changes that loosen tensions do not come to pass in Cuba.

Courtesy of Translating Cuba.

It's Official: Obama Can't Transfer Guantanamo to Raul

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Throughout the year, Cuban dictator Raul Castro has demanded the transfer of Guantanamo as a condition for the "normalization" of relations with the United States.

As of today, that would be against U.S. law.

Late this afternoon, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which was approved by a veto-proof majority of the U.S. Congress.

Among the provisions in the bill is Section 1036, which states:

"No amounts authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2016 may be used— (1) to close or abandon United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; (2) to relinquish control of Guantanamo Bay to the Republic of Cuba; or (3) to implement a material modification to the Treaty Between the United States of America and Cuba signed at Washington, D.C. on May 29, 1934 that constructively closes United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay."

Thus, sorry Raul, no Guantanamo for you.

Cuban Dissident Leaders: Castro Using Migration Crisis to Gain Further Concessions

Declaration on the Cuban Migrant Crisis

Forum for Rights and Freedoms, 23 November 2015 — In recent weeks we have observed, with deep concern, the development of a new migration crisis. The human drama that thousands of Cubans are experiencing already affects the entire Central American region, the Caribbean, and especially Costa Rica, a nation that has received migrants with great solidarity, in contrast to the complicity of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.

The Castro regime has decided, once again – we recall the Camarioca exodus in 1965, the Mariel Boatlift in the 1980s, the Rafter Crisis in 1994 – to use Cubans as pieces in their political game, putting at risk their lives and safety. Denunciations of abuse, assaults and every kind of crime against Cuban emigrants has elicited the solidarity of all people of goodwill.

Since coming the Castro dictatorship’s coming to power, the regime has used migratory crises to win concessions from the United States.

In this case, the regime is pressuring the United States, and involving third parties, in the midst of a process of normalization between the Obama administration and the dictatorship, to win additional concessions from president Obama, without having to take steps to improve the appalling situation of human rights in Cuba.

We condemn the profound contempt, and the indolent and inhumane attitude of the dictatorship towards Cubans. Only a transition to democracy and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms can reverse the misery that exists on the island.

We appeal to international organizations and those involved to be in solidarity with the Cuban people and their right to be free, in the face of his scenario that becomes more complex every day.

Ailer González, Estado de Sats
Ángel Moya, Democratic Movement for Cuba
Ángel Santiesteban, Estado de Sats
Antonio G. Rodiles, Estado de Sats
Berta Soler, The Ladies in White
Claudio Fuentes, Estado de Sats
Egberto Escobedo, Association of Cuban Political Prisoners
María Cristina Labrada, The Ladies in White
Raul Borges, Christian Democratic Unity Party

Jeb: I Would Close Embassy in Cuba

NGO Petitions U.N. to Inquire Into Death of Cuban Democracy Leader

From the New York-based Human Rights Foundation:

Cuba: HRF Asks UN to Inquire Into Suspicious Death of Oswaldo Payá

Yesterday, Human Rights Foundation (HRF) submitted a petition and legal report to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (U.N. Special Rapporteur), requesting that he send an allegation letter to the government of Cuba regarding the inconsistencies of the government’s official investigation into the death of Oswaldo Payá in 2012. HRF documented numerous due process violations, including damning witness accounts, a grossly inadequate autopsy examination, and other key pieces of evidence that were overlooked by the Cuban judicial system.

“Oswaldo Payá was the most prominent Cuban pro-democracy activist of the last two decades and he was killed in circumstances that indicate foul play in the Western Hemisphere’s only totalitarian country,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. “We ask the Special Rapporteur to question the Cuban government about evidence that strongly suggests that Payá’s death was the result of a car crash caused by agents of the dictatorship. We ask the Special Rapporteur to help the Payá family in their search for truth and justice,” said Halvorssen.

The legal report HRF submitted to the U.N. Special Rapporteur concludes that “the evidence the Cuban State deliberately ignored strongly suggests that the events of July 22, 2012 were not an accident, as was quickly claimed by authorities in State-owned media and later rubber-stamped in Cuba’s totalitarian court system. Rather, Payá’s death is the result of a car crash directly caused by agents of the State, acting (1) with the intent to kill Oswaldo Payá and his fellow passengers in the vehicle; (2) with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm to them; or (3) with reckless or depraved indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to the life of Oswaldo Payá.”

Long-Term Arbitrary Detentions on the Rise in Cuba

From Frontline Defenders:

Cuba: Ongoing arbitrary detention of human rights defender Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco amidst arbitrary arrests and judicial harassment of peaceful demonstrators

Mr. Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco has been arbitrarily detained since 25 October 2015 and is now facing charges of public disorder linked to his participation in peaceful demonstrations in Cuba.

Human rights defenders Geovanys Izaguirre Hernandez and Laudelino Rodriguez Mendoza are also currently under detention following their arbitrary arrest on 5 November 2015 and a summary trial on 6 November 2015 in which they were sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

This is an example of several cases of arbitrary arrests and judicial harassment against defenders in Cuba in the past months. Amongst them, the case of human rights defenders Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” and Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera, both of whom were arrested on 11 November 2015 and released the following day.

Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco, Geovanys Izaguirre Hernandez, Laudelino Rodriguez Mendoza and Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez" are members of Frente de Acción Cívica “Orlando Zapata Tamayo” (Civic Action Front “Orlando Zapata Tamayo” - FACOZT). FACOZT is an organisation that fights for the release of political prisoners in Cuba and reports human rights abuses committed by police forces against peaceful demonstrators in the country.

Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera is the president of Movimiento por los Derechos Civiles Rosa Parks (Rosa Parks Civil Rights Movement), which is a feminist movement fighting to end the repression against human rights defenders and for the release of political prisoners.

Human rights defender Hugo Damián Prieto Blanco has been detained since 25 October 2015 when he was arrested while on his way to participate in the demonstration “Todas Marchamos” (We all March), organised by the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) movement. He is being detained at the Fifth Unit of the Municipality Playa (Quinta Unidad del Municipio Playa), in Havana. The human rights defender is facing charges of public disorder linked to his participation in a demonstration at the premises of the Attorney General's office on 22 October 2015 demanding that all human rights defenders detained during the Pope's visit to Cuba should be released.

Human rights defenders Geovanys Izaguirre Hernandez and Laudelino Rodriguez Mendoza were arrested on 5 November 2015 and taken to the police station in the city of Palma Soriano. In the morning of 6 November 2015 both human rights defenders were subjected to a summary judgement and sentenced to six months imprisonment. They were both convicted of failing to pay a fine of 15,000 Cuban pesos (approximately 4,700 euros) for allegedly making anti-government graffiti in the city of Palma Soriano. The graffitti read "Queremos Cambios" (We want change), "No más hambre" (No more hunger), "No más desempleo" (no more unemployment).

On 11 November 2015, at approximately 7am, members of the regime’s special brigade broke into the home of Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” in Camaguey and arrested him along with his wife and fellow human rights defender Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera. The arrests happened one day after Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” launched the campaign “No, no and no” (“No, no y no”) asking the government to free Messrs Geovanys Izaguirre Hernandez and Laudelino Rodriguez Mendoza. Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” and Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera were released the following day, but their home was seized by the police and their computer was taken along with some documents.

Front Line Defenders has received recurrent reports on arbitrary detentions conducted against human rights defenders in Cuba. The human rights organization Information Centre “Let's Talk” Press (Centro de Información Hablemos Press - CIHPRESS) has recently issued a document reporting 1,021 arbitrary and politically motivated arrests in Cuba in the month of October 2015 alone. The alarming number of arbitrary detentions in Cuba shows that human rights defenders who speak out against the regime continue to be targets of systematic repression. In this context, one of the most vulnerable group of human rights defenders are the women from Damas de Blanco since they are frequently subject to harassment during their weekly protests in Havana and other Cuban cities. This group of women has seen an increased pattern of arbitrary detention against them, where the government detain them for a few hours and re-arrest them the following week.

Front Line Defenders is gravely concerned at the arbitrary arrests and detentions of human rights defenders in Cuba, intended to silence all dissenting voices. Further concern is expressed at the continuous acts of violence and human rights violations committed against those who fight for the implementation of human rights in the country.

Who Benefits From U.S. Debit Cards in Cuba

Monday, November 23, 2015
Last week, Florida-based Stonegate Bank, in partnership with MasterCard, announced it will issue debit cards to be used in Cuba by authorized U.S. travelers.

An open question remains whether the use of these debit cards constitutes financing (e.g. through an overdraft feature) and, therefore, a violation of Section 103 of the LIBERTAD Act, "Prohibition Against Indirect Financing of Cuba."

Clearly, credit cards would have been illegal -- but Congress, bank regulators and perhaps even the courts, should look into whether these debit cards also constitute financing for purposes of this prohibition.

But from a policy perspective -- who stands to benefit the most from the use of these debit cards in Cuba?

Currently, there are 10,000 locations in Cuba that process such cards, of which 2,500 were installed in 2015, pursuant to Obama's January regulations authorizing their use.

Every single one of these locations are regime-owned facilities.

And, according to the AP, the Castro regime is so excited about the fees and income it will charge for these cards that -- "on Wednesday, officials with Cuban state company Cimex said the government plans to [further] expand credit card processing to commercial and retail outlets throughout Cuba in early 2016."

Again, all at regime-owned facilities.

But, as the AP reveals, the biggest winner is the "Cuban state company" in charge of processing every single one of these transactions -- CIMEX.

CIMEX stands for Cuban Export-Import Corporation, one of the Cuban military's largest commercial entities, whose operations range from banking to retail. It's yearly revenues are over $1.5 billion and rising -- thanks to Obama's new policy.

The head of CIMEX is Colonel Hector Oroza Busutin, a Raul Castro confidant. CIMEX falls within the greater GAESA military conglomerate, which is headed by Raul's son-in-law, General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas.

Thus, once again, the beneficiaries of Obama's new policy are not the Cuban people, or the "self-employed" entrepreneurs, who the President purports to support.

The beneficiaries are the Castro family and its military conglomerates.

The Sobering Truth About Business in Cuba

Last week, there was an article in Forbes entitled, "What You Need To Know If You're Considering Doing Business In Cuba."

Its author is Mike Coates, president and chief executive of Hill & Knowlton Strategies Americas, who had just returned from the Havana International Trade Fair.

Amid the fluff, here are two important (and sobering) excerpts, for those who -- wittingly or unwittingly -- plead ignorance:

-- From what we saw, the jubilant mood of the international community is clouding the reality on the ground that the Cuban government is unwilling to bend its existing rules for conducting business. Under those rules, a foreign business must partner with the government and most likely agree to be represented by a state-owned law firm. Once that hurdle is overcome, management at the local level presents another complication: The permit to establish an office takes three years to obtain, and labor must be hired and paid through a government recruitment agency. It is illegal for an investor to pay employees directly, as a Canadian businessman recently discovered when he was jailed for breaking this law.

-- Our advice to companies looking to invest in Cuba is: Assess the opportunity carefully, hire good advisers, accept that government will be your partner, and, most important, be patient while proceeding.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Add the fact that your business "partner" is a totalitarian dictatorship that imprisons, beats and kills innocent people; that your "partner" works against American interests throughout the world, alongside Iran, Russia, Syria and North Korea; and that these "rules" violate nearly every international labor and corporate ethics code.

How this can be acceptable to any principled businessman is simply a question we can't answer.

Quote (Thought) of the Day: To Invest or Escape Cuba?

The question that needs to be asked is: If [Cuban migrants] can obtain $15,000, why do they prefer to invest it in a dangerous escape, rather than in creating a business or prospering in their own country? The answer is painful and overwhelming: because here there are no guarantees, nor hope and because their lifespan is not long enough to wait for the fulfillment of promises of a better tomorrow, which are like the horizon: moving farther away every time we are near touching them.
-- Yoani Sanchez, Cuban blogger and independent journalist, 14ymedio, 11/21/15

Nearly 300 Cuban Dissidents Arrested on Sunday

Sunday, November 22, 2015
The human rights situation in Cuba is going from bad to worse under Obama's blank check for the Castro regime.

For the 31st Sunday in a row, nearly 300 Cuban dissidents were arrested as they tried to attend Mass, then peacefully demonstrate as part of the #TodosMarchamos (#WeAllMarch) campaign.

In Havana, nearly 100 members of The Ladies in White -- the renowned group composed of the wives, daughters, mothers and other relatives of Cuban political prisoners -- were arrested.

Among those arrested was its leader, Berta Soler, who on Friday was threatened by Castro's secret police that "her time in the opposition had come to an end."

In the provinces, 98 activists from the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) were arrested in the eastern city of Santiago; 51 in Camaguey; 9 in Las Tunas; 9 in Guantanamo; and 12 in Holguin.

Among those arrested was Cuban labor leader and former prisoner of conscience, Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, who also received death threats from Castro's secret police.

It's "what change looks like" in Obama's Cuba.

Two Cuban Dissidents Released Under Obama Deal Get New Prison Sentences

Last week, the Castro regime handed a four-and-a-half year prison sentence to Cuban dissident leader, Vladimir Morera Bacallao.

Morera Bacallao, accused of "public nuisance," is currently on the 41st day of a hunger strike protesting his unjust imprisonment at El Pre penitentiary in Santa Clara.

He is a member of the opposition, Cuban Reflection Movement.

Meanwhile, Jorge Ramirez Calderon, has been handed a two-and-a-half year prison sentence. He was also accused of "public nuisance."

Ramirez Calderon, an independent labor activist, was arrested pursuant to a public protest in front of a government building in Manicaragua.

Both Morera Bacallao and Ramirez Calderon were part of the list of 53 Cuban political prisoners that were purportedly released as a result of the Obama-Castro deal on December 17th, 2014.

There hasn't been a peep of protest from the Obama Administration on this latest affront.

Picture below: Ramirez Calderon is in the center.

Must-Read Quote of the Cuban Refugee Crisis, Pt. 2

In Cuba I can’t even have a bicycle. I want to have my things and be free. We are prisoners on that island; a dog can travel more than us. I want freedom. In Cuba I could never sit and say all this to a journalist.
-- Eyennys Cruz, 24-year old Cuban woman, trapped in a migrant center in Costa Rica, La Voz de Guanacaste, 11/21/15

Must-Read Quote of the Cuban Refugee Crisis

All in all I prefer to be here instead of Cuba. People don’t understand how you can prefer to be in this situation, but only those who live in Cuba can understand. To live in Cuba is to fight in vain. You cannot fight for your dreams 100%. People do not understand because when they visit they see Cuba’s touristy side; that’s why they don’t understand us. I do not want to continue in silence, without freedom.
-- Yusneidis Benitez, young Cuban singer and mother, trapped in a migrant center in Costa Rica, La Voz the Guanacaste, 11/21/15

Has Cuba Manufactured a Refugee Crisis?

By Ana Quintana in The Daily Signal:

Has Cuba Manufactured a Refugee Crisis?

A humanitarian crisis is developing in Central America along the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Earlier this week, the Nicaraguan military began refusing to allow the passage of around 2,000 Cuban refugees fleeing the Castro dictatorship.

Nicaragua’s socialist Sandinista government (and close ally of the Castro regime) has even resorted to using teargas and other deterrents.

But has the Cuban government manufactured this refugee crisis in order to strong-arm the U.S.?

Evidence of Havana’s manipulation can clearly be seen in the magnitude of refugee flows. Cuba is a totalitarian police state, where people are not even allowed to move from one house to another without the government’s approval. So is it reasonable to believe that 2,000 Cubans got to Costa Rica without Castro’s approval?

This point is reinforced by the circumstances surrounding their departure. Vast majorities are leaving via government-owned and operated planes en route to Ecuador. State permission is also needed to fly in most cases.

This is also not the first time the Cuban government has used refugees to coerce an American government to do its will, the most notable instances being the Mariel boatlifts of 1980 and the 1994 Cuban raft exodus. Prior to each, a common thread of events is clearly seen. In both cases, the regime sought to strong-arm the U.S.

The events occurring now in Nicaragua are not at all different.

The blame for this humanitarian catastrophe can then largely be attributed to President Obama’s new policy of support for the dictatorship in Havana.

Essentially, the Castro regime has been put in the driver’s seat of U.S. policy toward the island since Obama announced his new Cuba policy. The Obama administration has unilaterally granted a series of concessions at breakneck speed—without gaining anything in return from Castro.

In less than 11 months, the president has weakened our position with Cuba by giving into Havana’s demands to be prematurely removed from of the State Sponsor of Terrorism list and to lobby Congress to undeservedly lift the trade embargo.

Throughout this normalization process, the administration has stretched and arguably violated U.S. law in order to fulfill the Castro regime’s demands for normalization. Cuba’s bucket list has largely been fulfilled except for two items: removal of trade embargo and financial reparations for supposed damages caused by the U.S.

The trade embargo, codified under the Cuban Liberty and Democracy Act of 1996, can be repealed only through an act of Congress. Numerous bipartisan measures from the 114th Congress clearly indicate a rejection of the president’s dangerous new policy and a certainty that the Cuban government has not met the basic conditions for its repeal.

To the chagrin of the Castro regime, concessions via executive action have plateaued. The administration’s recent vote in support of the embargo at the U.N. general assembly has also undoubtedly upset Havana. Having grown accustomed to getting all for nothing, Cuba is now resorting to an old tactic of pressuring the U.S. by unleashing Cuban refugees.

In response to Nicaragua’s brutality, the State Department has only insubstantial statements asking for “all countries to respect the human rights of migrants and to ensure humane treatment of individuals seeking asylum or other forms of protection in accordance with international law and their own national laws.”

Obama’s capitulation to the Castro regime has called into question the administration’s commitment to the oppressed Cuban people. Hollow press releases from the State Department are inconsequential.

Considering the protected status and many benefits Nicaraguans and their government are given by the U.S., the administration can ensure a positive outcome for the Cuban refugees.

Three Clarifications on the Forced Migration of Cubans

By Soren Triff in Diario de Cuba:

Three clarifications on the forced migration of Cubans

The current crisis is not the result of fear that the Cuban Adjustment Act will be repealed. It is part of the regime's plan.

To explain the humanitarian crisis that the Cuban regime is generating in the eyes of the world, there are some terms used by the media that must be immediately rectified: "exodus," "flight" and "economic emigration" or "political emigration."

I understand that these are the traditional reference frameworks for migratory news about Cubans, but they are misleading. In Cuba the regime is creating a forced migration, not an exodus. It is an expulsion of the society's middle class, not a flight. And it is a humanitarian crisis, not a migration of a political or economic nature.

Why is it a forced migration? For years, the migrations of 1965, 1980 and 1994 have been studied as classic cases of forced migrations in political science and international relations textbooks, like Kelly M. Greenhill's Weapons of Mass Migration. As with genocides, these were migrations artificially created by a leader making rational calculations about risks and benefits, resulting in the expulsion of human groups to other democratic countries in order to obtain a range of benefits.

In Cuba the regime controls the entrance and exit of its citizens, so these people have express permission from the government to leave the country. Raúl Castro is carrying out a deliberate, direct attack on certain nationals, using them as weapons in international politics, in addition to an indirect attack on the countries receiving Cubans.

Through this action the leader seeks to conceal the internal conflict between the government and the population, and its failure to improve the lives of Cubans, diverting attention from the national scenario to the international arena, as he banks on other countries accepting Cubans and helping to subsidize his model of government, as has happened before.

Expelled or escaped? Traditionally those who emigrate are considered news, but emigration is not a cause, but rather a consequence of something else. When the news focuses solely on those who migrate, the reason for the emigration remains hidden, and those responsible escape scrutiny. For example, between 1933 and 1938 there was an "exodus" of German Jews to Europe, America and Palestine that distracted attention from the cause: the denial of their rights and the destruction of their livelihoods.

The "Cuban model" consists of exploiting capitalist partners to prop up the regime, as it continues to subject its people to a survival economy. Those who attempt to change acceptable public behavior, economic or social, become internal "enemies" of the State. The regime harasses them with inspections, fines, jail time, taxes, the confiscation of their goods, and low-paying jobs, or ones that do not match their professional qualifications. All this amounts to a state of persecution. Expulsion from the country is a consequence of the above.

The propaganda campaign about the "economic revision" will not really change the "model" employed since 1965. The revision has already been questioned by the Catholic Church, and by some economists in the regime itself. Both sources have expressed concern about the human cost of the process, pointing out the people's sense of urgency and frustration. More than two years ago the Catholic Church stated that the revision addressed "demands long harbored by the population." The bishops stated they wished to see "the beginning of a process of ever-broader reforms, for the good of the people and the rising generation of Cubans. We sense the anxiousness of the people with regards to these aspirations," the bishops said, as reported by this newspaper.

Last year, meanwhile, economists expressed similar concerns. Omar Everleny Pérez stated: "We've been implementing the guidelines for three years and, at the end of the chain, customers and employees are not seeing results." Economist Oscar Fernández Estrada, meanwhile, said: "If they were given an enhanced role [small businesses and cooperatives], especially in productive activities, rather than just services, they could help to bolster employment and economic growth."

Another unidentified economist stated that: "I think that most Cubans are realizing that much needs to happen, and they are increasingly frustrated by the lack of visible action, and negative decisions," he told this newspaper.

It is important to note that these statements by organizations attached to the regime, and its officials, were issued in September of 2013 and 2014. That is, long before the resumption of relations with the US. Thus, it is inaccurate to state that the immigration crisis is a consequence of fear that the obsolete Cuban Adjustment Act will be repealed, as some sources have suggested. Rather, the migration is part of a plan by the regime to eliminate people it does not want to employ, or allow to work independently, and to coerce other countries into taking responsibility for the lives of these Cubans.