"Pipilenca Guanaco" <***@passagen.se> wrote in message
> PL :
> No te pongás nervioso,
no estoy nervioso.
solamente muestro lo que es la verdad.
> que empezás a desvariar y escribir en forma pésima. Me preguntastes por la
> democracia funcional,
Lo que dije era:
"Dime: donde funciona mejor la democracia segun Usted: en Cuba o en Mexico?"
>la que da contenido a su definición,
Tu has dado una "definicion", pero no has respondido.
Yo he mostrado que Cuba es peor que Mexico baja tu propria "definicion".
> y rehuyes ahora con propaganda barata.
> Mira lo que escribes:
>> En Cuba el pueblo ni tiene derecho a decir lo que piensa.
> Y yo te puse hasta los mensajes de un prisionero silenciado en Cuba,
No la regla.
Dame el nombre de un periodico en Cuba cual es en contra del regime de
>> en Cuba el WFP tiene que dar comida a 7% de la poblacion.
>> En Mexico no hay programa del WFP.
> The already affected food security of Cubas vulnerable groups has
> deteriorated as a result of fewer commercial partners mainly those of
> the former Soviet block and crop losses caused by intense drought.
> Despite government efforts, food availability (particularly in the five
> eastern provinces) is well below needs.
> The eastern region of Cuba encompassing the provinces of Guantánamo,
> Granma, Santiago de Cuba, Las Tunas, Holguín, and Camagüey faces the
> worst drought in the past 10 years, making the general population food
> insecure. The main problem caused by the drought and the lack of water is
> the deterioration of the nutritional state of the population, particularly
> the state of vulnerable groups (children, pregnant and lactating women,
> and adults over 65 years old), since most of the food for these people
> comes from irrigated agriculture.
> (a) Heavy rains and storms were reported in the city of Holguín, one of
> the provinces was affected by drought. The overflow of rivers Jigüe and
> Marañón caused heavy floods in the area. Many people lost their property.
> On 5 July, a severe rainstorm caused flooding paralyzing traffic in
> several parts of the city.
> (b) Distribution under EMOP 10423.0 is ongoing.
> (c) EMOP 10423.0 is resourced at 31 percent. The operation also received
> IRA US$1.2 million. Some US$ 2,579,322 is urgently needed to meet
> outstanding requirements and to reimburse the IRA funds."
> Quizás sea mejor, desde tu perspectiva, no pedir ayuda y dejar que se
> muera el pueblo de hambre
desde mi "punto de vista" es mejor de comprar comida para gente con hambre
en Cuba que de regalar bombillas a gente en Jamaica.
Important energy-saving initiative published: Saturday | May 27, 2006
These bulbs which, ironically, are gifts from Cuba, manufactured in China by
a U.S. company, have an estimated retail value of over $2 billion. The
retail market for energy-saving lights are not yet up to that value, but
many private sector firms do in fact sell such fixtures.
Note: $2Bn Jamaican is about $30 million US
>>>el país que tenga menor grado educativo, de escolaridad, mayor tasa de
>>>analfabetismo y mortalidad infantil,
>> el problema es que para comparar falta buenas estadisticas.
>> medicos Cubanos y expertos de afuera han dicho que no se puede confiar en
>> los de Cuba
> Cuales expertos?
Alemanes cuales trabajan en Africa del Sur y ex medicos del WHO
"People emigrating from Cuba or visiting Cuba, including international
health representatives, have reported that it is in line with Cuban
policy to report mild cases of dengue as "influenza". Cuban physicians
have confirmed allegations that some disease reporting in Cuba is
influenced (e.g., if dengue were declared wiped out, then physicians could
report the disease only as influenza-like symptoms). "
"WHO and the PanAmerican Health
Organization (WHO's Regional Office for the Western Hemisphere) cannot
to the world without clearance from the Cuban government."
See: www.promedmail.org Archive Number 19970627.1390
Michael Thiede is Senior Research Officer in the Health Economics Unit
of the Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care at the
University of Cape Town, South Africa. He writes: " Last year I spent
three months in Cuba. I am still motivated to put together some papers
on Cuban health care. Unfortunately, however, during my stay I was
only able to get hold of the official statistical data and find them
not especially trustworthy.
>>>es donde no existe una democracia funcional: los designados a ser
>> como "designados" por el regimen en Cuba
> Explícame que significa eso, que no entiendo tu lenguaje.
A traves del CDR y otras oganizaciones el regime controla quien puede ser
"candidato" en las eleciones.
>> como la droga de Raul?
>>>que no defienden los intereses de sus pueblos.
>>>mandando bombillas a Jamaica mientras 7% de la poblacion necesita ayuda
> Sabías que los norteamericanos tienen vigilada Cuba con satélites?
> Sabías que con los satélites se puede descubrir las plantaciones de
> mariguana y similares? Y sabías que Colombia, México y los USA son los que
> tienen mayores plantaciones en toda América? Si Raúl se dedicara al
> negocio de la droga, tendría el problema de siempre: mercado cerrado.
General del Pino dice el contrario:
Cuba and Cocaine:
Original Air Date: February 5, 1991
Written, Produced, and Directed by Stephanie Tepper and William Cran
Gen. del PINO:
Several times I received orders from Raul Castro's office and also from
General Abrantes's office to let the airplane cross over Cuba.
Mr. de BEUNZA:
[through interpreter] Perez Betancourt told me that Aldo Santamaria was
involved in drug trafficking. He said Aldo was following Fidel and Raul's
orders but he was doing it reluctantly whereas he, Perez Betancourt, say
that if he were the boss of the navy, he would be happy to do it because
they were Fidel's orders, and that surprised me.
Tony de la Guardia knew that Fidel was involved in drug trafficking. He was
the only living witness except perhaps Raul Castro and Abrantes who knew
that Fidel was involved in drug trafficking. Fidel had to get rid of him.
CASTRO'S DRUG-RUNNING LINKS PART 1
By Ernesto Betancourt
The New Australian
Agosto 28, 2001
Castro's links to drugs go back to the time when he was in the Sierra
Maestra. When he survived the disastrous landing of the Granma in 1956, the
first local protector he had was Crescencio Perez, a local peasant "capo"
who controlled production and marketing of many crops, including marihuana.
When some of the revolutionaries realized who their savior was and
complained to Castro, he told them that for the time being they had to
depend on him. Such issues would be dealt with afterwards. Later on,
Crescencio became a peasant revolutionary hero.
Once in power, Castro was not, and still is not, averse to associate with
drug or any illegal or unsavory activity as long as it helps him stay in
power. There are four drug cases involving Cuban officials at the highest
level which have resulted in U.S. grand jury indictments:
a. In 1982, four high ranking Cuban officials were indicted by the Guillot
Lara Gran Jury for arranging a drug smuggling operation through which drugs
were brought into the U.S. in exchange for smuggling weapons to the M-19
guerrilla movement in Colombia, which was being supported by Castro. The
officers indicted included Admiral Aldo Santamaría, who was the Cuban Navy
Chief and one of the closest Castro collaborators; Fernando Ravelo,
Ambassador to Colombia and later to Nicaragua; René Rodríguez Cruz,
President of the Cuban People's Friendship Institute, a close Castro
collaborator, since deceased; and, Gonzalo Bassols, a Cuban diplomat
accredited to Colombia at the time. The most important of them in terms of
relevance to the issue under discussion is Admiral Santamaría. He was a
member of the Honor Tribunal condemning Gral. Arnaldo Ochoa!
b. One of the central events in the Noriega indictment and trial involved
Castro's mediation between Noriega and the drug cartel over the seizure of a
cocaine laboratory in Panama which Noriega had allowed to operate there in
exchange for a payment of $4 million dollars. According to the indictment,
Noriega traveled to Cuba on June 27, 1984, at Castro's request, on his way
back from Paris. Castro offered his good offices to settle the disagreement
between the drug cartel and General Noriega. A mediator role that requires
good relations with the drug lords. Good relations that extend to the
c. In 1989, Robert Vesco was indicted by the Carlos Lehder Grand Jury in
Jacksonville, Fla. for arranging safe passage for drug planes over Cuban air
space. According to the indictment, Vesco obtained approval from Cuban
authorities for this arrangement. Later on, in an interview over Radio
Martí, former Cuban Air Force Deputy Chief, General Rafael del Pino, who
defected in 1987, reported that all the planes flying over Cuba which veered
off from the approved air corridors for commercial and private aircraft, had
to be cleared with the office of Raúl Castro at MINFAR.
In a program broadcast over Cuban TV on the Ochoa trial, one can see an
indignant Fidel Castro calling SOBs those who pointed out Raul's involvement
in drug traffic. But, his indignation does not explain away the truth: only
Raúl Castro had overall command of the forces which allowed the smugglers to
land in Cuba and provided them radar assistance and protection from U.S.
Coast Guard cutters.
d. But the most worrisome of all the indictments for Castro was the one that
ended in the conviction, on April 23, 1989, of Reinaldo Ruiz and his son
Rubén. Reinaldo Ruiz was a cousin of Captain Miguel Ruiz Poo of Cuba's
Ministry of the Interior. The Ruizes were allowed by Cuban authorities to
land their plane at the Varadero Beach airport for refueling after dropping
their drug cargoes off the Cuban coast near the Bahamas. Drug smuggling
motorboats (lancheros), would come from Florida to pick up the cargoes.
Cuban Coast Guard radar monitored U.S. Coast Guard cutters and helped the
Alancheros evade them.
These four indictments provide ample evidence, from US judicial sources,
that the Castro regime, at the highest level, was involved in drug-running
activities. It has been claimed that these activities may have been
undertaken by rogue Cuban government officers on their own and without
Castro's knowledge or, much less, approval. Nobody who has the most limited
inkling of how the Cuban regime works could give credit to this explanation.
True, Castro wants the world to believe there is such a possibility because
he is in utmost fear of meeting the Noriega fate.
As will be shown in the next section, a search for the ability to deny any
potential Castro involvement in drug traffic was one of the reasons for the
Ochoa trial. Although, in order to avoid falling into the trap of
reductionism to a single cause, it is acknowledged that the need to dispose
of an emerging highly popular rival also played a role. Ochoa's actions
reveal the intention to challenge Castro's power monopoly in many
directions, in Cuba's relations with the Soviets, in directing military
operations overseas and in managing the drug traffic.
The Ochoa Trial, Drugs and the Castro Brothers
The implications of the last US indictment, the Ruiz case, require some
amplification because it is the central event leading to the Ochoa trial. It
is precisely the use of Cuban air space and refueling facilities, as well as
providing drug smugglers radar support to evade the US Coast Guard that was
one of the central issues raised during the trial against Ochoa. This,
despite the fact that, at no time during that period, was Ochoa in command
of the forces involved in controlling Cuban air space, territorial waters
and shores in the areas where these operations were taking place.
However, this does not exonerate Ochoa. He just did not realize the
consequences of becoming entangled with Ministry of Interior operations
fully approved by Fidel Castro and directed by his brother Raul. Once
discovered, Ochoa, along with some other key operatives, were to be made
sacrificial lambs to save Castro's good name and the reputation of the
Radio Martí was able to interview Reinaldo Ruiz in prison shortly after he
was sentenced in 1989. We were told we had to wait for the sentencing to
avoid the implication that what he said was the result of some plea
bargaining. In the interview with our reporter, Ruiz explained that he had
been involved in a MININT people-smuggling operation through Panama and
wanted to make use of it himself to get some of his relatives out of Cuba.
It was while he was engaged in this effort that he claims he was approached
by his cousin, Captain Ruiz Poo, to use his people-smuggling network for
drug smuggling into the U.S.
At the time, Captain Miguel Ruiz Poo was working for the convertible
currency (MC) operation of Cuba's MININT, which was headed by Colonel Tony
de la Guardia, another of the officers executed by Castro. Reinaldo Ruiz
claims he agreed to do it after some hesitancy. His son flew as copilot of
the planes landing at Varadero and he himself went into Cuba on various
occasions, enjoying VIP treatment from Cuban authorities. Reinaldo Ruiz
stated that, in some occasions, the Cubans even took him to Havana as a
government guest. Mr. Ruiz claimed in the interview that he had no doubt
that what he was doing had the approval of Castro. As an exile, he would
have never taken the risk of going into Cuba had he had any doubt about who
was behind those activities. A most plausible explanation.
But the Ruiz operation had been infiltrated by the DEA. The pilot of the
plane was an undercover DEA agent and he recorded in videotape many of the
conversations they had. The U.S. requested the extradition of Reinaldo Ruiz
from Panama early in 1988. According to Reinaldo Ruiz, he was surprised when
Panama granted the request. However, he was convinced all along that the
Cubans would get him out somehow before his being convicted. According to
the Norberto Fuentes report, Fidel Castro considered this setback was a
consequence of Raul's incompetence in handling the operation.
As far back as 1980, the Minister of Interior at the time, Ramiro Valdez,
stopped marihuana smuggling operations ordered by Fidel when Castro refused
to issue written orders to him to undertake them. In early 1983, the
Minister of Interior ordered Tony de la Guardia to make a feasibility study
for a drug money laundering center at Cayo Largo, south of Cuba, and de la
Guardia is also asked by Fidel to establish contacts with Pablo Escobar, the
Colombian drug cartel head. Castro initially delayed a proposal from the
Colombian M-19 movement to engage in an exchange of weapons for coca because
the proposal had been addressed directly to him by Jaime Bateman. Evidently,
after Bateman's death in an airplane accident, a more discrete arrangement
was made - leaving Castro out of the loop - that led to the above mentioned
Guillot Lara Grand Jury.
In the Fall of 1983 Fidel told Abrantes, who was really acting as Minister
of Interior, and two MININT officers, Jose Luis Padron and Tony de la
Guardia, that he wanted to be shown the feasibility of undertaking drug
operations while overcoming three obstacles: the requirements established by
Ramiro Valdez of written orders, the clumsiness of the Chief of the Navy,
Aldo Santamaria and other Raul collaborators, already indicted in the US, or
the level of formal commitment expected by the Colombian M-19. In other
words, as Fidel Castro was moving towards expanding his involvement in the
drug traffic, he wanted to ensure deniability for himself.
When Reinaldo Ruiz was convicted on April 23, 1989, the contents of some of
the videotapes recorded by the DEA undercover agent were given ample
coverage by mass media, among them one in which Reinaldo Ruiz is seen saying
that the money they were paying "went straight into Castro's drawers." He
also alleged that, on one occasion, while they were waiting at the Varadero
Airport tarmac, Raúl Castro was at the airport and one of his bodyguards
approached them requesting marihuana.
One can imagine the panic this caused among Castro and his collaborators.
Neglect of the fate of a low minion in the drug operation being run by Cuban
intelligence all of the sudden had entangled directly the revolutionary
leadership. And in an American court of all places. Plausible denial was no
CASTRO'S DRUG-RUNNING LINKS PART 2
By Ernesto Betancourt
The New Australian
Septiembre 1-2, 2001
According to one of the Cuban TV tapes of the Ochoa trial, it is precisely
on April 24, 1989, the day after the conviction of the Ruizes, that Captain
Miguel Ruiz Poo got a call from Major General Abelardo Colomé, a close
collaborator of Raúl Castro, who is now Minister of Interior and at that
time was head of MINFAR intelligence, inquiring on what was going on. In his
testimony, Colonel de la Guardia stated that he tried to calm down Captain
Ruiz Poo by explaining that General Colomé was inquiring about the status of
collections from the operation.
It is this conversation that led to the dramatic testimony seen later on in
the TV program covering the trial, showing Captain Ruiz' pathetic effort to
save himself by referring to comments by other accused officers about higher
ups being involved in the drug operation. After Captain Ruiz started sobbing
uncontrollably in the witness stand, he is hurriedly removed from the court
and the next day he is not allowed to expand on his clarification by the
prosecutor, while other witnesses are brought to deny that any involvement
at the highest level was ever discussed and to question that anybody had
grounds to even think of such a possibility. The reaction to the highly
emotional revelation of a clearly terrified witness reveals that the higher
ups involvement issue was central to the rationale for the trial.
One version of the Ochoa trial, which reached Radio Martí at the time, was
that Ochoa was preparing to challenge Castro. He had discrete encouragement
from the Soviets, Gorbachev had visited the island earlier in 1989, and was
not very pleased with Castro's defiant stance towards Glasnost and
Perestroika. General Ochoa twice attended Soviet military schools and
developed close links with Soviet generals when he commanded Cuban forces in
Ethiopia and Angola. Under this version, knowing about Castro's plans to
cooperate with the drug cartels in exchange for massive investments in Cuban
tourism, Ochoa sent his aide Captain Martínez, also later executed by
Castro, to meet Pablo Escobar in Colombia to get evidence for the challenge
he was planning.
Another, much more plausible version, emerges from the Norberto Fuentes
report. It reveals that Ochoa was distrusted by Raul, who sent General
Leopoldo Cintras Frias as Ochoa's deputy in Angola to try to control him. In
a preview of the trial that took place later on, on May 28, 1989, Raul gave
Ochoa a dressing down, while already under preliminary arrest, in the
presence of Grals Ulises Rosales del Toro and Abelardo Colome. Raul raised
with Ochoa, for the first time, the issue of sexual orgies, while adding as
factors under consideration that he:
i) openly disobeyed Fidel's orders in waging the last phase of the war in
ii) was developing too close a relationship with Soviet generals there (at a
time when Fidel had given orders to Minister Abrantes to start watching
Soviet contacts with Cuban officials);
iii) had supported the attack on La Tablada garrison in Buenos Aires by
Argentine guerrillas without having cleared it with his superiors; and,
iv) more worrisome of all, had established his own connection to Pablo
Escobar to engage in drug operations.
This last issue involved a project to build a coca laboratory in Angola in
association with Pablo Escobar; for which, Ochoa had asked Tony de la
Guardia to take charge of developing a marketing network in the US and
Western Europe. Up to that time, the drug smuggling operations undertaken by
Tony de la Guardia on behalf of the Ochoa/Escobar group, which had started
early in 1987, had generated small amounts of money, the rate was about
$1,200 per kg of coca, and were aborted on several occasions due to
sabotage, apparently encouraged by Castro. As a result, Ochoa was moving to
set up his own smuggling operation independent of the MININT MC Department.
From the Fuentes report, it is evident that Castro was engaged in many
simultaneous drug smuggling arrangements. In the end, Fidel emerges as a
distant Godfather, always in the background, having the final say in deals
with Vesco, Ledher and others. Some of the deals proposed involved
substantial amounts. For example, through one of Tony de la Guardia
subordinates, Lt. Col. Rolando Castañeda Izquierdo, Carlos Ledher proposed a
$ 7 million a week arrangement for regular shipments. That would generate a
flow of $ 364 million dollars a year. It is deals of this magnitude that
could explain how Cuba finances the gap in its balance of payments. In
another such deal, Abrantes, under Fidel orders, instructs Tony de la
Guardia to find buyers in Europe for $ 50 million dollars of coca.
Of all the sins of Ochoa, challenging Castro as the Cuban Godfather, was his
worst offense. It was not only a threat to Castro's absolute rule, it also
endangered his careful efforts at covering up Cuba's involvement in drug
smuggling. The Ruizes sentence precipitated events.
With his obsession to give a legal cover to the most arbitrary actions he
wants to undertake, Castro decided to orchestrate a trial to eliminate the
threat Ochoa presented to his leadership of the regime and, in the process,
to cleanse himself from any involvement in drug traffic. To ensure their
silence, he executed the four that not only knew about his entanglement with
drug trafficking, but were closely involved in Ochoa's operations.
Later on, he would also get rid of the Minister of Interior, Jose Abrantes.
Abrantes was dismissed as Minister of Interior as a result of the Ochoa
trial, but not because he was involved with Ochoa. Quite the contrary. He
was the executor of the Castro orders in relation to drug operations. It is
quite possible that Raul saw in the whole mess the opportunity of bringing
the MININT under this control. He was able to do so by placing Gral.
Abelardo Colome, one of his most trusted officers, in charge of the MININT.
After his dismissal, Abrantes was tried and sentenced to prison for omission
in preventing the corrupt activities of his subordinates. While in prison in
Guanajay, on January 18, 1991, he had a confrontation with Gral. Patricio de
la Guardia, Tony's twin brother, one of the defendants at the Ochoa trial
sentenced to prison. According to the Fuentes report, Abrantes told Patricio
that Fidel had authorized everything. Patricio was indignant upon the
confirmation that his brother was executed for having undertaken tasks
ordered by Fidel. On January 21, 1991, three days later, Abrantes died in
prison. +Granma reported he had a heart attack. Actually, it is reported he
died as a result of an overdose of a heart medicine he needed, a frequent
outcome in Castro's jails.
Those defendants in the Ochoa trial serving time in prison got a warning:
revealing the involvement of Castro in the drug operations could be a fatal
indiscretion. Meanwhile, as recent events reveal, Castro continues
tolerating drug traffic through Cuba, the crime for which he executed Ochoa,
free of any local competition in his role as Godfather.
For example, in January, 1996, Jorge Gordito Cabrera, was arrested in the
Florida Keys and charged with importing 6,000 pounds of cocaine. At the time
of his arrest, El Nuevo Herald reported he was carrying a photo of himself
with Fidel Castro. Later that year, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to
19 years in prison. To make the matter more bizarre, during the campaign
finance scandal, it was revealed that three weeks before his arrest, in
December, 1995, Mr. Cabrera had pictures taken of him with the First Lady,
Mrs. Hillary Clinton, at a White Hopuse Christmas party.
Before meeting with Hillary Clinton he had pictures taken with
Vice-President Al Gore at a Miami fund raising party. It turned out Mr.
Cabrera had made a $20,000 contribution to the Democratic Presidential
campaign at the urging of Mrs. Vivian Mannerud, a pro-Castro activist in
Miami who owns a company that provides travel services to Cuba. She had
approached him during a visit both had made to Havana earlier in 1995. The
funds were returned, of course, but the scandal remains.
A more recent drug incident took place on December 3, 1998 in Cartagena,
Colombia. That day the Colombian police seized 7 tons of cocaine bound for
Cuba to be transshipped later to Europe and the United States. According to
the head of the Colombian National Police, drug runners Aare employing a new
trend of loading cocaine into containers transported initially to Cuba for
distribution in smaller shipments to the United States and other
international consumer markets.
In this case, the shipment was made under the disguise of raw materials for
a plastic factory owned by two Spanish investors in a joint venture with a
Cuban government enterprise, which had 51 per cent ownership. Later on, the
Colombian police announced records of the firm involved revealed that there
have been seven or eight earlier shipments following a similar pattern.
Castro was enraged at the Colombians over making this incident public. In a
speech in January, 1999, he quoted drug arrests statistics to prove how hard
Cuba is fighting drugs. That Cuba is fighting drug smuggling is another
theme of Cuba's current propaganda. Unfortunately, there are some in the US
Government who believe that. They are even willing to share with Castro US
drug smuggling intelligence. However, others, in Colombia, claim that those
Castro is arresting are from rival cartels.
This idea is not as farfetched as it may appear. At the trial of the Mexican
Drug Czar, who was arrested two weeks after being praised as an honest man
by US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey, it was revealed that the Drug Czar,
General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, was using Mexican Army and Air Force
resources to help drug capo Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the so-called King of
the Skies, eliminate his competitors.
That means that the sophisticated equipment the US provided to the Mexican
army to fight drug smuggling was actually used by one of the capos against
his competition. Since, as is commented further down, Carrillo Flores had
close links with Castro, it is quite likely that the recent Castro efforts
to reach an agreement to have access to US intelligence and equipment were
intended to replicate that experience.
CASTRO'S DRUG-RUNNING LINKS PART 3
By Ernesto Betancourt
The New Australian
Septiembre 8-9, 2001
Cuba does not generate the savings required to finance investments. Hotels
are reported to be built with Cuban funds, one logical conclusion is that
Cuba is a huge money laundering center for the cartels. After all, wasn't
this Ochoa's plan? We will elaborate on this hypothesis using the figures
provided in the ECLAC report.
Some Relevant Indicators on Hotel Investment
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
Room stock (000) 12.9 16.6 18.7 22.1 23.3 24.2 26.9
Additions (000) -- 3.7 2.1 3.4 1.2 0.9 2.7
Estimated investment (million US dollars) -- 370 210 340 120 90 270
Peso equivalent (million pesos @20 rate) -- 7400 4200 6800 2400 1800
Gross domestic investment (million pesos) 4872 2274 975 965 1036 1500
Domestic savings (million pesos) 2327 820 555 577 794 985 1380
Year end market exchange rate in pesos per dollar 7 20 45 100 60 25 19
Except the estimates for hotel investment in dollars and their conversion to
Cuban pesos, all the figures are taken from tables in the statistical annex
of the ECLAC report. Since no table is provided in the ECLAC report for the
flow of remittances, and the US$ 800 million figure is mentioned only in the
text, no equivalent numbers are available to compare for the years covered
in the above table. Some questions may be raised on the use of a rate of 20
pesos to the dollar to do the conversion of the investments to current Cuban
pesos. As can be appreciated from the last line, if anything, this rate
underestimates the pesos equivalent which in 1993 reached 100 to the dollar.
Therefore, it provides a conservative conversion to Cuban current pesos.
According to the tables provided in the ECLAC report, Cuba built 14,000
hotel rooms of international level quality between 1990 and 1996. The ECLAC
Report acknowledges that these hotels are built with Cuban financing. The
benchmark figure for hotel investment in the Caribbean is between 100 and
125 thousand US dollars per hotel room. Applying the lower figure to allow
for lower labor costs in construction in Cuba we arrive at a total
investment during the period of 1,4 billion US dollars.
The amount of dollars required would be lower if Cuba could provide more
inputs, however, the collapse of Cuban industry since the end of Soviet
assistance does not allow for use of local components other than labor,
cement and perhaps some steel bars for concrete structures. International
quality hotels require equipment above Cuban production standards. According
to ECLAC, even food items for tourism, such as eggs and chicken, are
imported due to the poor quality of Cuban production.
The contradictions and inconsistencies these figures reveal are related to
the relation between investment in hotels and total national investment and
savings reported in the national accounts. As can be observed, the peso
equivalent of the hotel investment in all years exceeds the figures reported
by ECLAC in its report for both gross domestic investment and national
savings. More so, when we consider that hotel building is not the only
national investment. There is a fact that is unquestionable: hotels have
As commented above, the information on foreign investment provided to The
Economist Intelligence Unit did not include hotel investment either. The
question is why do the aggregate figures from national accounts do not
reflect those investments. Unless there is some explanation resulting from
the techniques followed for computing the national accounts, the only
possible explanation is that financing for these investments has been
handled outside the conventional national accounts: money laundering or drug
What is the evidence supporting the money laundering hypothesis?
Here is where money laundering enters as another plausible explanation for
how investments in hotels are financed. Not only by the coincidence of this
massive expansion starting precisely the year after General Ochoa was
executed. As commented above, there was a hypothesis that Ochoa had
uncovered this scheme and was trying to document it to justify his challenge
to Castro. The other, more credible, hypothesis is that Ochoa was trying to
become a Castro rival as a capo in drug smuggling. Whatever is the actual
explanation, when Castro discovered what Ochoa was up to, he decided to turn
the tables on him and use the accusation of dealing with the drug lords to
discredit Ochoa and justify his execution.
Castro's involvement with the drug lords is more than documented by the four
grand jury indictments mentioned above. And this involvement did not end
with the Ochoa trial. The arrest of Jorge Agordito Caberra, with a photo
with Castro, raises the possibility Castro was considering gaining some
influence, a la Chinese, with the Clinton Administration.
The cocaine shipment seized in Colombia in December, 1998, one of seven or
eight previous ones, owned by foreign investors who were partners in a joint
venture with the Cuban government could take place only with some previous
clearance by Castro himself. The fact no regime official has been fired or
prosecuted for acting on his own, points to Castro as the approving
authority and not the doings of some rogue officer. It is evident drug
smuggling has survived the Ochoa execution, and so has money laundering, but
following another tract.
Over the years, Castro's practice has been to handle dollar transactions
through his own substantial personal accounts overseas, the so-called
"Reserva del Comandante." This was revealed by Jesús M. Fernández, who
defected in May, 1996 and had had access to the highest level of financial
management within the regime. He reports that these private Castro accounts
were used to channel Soviet financing of Cuba's military operations
overseas, subversive activities and the CIMEX enterprise, later replaced by
the MININT's Department of Convertible Currency.
This is precisely the agency where Colonel Tony de la Guardia worked when he
was involved in drug deals. According to Mr. Fernández, these private
accounts are also used for those economic sectors under the direct
supervision of Castro, such as pharmaceuticals and tourism, as well as
Ministry of Interior overseas operations generating convertible currencies.
It has been established by DEA that the weight of the money generated by
drug sales exceeds the weight of the drugs themselves. Therefore, disposing
of the money involved in the US alone - with more than $100 billion in
retail sales yearly - is a process of industrial proportions. Trailer trucks
cross the US-Mexico frontier with full cargoes of US dollars. According to a
report on money laundering in The Economist, the fee at that time for
helping the cartels launder their money had increased to between 25 and 28
per cent. In the argot of the money launderers, this is called
"discounting," the cost of making a drug tainted dollar a tradable dollar.
Ironically, through the prohibition of legal remittances in 1996, the US
Government provided an excellent cover-up for money laundering. Money
started reaching Cuba through so-called "mules." That is, people who
traveled to Cuba through third countries carrying tens of thousands of
dollars in cash. By depositing these monies in Cuban government accounts,
or, more likely, in the accounts of the Comandante's reserves, the money is
The death of the "Lord of the Skies," Amado Carrillo Fuentes, has lifted the
veil of another potential avenue for money laundering. According to a report
published by The Miami Herald, Mexican authorities have obtained evidence
that Carrillo Fuentes was a guest at a protocol house of the Cuban
government during his frequent visits to the island. There is speculation
that among the alleged activities taking Mr. Carrillo Fuentes to Cuba was
money laundering. Authority for assigning protocol houses is vested
exclusively on Fidel Castro and his Chef de Cabinet, Dr. Jose Millar
Barruecos, is responsible for their administration.
Finally, Cuban defectors have mentioned that, among the attractions offered
to drug dealers visiting the Cayo Largo resort, a key south of the island of
Cuba, is the existence of banking facilities where money laundering is
performed. As was mentioned above, Tony de la Guardia was the MININT officer
commissioned to undertake the feasibility study to make this key a money
This analysis offers only an inkling of what is going on. There is no doubt
that there is a huge flow of laundered money worldwide and that Cuba is one
of the channels being used. It is also evident that in Cuba nothing of this
sort can go on without Castro's personal approval. Use of the remittances
scam to cover-up the huge gap in Cuba's balance of trade stands on shallow
ground. In conclusion, we can say that the available evidence indicates
there is an unquestionable impossibility of the remittances option offering
the main source to finance whatever is the balance of trade gap.
As to other sources, there is substantial evidence to conclude that Cuba is
engaged in drug smuggling and money laundering. This is a huge growing gap,
as is shown in the previously mentioned Table 4 of Jorge Perez Lopez paper,
which in 1998 registers a trade gap amounting to US$ 2,785 million.
Therefore, even accepting the US$ 800 million estimate for remittances,
there are two billion dollars more to explain.
However, there is not enough data to estimate the magnitude of the resulting
financial flows. All we have is a simple way to calculate how that gap may
be met through money laundering and drug smuggling. It reveals that to meet
the balance of trade gap, Castro needs four dollars in money laundering
transactions for each dollar in net proceeds and to smuggle a kilogram of
coca for each $ 1,250. Back in 1989, the US Coast Guard had reports of about
300 flights per year outside of the approved air corridors over Cuba for
private and commercial flights. It is such flights that make the coca drops
to be picked up by the Alancheros
At some future time, reliable estimates on drug trafficking volume may be
available and it may be possible to combine the data on volume with rates
and the money laundering fees to compute estimates of the involved financial
flows. But the lack of data for quantification should not deter us from
considering that drug trafficking and money laundering are the most
plausible sources for financing the Cuban balance of trade gap.
> Si los cubanos tienen arena (para hacer vidrio), metales (para los
> filamentos) y desarrollo para fabricar bombillas, difícilmente podrán
> comerlas y sustituir la comida.
pero en vez de comprar por milliones de dollares bombillas hecho por una
empresa americana en China para regalarlos a Jamaica (donde la gente tienen
comida) puede comprar comida para Cubanos que lo necesitan, no?
>>>Un gobierno que defienda a su pueblo,
>> el regime de Castro lucha contra el pueblo Cubano con represion
> Un helicóptero artillado de fabricación norteamericana (snip)
En Congo hay abusos de los derechos humanos tambien.
En que le da el derecho a Castro de negar a los Cubanos el respeto de las
Tiene una dificultad grande de habler de Cuba, no?
>>>luchará por los intereses de la nación,
>> al regime de Castro le interesa solamente sobrevivir
> Claro: no existe gobierno que se quiera suicidar de antemano.
Pero pocos imponen una dictadura.
>>>no por velar los intereses extranjeros.
>> cuales en Cuab tienen sus restaurantes, hoteles, hospitales ... donde
>> Cubanos no pueden entrar (fuere de poara servirles)
> No describas a España como si fuera Cuba. Un vendaje cuesta 60 Euros en
> clínica privada.
y cualquier puede entrar a los restaurantes, bares, ..
En Belgica la ley obliga a dar ayuda de emergencia necesaria a cualquier que
llega al hospital.
Pero veo que no niegas que hay "apartheid" en Cuba.
>> pero una democracia necesita libertad de expresion y la posibilidad para
>> todos de presentarse y ser elegidos.
>> En Cuba no hay democracia.
> En Cuba hay un tipo de democracia que vos no avalás, ni entendés.
No hay democracia en Cuba.
Sin la libertad de expresion no hay democracia.
Si el estado decide lo que tienes que pensar y decir la verdadera voluntad
del pueblo nunca se va a oir.
> Pero eso no significa que Castro sea un rey árabe, ni que Cuba sea
> monarquía absolutista.
es un dictadoe estalinista
> La minoría apoyará el gobierno en próximo 26 de Julio: llama a una
> manifestación en contra
y los que lo hacen van a la carcel reciben "actos de repudio" y si salen en
la calle como durante el Maleconazo reciben golpes de barros de hierro, no?
La mas gran "manifestacion" son todos lo que traten de salir del pais.
Votan con sus "pies" como no puden votar de ninguna otra manera.