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“The economic sanctions against Cuba constitute the principal obstacle to the development of the country”

Oktober 30, 2011 2 Kommentare

“The economic sanctions against Cuba constitute the principal obstacle to the development of the country”
By Cuba Si France
            CSF: You’ve just published a new book under the title État de siège? What exactly do you cover in it?
            SL: As the book’s subtitle suggests, it covers the unilateral economic sanctions that the United States first imposed upon Cuba at the height of the Cold War. The goal of these sanctions has been the overthrow of the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro, the social and economic reforms of which did not sit well with the Eisenhower administration of the period. More than a half century later the Soviet Union has disappeared and the Cold War is only a fading memory, still the United States persists in maintaining an economic state of siege that is suffocating for all levels of the Cuban population, although it  primarily effects the most vulnerable sectors: women, the elderly and children.
It is important to note that the diplomatic rhetoric used by the United States to justify its hostility towards Cuba has changed from period to period. Early on, it focused on nationalizations and their compensation. Later, Washington invoked the alliance with the  Soviet Union as the principal obstacle to the normalization of relations between the two countries. Then, during the 1970s and 1980s, it cited Cuban intervention in Africa–more precisely in Angola and Namibia. Those interventions, designed to aid the national liberation movements fighting to obtain independence and to support of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, were cited as justification for the maintenance of economic sanctions. Finally, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Washington brandished democracy and human rights as an argument for maintaining its stranglehold on the Cuban nation.
            CSF: What exactly is the impact of these sanctions on the Cuban population?
            SL: The economic sanctions against Cuba constitute the principal obstacle to the development of the country and all sectors of the society are affected by it. It is important to note that the United States, for evident historical and geographic reasons, has always been Cuba’s natural market. The distance separating the two countries is less than 150 km. In 1959, 73% of all Cuban exports were destined for the U.S. market and 70% of its imports came from the States. There was, therefore, a significant dependance upon Cuba’s northern neighbor. Between 1960 and 1991, relations with the USSR had softened the sanctions, but this is no longer the case.
Thus practically, Cuba is unable to sell anything to the United States, which remains the world’s primary market. Nor can it buy anything from it other than, and since 2000 only, a few primary agricultural products that it is forced to purchase under severe restrictions, for example, Cuba is required to pay in advance in a currency other than the U.S. dollar–something that forces Cuba to shoulder the additional costs engendered by the exchange rates–all of this without the possibility of contracting a loan. This limits enormously the island’s commercial possibilities, forcing it to pay a much higher price to a third country.
            CSF: You also emphasize the effects of the extraterritorial economic sanctions.
            SL: Indeed, since 1992 and the adoption of the Torricelli Act, these sanctions apply equally to third countries that might wish to trade with Cuba. This constitutes a serious violation of international law which prohibits any national legislation from being extraterritorial, that is to say, from being applied outside of national boundaries. For example, French law cannot be applied in Spain and Italian law cannot be applied in France. Nonetheless, United States economic sanctions remain applicable to all countries that trade with Cuba.
Thus, any foreign ship that docks in a Cuban port finds itself forbidden to enter U.S. ports for a period of six months. Cuba, being an island, is heavily dependent upon maritime transport. Of the commercial fleets that operate in the Florida Straits, most conduct the bulk of their activities with a clear understanding of the importance of this market and do not run the risk of transporting merchandise to Cuba. When they do, however, they demand a higher tariff than that applied to neighboring countries, such as Haiti or the Dominican Republic, this in order to make up for the shortfall that results from being banned from U.S. ports for having done so. Therefore, if the standard price for transporting merchandise to the Dominican Republic is 100, this figure that can rise to 600 or 700 for Cuba.
            CSF: You also comment on the retroactive nature of the economic sanctions.
            SL: Since the adoption of the Helms-Burton Act in 1996, all foreign enterprises that wish to invest in Cuban property that had been nationalized in 1959, risk prosecution in the United States and seeing its U.S. investments frozen. This law is a judicial aberration because it is both extraterritorial and retroactive–in other words, it applies to events that occurred before the law was adopted, something that is contrary to international law. Take the case of the anti-tobacco law in France. This law was promulgated on January 1, 2008. But if you smoked in a restaurant on December 31, 2007, you would not be prosecuted, because the law cannot be applied retroactively. The Helms-Burton Act applies to events that occurred during the 1960s, something that is clearly illegal.
            CSF: The United States maintains that the economic sanctions are a simple bilateral question that does not concern the rest of the world.
            SL: The example that I have already cited demonstrate the exact opposite. I’ll give you another. In order to sell on the U.S. market, a German, Korean, or Japanese automobile manufacturer–in reality the nationality matters little–is obliged to demonstrate to the U.S. Treasury Department that its products do not contain a single gram of Cuban nickel. It is the same for all of the agribusiness enterprises that wish to invest in the U.S. market. Danone, for example, must demonstrate that its products contain absolutely no Cuban raw materials. Cuba cannot sell its natural resources and its products to the United States, but in these exact cases, neither can it sell them to Germany, Korea or Japan. These measures deprive the Cuban economy of much needed capital and Cuban exports of many markets around the world.
            CSF: The economic sanctions have also had an impact on healthcare.
            SL: Indeed, nearly 80% of all patents applied for in the medical sector belong to U.S. based multinational pharmaceutical companies and their subsidiaries, which puts them in the position of being a quasi-monopoly. It should be noted that international humanitarian law forbids all restrictions on the freedom of movement of foodstuffs and medicines, even during wartime. And officially, the United States is not at war with Cuba.
Here is a clear example: Cuban children could benefit from the Amplatzer septal occluder, a cardiac plug manufactured in the United States, that allows one to bypass open heart surgery. Dozens of children are waiting for this operation. In 2010 alone, four were added to this list: Maria Fernanda Vidal, five years old; Cyntia Soto Aponte, three years old; Mayuli Pérez Ulboa, eight years old, and Lianet D. Alvarez, five years old.
Are these children responsible for the differences that exist between Havana and Washington? No! But they are paying the price.
            CSF: In your book, you also talk about the irrational nature of certain restrictions.
            SL: Indeed, it should be noted that since 2004 and the strict application of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) rules, any American tourist that smoked a Cuban cigar or consumed a glass of Havana Club rum during a trip abroad risks a fine of a million dollars and ten in years in prison. Another example: a Cuban living in France theoretically cannot eat a hamburger at a McDonald’s. Of course, these measures are irrational because they are unenforceable. The United States does not have the material and human resources to put a U.S. agent on the trail of each tourist. Nonetheless, it illustrates the United States‘ obsessive desire to economically strangle the Cubans.
            CSF: Your book contains a prolog by Wayne S. Smith and a preface by Paul Estrade, both well known Cuban specialists, but no doubt without a large audience. Remind us of who they are.
            SL: Wayne S. Smith is a former U.S. diplomat and currently a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. He was the last American diplomat with the rank of ambassador to be posted in Cuba, this between 1979 and 1982. Under the government of Jimmy Carter, he distinguished himself through his politics of dialog and rapprochement with Havana. He is a partisan of normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States and his preface takes stock of the anachronistic, cruel and ineffectual nature of these economic sanctions.
As for Paul Estrade, he is a professor emeritus at the University of Paris VIII and, without a doubt, the best Cuban specialist in France. His works on Cuban issues are standard references in the academic world. In his preface, he points to the way in which the state of siege against Cuba is voluntarily obscured by the medias when they report on the economic difficulties of this country.
A new book by Salim Lamrani
État de siège; les sanctions économiques des États-Unis contre Cuba (State of Siege; The United States‘ economic sanctions against Cuba).
Prologue by Wayne S. Smith, preface by Paul Estrade.
Paris, Editions Estrella, 2011. 15 euros.
Translated by Larry R. Oberg, Québec City, Québec.

Afghanistan cables: The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations

Oktober 30, 2011 Kommentare aus

 

Deputy Secretary Armitage = a main important criminal in the drug buseness and in the Iran contra Affäre.

September 11, 2011
Secret U.S. Message to Mullah Omar: „Every Pillar of the Taliban Regime Will Be Destroyed“
New Documents Detail America’s Strategic Response to 9/11

Read the Documents

Document 1 – Action Plan
U.S. Department of State, Memorandum,“ Action Plan as of 9/13/2001 7:55:51am,“ September 13, 2001, Secret, 3 pp. [Excised]

Two days after the 9/11 attacks, the Department of State creates an action plan to document U.S. government activities taken so far and to create an immediate list of things to do. Included in the list are high-level meetings with Pakistani officials, including ISI intelligence Director Mahmoud Ahmed. [Note that Ahmed’s September 13 meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is detailed in Document 3 and Document 5.] The action plan details efforts to get international support, including specific U.S. diplomatic approaches to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Sudan, China and Indonesia.

Document 2 – Islamabad 05087
U.S. Embassy (Islamabad), Cable, „Musharraf: We Are With You in Your Action Plan in Afghanistan“ September 13, 2001, Secret – Noforn, 7 pp. [Excised]

Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin „bluntly“ tells Pakistani President Musharraf „that the September 11 attacks had changed the fundamentals of the [Afghanistan – Pakistan] debate. There was absolutely no inclination in Washington to enter into a dialogue with the Taliban. The time for dialog was finished as of September 11.“ Effectively declaring the Taliban a U.S. enemy (along with al-Qaeda), Ambassador Chamberlin informs President Musharraf „that the Taliban are harboring the terrorists responsible for the September 11 attacks. President Bush was, in fact, referring to the Taliban in his speech promising to go after those who harbored terrorists.“  [Note: A less complete version of this document was previously released and posted on September 13, 2010. This copy has less information withheld.]  

Document 3 – State 157813 [Version 1]
Document 3 – State 157813 [Version 2]

U.S. Department of State, Cable, „Deputy Secretary Armitage’s Meeting with Pakistan Intel Chief Mahmud: You’re Either With Us or You’re Not,“ September 13, 2001, Secret, 9 pp. [Excised]

The day after the 9/11 attacks, Deputy Secretary Armitage meets with Pakistani Intelligence (ISI) Chief Mahmoud Ahmed (which can also be spelled Mehmood Ahmad, Mahmud or Mahmoud). Armitage presents a „stark choice“ in the 15-minute meeting. „Pakistan must either stand with the United States in its fight against terrorism or stand against us. There was no maneuvering room.“ Mahmud assures Armitage that the U.S. „could count on Pakistan’s ‘unqualified support,‘ that Islamabad would do whatever was required of it by the U.S.“ Deputy Secretary Armitage adamantly denies Pakistan has the option of a middle road between supporting the Taliban and the U.S., „this was a black-and-white choice, with no grey.“ Mahmoud responds by commenting „that Pakistan has always seen such matters in black-and-white. It has in the past been accused of ‘being-in-bed‘ with those threatening U.S. interests. He wanted to dispel that misconception.“ Mahmoud’s denial of longstanding historical Pakistani support for extremists in Afghanistan directly conflicts with U.S. intelligence on the issue, which has documented extensive Pakistani support for the Taliban and multiple other militant organizations.

Advocate“ (Elizabeth Cheney, the Vice President’s daughter) and „Ace“ (Philip J. Perry, the Vice President’s son-in-law).

Document 23 – Snowflake
Office of the Secretary of Defense, Snowflake Memorandum, From Donald Rumsfeld to Doug Feith, „Afghanistan,“ April 17, 2002, 9:15AM, Secret, 1 p. [Excised]

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is concerned the U.S. does not yet have comprehensive plans for U.S. activities in Afghanistan. „I may be impatient. In fact I know I’m a bit impatient. But the fact that Iran and Russia have plans for Afghanistan and we don’t concerns me.“ The Secretary laments the state of interagency coordination and is alarmed that bureaucratic delay may harm the war effort. „We are never going to get the U.S. military out of Afghanistan unless we take care to see that there is something going on that will provide the stability that will be necessary for us to leave.“

Document 24 – Memorandum
Office of the Secretary of Defense, Memorandum, From Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, „Al Qaeda Ops Sec,“ July 19, 2002, Secret, 1 p. [Excised]

U.S. officials are unsure whether or not Osama bin Laden is alive, with the intelligence community assessing that he must be because „his death would be too important a fact for [members of al-Qaeda] to be able to keep it a secret.“ Paul Wolfowitz rejects this assertion, arguing that bin Laden’s survival is equally important news for al-Qaeda to communicate, leading him to conclude that the terrorists are „able to communicate quite effectively on important subjects without our detecting anything.“ Although specifics remain classified, the memo expresses concern over America’s overreliance on a specific capability allowing the U.S. to track terrorist organizations. Wolfowitz questions whether or not this technique is providing a false sense of security to intelligence officials and that the U.S. may even be being manipulated by terrorists who may know about U.S. capabilities. „We are a bit like the drunk looking for our keys under the lamppost because that is the only place where there is light.“ Critical information may be in places the U.S. is not looking.

Document 25 – Kabul 000509
U.S. Embassy (Kabul), Cable, „Afghan Supplemental“ February 6, 2006, Secret, 3 pp. [Excised]

In a message to the Secretary of State, U.S. Ambassador Ronald R. Neumann expresses his concern that the American failure to fully fund and support activities designed to bolster the Afghan economy, infrastructure and reconstruction effort is harming the American mission. His letter is a plea for additional money and a shift in priorities. „We have dared so greatly, and spent so much in blood and money that to try to skimp on what is needed for victory seems to me too risky.“

The Ambassador notes, „the supplemental decision recommendation to minimize economic assistance and leave out infrastructure plays into the Taliban strategy, not to ours.“ Taliban leaders were issuing statements that the U.S. would grow increasingly weary, while they gained momentum. A resurgent Taliban leadership ominously summarizes the emerging strategic match-up with the United States by saying, „You have all the clocks but we have all the time.“

Document 26 – Kabul 003863
U.S. Embassy (Kabul), Cable, „Afghanistan: Where We Stand and What We Need“ August 29, 2006, Secret, 8 pp. [Excised]

According to U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald R. Neumann „we are not winning in Afghanistan; although we are far from losing.“ The primary problem is a lack of political will to provide additional resources to bolster current strategy and to match increasing Taliban offensives. „At the present level of resources we can make incremental progress in some parts of the country, cannot be certain of victory, and could face serious slippage if the desperate popular quest for security continues to generate Afghan support for the Taliban…. Our margin for victory in a complex environment is shrinking, and we need to act now.“ The Taliban believe they are winning. That perception „scares the hell out of Afghans.“ „We are too slow.“

Rapidly increasing certain strategic initiatives such as equipping Afghan forces, taking out the Taliban leadership in Pakistan and investing heavily in infrastructure can help the Americans regain the upper hand, Neumann declares. „We can still win. We are pursuing the right general policies on governance, security and development. But because we have not adjusted resources to the pace of the increased Taliban offensive and loss of internal Afghan support we face escalating risks today.“

Halliburton Corporation’s Brown and Root is one of the major components of

[Lead story in the October 24, 2000 issue of „From The Wilderness“]
by
Michael C. Ruppert

© Copyright 2000, Michael C. Ruppert and „From The Wilderness“ Publications, P.O. Box 6061-350, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413, 818-788-8791, http://www.copvcia.com. All Rights Reserved. – Permission to reprint for non-profit only is hereby granted as long as proper sourcing appears. For all other permissions contact mruppert@copvcia.com.

 

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 2

The Contras, Cocaine,
and Covert Operations

An August, 1996, series in the San Jose Mercury News by reporter Gary Webb linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the contras, a guerrilla force backed by the Reagan administration that attacked Nicaragua’s Sandinista government during the 1980s. Webb’s series, „The Dark Alliance,“ has been the subject of intense media debate, and has focused attention on a foreign policy drug scandal that leaves many questions unanswered.This electronic briefing book is compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive, including the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort, and FBI and DEA reports. The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations, and collaboration with and protection of known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included. 

Special thanks to the Arca Foundation, the Ruth Mott Fund, the Samuel Rubin Foundation, and the Fund for Constitutional Government for their support.

Contents:

Veröffentlicht am 10.07.2013

During the last two days, I spoke with „dead“ Chip Tatum, the long time CIA figure believed murdered years ago.

Tatum had been involved in assassinations for the U.S. Government and was tasked with killing a presidential third party candidate Ross Perot, a job he refused.
Tatum asked that his new status „among the living“ be announced on Veterans Today, perhaps to help him remain among the living.

FROM THE DEAD

Now, Tatum is back to life, speaking out and spilling his guts on drug running, mortgage fraud and Bush/Ollie North era frauds.

In 1995 Gene Chip Tatum came to me through and mutual friend, Iran-Contra Whistleblower Al Martin to help promote Gene’s story on numerous talk radio programs that I had been on as a guest on.

Gene and I did many of programs as guests. In some cases the talk show hosts did not know what to ask Gene and allowed me to do the interviews, the above in just one of hundreds I saved and may even post to my website when I can get to those buried hidden tapes.

Gene delivered Cocaine to then Governor of Arkansas Bill Clinton for his personal use at the orders of Vice President George HW Bush and worked in the George HW Bush Shadow Government „Operation Black Eagle“ also known as Iran-Contra directly answering to Col. Oliver North and Money Laundered to this reporters ex-in-law Leonard Millman and his Denver, Colorado partners-„Buffer“ Larry Mizel of MDC Holding, Inc a publicly traded company on the NYSE which was the parent company of Silverado Savings and Loan were Neil Bush the President’s son served on the Board of Directors as the CIA’s Narcotics Money Laundering operation. Gene’s Military career began in Vietnam with „Operation Red Rock“ bringing Cambodian into the Vietnam War.

Yes I have recently communicated with Gene Tatum and he does not want to do any interviews at this time

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/04/…