12/7/16

Castro, The New York Times, and Fake News

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

castro

The New York Times is claiming the ability to expose “fake news.” It should know something about the topic. So-called “fake news” from The New York Times helped bring Fidel Castro to power. Castro had urged the Soviet Union to launch the nuclear missiles it had installed in Cuba on the United States, with the potential to obliterate tens of millions of Americans.

In its obituary, “Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90,” the Times mentions that Castro had pushed the world “to the brink of nuclear war,” through the Cuban missile crisis, but did not highlight the fact that he had advocated a Soviet nuclear strike on the U.S.

Here’s a reference to this from The New York Times in 1990: “Fidel Castro urged the Soviet Union to attack the United States in 1962 because he feared an American invasion of Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis, Nikita S. Khrushchev said in portions of his memoirs published today.”

The memoirs of Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev quoted the Cuban leader as saying in 1962 that the Kremlin “should launch a pre-emptive strike against the U.S.” to prevent destruction of the Soviet missiles in Cuba.

The Times obituary about Castro also neglected to mention that Castro sponsored terrorism in America through such groups as the Weather Underground and FALN. The paper did, however, find time to note that Castro put scarce resources into an effort to develop a Cuban supercow.

The Times referred to “suspicions that Mr. Castro and the Cubans were somehow involved” in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Perhaps the “somehow” had something to do with the fact that the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a Marxist member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee who had defected to the Soviet Union.

Oswald’s communist connection was more obvious than the Islamic motivation of the Somali Muslim at Ohio State University who was inspired by ISIS to drive a car into a group of students and take out a knife to injure them.

In the obituary, the Times did note the pro-Castro coverage by its correspondent in Cuba at the time of Castro’s seizure of power, saying that Herbert Matthews had “presented a Castro that Americans could root for,” and “repeated Mr. Castro’s assertions that Cuba’s future was anything but a Communist state.”

“He has strong ideas of liberty, democracy, social justice, the need to restore the Constitution, to hold elections,” Matthews wrote. When asked about the United States, Castro replied, “You can be sure we have no animosity toward the United States and the American people.”

A review of Matthews’ work by Ron Radosh ran under the title, “A Dictator’s Scribe,” while Cuban-American Humberto Fontova authored a piece about Castro, Matthews and the role of the Times as the “Unrepentant Communist Enabler.”

Professor Paul Kengor notes that “conservatives would later joke, quite uneasily, that Castro had gotten his job through the New York Times.”

“Unfortunately,” he goes on to say, “this kind of service by the New York Times has not ended. A new generation of Times reporters is picking up the torch, educated at universities that teach that the only bad thing about communism was Joe McCarthy.”

In this context, one key fact about Castro, relevant to today’s problems in the U.S. news media and academia, is that he studied to become a communist in college. The late leftist filmmaker, Saul Landau, a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, confirmed that Castro told him that he had become a Marxist from the time that he read the Communist Manifesto in his student days.

Castro was also quoted as saying, in a book published in 2006, “In the university, where I arrived simply with a rebel spirit and elementary ideas of justice, I became a Marxist-Leninist and acquired the sentiments that over the years I have had the privilege never to have felt the slightest temptation to abandon.”

Yet, Herbert Matthews called Castro an anti-communist.

It would be nice if The New York Times would simply apologize for using fake news to help bring Castro to power.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

11/29/16

Castro Hated America and Killed Kennedy

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

castro

Since The New York Times seems preoccupied with the concept of “fake news,” the death of Communist dictator Fidel Castro provides an ideal opportunity to go back in time and examine how the Times helped bring this tyrant to power through lies and deceit. Castro hated America and Americans, especially President John F. Kennedy. He hosted Soviet nuclear missiles that targeted the U.S. for destruction and sparked the Cuban missile crisis.

Strangely, President Barack Obama has shown callous indifference to the anti-communism that used to dominate the national Democratic Party, and seems oblivious to the evidence that Castro was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, a Democratic Party icon. “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him,” said Obama’s statement about the death of the dictator.

More “fake news” from the liberal media has consisted of whitewashing or ignoring Castro’s sponsorship of terrorism inside the United States, through such groups as the Weather Underground, the Black Liberation Army, and the Puerto Rican FALN, as well as the substantial evidence about his role in the Kennedy assassination. Castro not only had foreknowledge of the plot to kill JFK but was actually behind it, most likely with Soviet backing.

The Cuban-backed FALN claimed responsibility for over 140 bombings in the U.S. FALN terrorist leader William Morales and Black Liberation Army cop-killer Joanne Chesimard are still being protected in Cuba by the Castro regime. Joe Connor, whose father was murdered by the FALN Puerto Rican terrorist group, notes that President Obama’s first Attorney General, Eric Holder, offered executive clemency to 16 FALN terrorists when he served in the Bill Clinton administration as deputy attorney general. President Clinton also pardoned two members of the Cuban-backed communist terrorist Weather Underground: Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans.

A U.S.-based group called the Venceremos Brigade was run by the Cuban intelligence service, the DGI, and included several members of the Weather Underground. Young people on the trips were indoctrinated in the communist philosophy, given terrorist training in Cuba, and advised by Soviet and Cuban intelligence agents.

The Weather Underground was responsible for more than 30 bombings in the 1970s, many of them directed at police and police stations. Terrorist leaders Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, who helped launch Obama’s political career in Chicago, still have not been prosecuted for their alleged roles in the 1970 bombing murder of San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell. A bomb filled with heavy metal staples exploded at the police station and ripped through his body. He was in the hospital for two days, bleeding from his wounds, before he finally died.

In our column, “Why the Communists Killed Kennedy,” we examined the evidence of the Castro role in the murder of JFK. The Soviet KGB also had a role, through meetings with JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico and his defection to Soviet Russia. They then tried to mask their involvement through a disinformation campaign called “Dragon Operation,” an effort to shift blame for Kennedy’s murder away from the communists.

The Cubans wanted Kennedy dead because he had opposed the Cuban revolution, tried to overthrow Castro, and tried to have Castro assassinated. In his last prepared speech before his death, Kennedy declared that he was determined to stop communism’s advance around the world by making the U.S. into the strongest military power on earth.

Former CIA officer Brian Latell’s book, Castro’s Secrets, discloses intelligence information that Castro knew that Oswald was going to kill President Kennedy. A former Marine turned Marxist, Oswald was a member of the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

We’ve noted in the past that Humberto Fontova’s book, Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant, explains how Herbert Matthews, the Times correspondent in Cuba at that time, brought Castro to power. “This is not a Communist revolution in any sense of the word,” Matthews wrote in 1959. “In Cuba there are no Communists in positions of control.” Matthews added, “Fidel Castro is not only not a Communist, he’s decidedly anti-Communist.” But in a national broadcast on December 2, 1962, Castro declared, “I am a Marxist-Leninist and will be one until the day I die.”

President Kennedy’s widow, Jackie, had singled out The New York Times for criticism for helping bring Castro to power. Her views were documented in the book Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy. She cited Ambassador Earl E.T. Smith’s book, The Fourth Floor, on how the U.S. State Department had paved the way for Castro’s takeover. The title is a reference to the officials responsible for Cuba policy who were on the fourth floor of the State Department. Smith argued that Assistant Secretary of State Roy Rubottom, and his associate William Wieland, had to be aware of Fidel Castro’s communist affiliations. Wieland was the State Department’s chief of Caribbean affairs and a friend of Herbert Matthews.

Accuracy in Media (AIM) founder and chairman Reed Irvine noted, “It was Matthews who built up Fidel Castro and is often credited with having made his takeover of Cuba possible. Matthews was never identified as a Soviet agent, but there is no doubt that his work was of great value to the Soviets, whether he was a dupe or an agent.”

At a 1979 AIM conference, Ambassador Smith explained how The New York Times had rescued Castro from obscurity and how Matthews had likened him to Abraham Lincoln.

Demonstrating that he has not abandoned the Marxist ideology he adopted as a young KGB officer, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement saying that Castro was a “remarkable statesman” and that Cuba had “become an influential member of the international community and serves as an inspiring example for many countries and peoples.” Putin added, “Fidel Castro was a sincere and reliable friend of Russia. He made a tremendous personal contribution to the establishment and progress of Russian-Cuban relations, close strategic partnership in all areas.”

That relationship, according to the evidence in such books as Communism, the Cold War, and the FBI Connection, by former FBI agent Herman Bly, included the assassination of a U.S. president. But the possibility of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, coming so soon after the Cuban missile crisis, is why the communist connection to Russia and Cuba would be played down. Bly wrote, “…I believe the heads of the FBI, CIA, and President Johnson wanted the Oswald case brought to a conclusion as fast as possible as they did not want another crisis with the Soviet Union so soon after the Cuban missile crisis.”

It’s one of those inconvenient facts that our liberal media want desperately to ignore. Plus, they are still attracted to the notion that Castro, rather than being a cold-blooded killer, was a romantic “revolutionary” who brought health care and educational opportunities to his captive people.

We can understand why Putin doesn’t want to highlight the communist role in Kennedy’s murder. He’s trying to play nice with the U.S. Government to get financial advantages. But why would President Obama, so many progressives, and the liberal media want to pay homage to the killer of a much-beloved American president?

“Today,” Obama said on Saturday, “we offer condolences to Fidel Castro’s family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America.”

A “friend and partner” with a regime that sanctioned the murder of an American president?

Mr. Obama, have you no shame?


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

08/1/16

Breaking Sanctions with Cuba?

By: Denise Simon | FoundersCode.com

Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism, that is until the White House decided it was no longer.

Cuba supports Iran’s nuclear ambitions and opposed IAEA rebukes of secret Iranian enrichment sites. The two countries have banking agreements (Islamic Republic News Agency),economic cooperation and lines of credit ( FNA), and three-way energy-focused treaties with Bolivia (CSMonitor). Cuba and Iran hold regular ‘Joint Economic Commission’ meetings; the latest, in November 2009, further expanded bilateral trade and economic ties.


The LIBERTAD Act, known as the Helms-Burton law as stated in the text, Fidel and Raul Castro cannot be part of the governing structure. Cuba has supported and provided safe haven to members of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Both are U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs). The Obama administration would therefore need to remove ETA and FARC from the FTO list, before removing Cuba from the state-sponsors-of-terrorism list.

The State Department terrorism report also makes references beyond ETA and FARC — most significantly that Cuba harbors several fugitives of U.S. justice. Terrorists, murderers, and other violent criminals are being protected, well fed, and supported by the Communist regime. Among these is a woman convicted of first-degree murder, Joanne Chesimard. Also known as Assata Shakur, she is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list for executing a New Jersey State Police trooper. With the help of the Black Liberation Army, she broke out of prison and found refuge in Cuba. According to the FBI, Chesimard “continues to profess her radical anti-U.S. government ideology.” Read more here from NRO. 

Anyone remember Cuba sending arms to North Korea that was captured by Panama? The United Nations even declared that Cuba broke the Arms Resolution.

Image result for cuba arms to north korea Image result for cuba arms to north korea

Russia may build a large international airport in Cuba with investors from the United Arab Emirates, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said in an interview with a newspaper in Abu Dhabi.

Manturov told newspaper The National that Russia is in discussions with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala investment company to invest in building a hub in Cuba for flights to Latin America. Russia is ready to invest $200 million in the project. More here.

Cuba is a problem and history matters.

Dates and actions going forward.

Related reading: Cuba and China link up to develop 18-hole golf course

Related reading: Cuba’s Foreign Investment Invitation: Insights into Internal Struggles 

Related reading: The Cuban Military is the Largest Conglomerate, run by the Castro Brothers

For a complete list and timeline of sanctions against Cuba, go here. Most of the sanction activity occurred in 2016 due to the Obama White House normalizing relations with the country, the Castro brothers and appeasing Russia. It must also be noted that Cuba has been propping up Venezuela for many years.

October 10, 2003: In response to a crackdown on human rights by the Castro regime, President George W. Bush announced a measure to tighten sanctions on the country, including increased border inspections of travelers and shipments between the two countries.

May 2009: The Obama administration lifted restrictions on Cuban-Americans traveling and sending money to Cuba, also allowing U.S.-based telecommunications firms to seek business on the island. More here.

Why is any of this important? Who is who and breaking sanctions perhaps via the United Arab Emirates and shadow companies?

Some key names and positions:

Larry Glick, EVP, Strategic Development

Jason Greenblatt, Chief Legal Officer

Ron Lieberman, VP, Special Projects

Edward Russo, Lawyer and Director of Florida-Cuba Environmental Coalition, Inc.

Melissa Nathan, Spokesperson

Antonio Zamora, Managing Member at Cuba Portal, LLC, Investment Promoter and here

Bloomberg: Cuba has only one 18-hole golf course: the government-run Varadero Golf Club, about two hours east of Havana. Built on the 1930s estate of chemicals magnate Irénée du Pont, it was refurbished in the 1990s when the government turned to tourism to bolster its economy after the fall of the Soviet Union. Du Pont’s former residence, Xanadú Mansion, serves as the clubhouse. On the third floor, a wood-and-marble bar offers sweeping views of the Florida Straits.

The course, expanded by Canadian architect Les Furber, is largely flat and littered with palm trees, and the greens fee runs $70. One reviewer described it as “inoffensive golf at its finest.” Yet lining up a putt on the 8th or 18th holes, both of which are right on the azure water, even a duffer can’t miss Cuba’s potential. With fertile soil, plentiful green coastline, and topography that spans plains, rolling hills, and rugged mountains, the island is a golf course architect’s Shangri-La.

On an afternoon late last year, the golfers teeing off included a group of U.S. executives from the Trump Organization, who have the enviable job of flying around the world to identify golf-related opportunities. The company operates 18 courses in four countries, including Scotland and the United Arab Emirates. It would like to add Cuba. Asked on CNN in March if he’d be interested in opening a hotel there, Donald Trump said yes: “I would, I would—at the right time, when we’re allowed to do it. Right now, we’re not.” On July 26 he told Miami’s CBS affiliate, WFOR-TV, that “Cuba would be a good opportunity [but] I think the timing is not right.”

That, however, hasn’t stopped some of his closest aides from traveling to Cuba for years and scouting potential sites and investments. The U.S. trade embargo, first established in 1962, prohibits U.S. citizens from traveling to the island. But over the years, the U.S. has carved out allowances for family visits, journalism, and other social causes. Most commercial activity is still forbidden, though, with a few exceptions, such as selling medical supplies or food. Golf isn’t on that list.

The Varadero Golf Club after its redesign.
Photographer: David Alan Harvey/Magnum Photos

Trump Organization executives and advisers traveled to Havana in late 2012 or early 2013, according to two people familiar with the discussions that took place in Cuba and who spoke on condition of anonymity. Among the company’s more important visitors to Cuba have been Larry Glick, Trump’s executive vice president for strategic development, who oversees golf, and Edward Russo, Trump’s environmental consultant for golf. On later trips, they were joined by Jason Greenblatt, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, and Ron Lieberman, another Trump golf executive. Glick, Greenblatt, and Lieberman didn’t respond to requests for interviews. Melissa Nathan, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, declined to answer a list of detailed questions.

In a series of telephone interviews, Russo confirmed he’s traveled to Cuba about a dozen times since 2011. Although he’s spearheading the company’s Cuban golf efforts, according to three people familiar with his role, Russo says these trips haven’t been on behalf of the Trump Organization. He says he’s taken at least one with Glick to go bird-watching and “check out some habitats”—activities that could conceivably qualify for exemptions to the travel ban.

Despite saying his trips with Trump executives were unrelated to the Trump Organization, Russo referred questions about those trips to Eric Trump, the 32-year-old son of the Republican presidential nominee and the company’s executive vice president for development and acquisitions, including golf. “In the last 12 months, many major competitors have sought opportunities in Cuba,” Trump said in an e-mailed statement. “While we are not sure whether Cuba represents an opportunity for us, it is important for us to understand the dynamics of the markets that our competitors are exploring.”

So which was it: a little birding? Keeping an eye on the competition? Maybe neither. According to Antonio Zamora, a well-known Cuban-American lawyer, who says he’s advised the Trump Organization on Cuba for about a decade, he and Russo visited a prospective golf site east of Havana in an area called Bello Monte several years ago.

Russo, Trump’s environmental consultant, enjoys Havana in a photo posted to Facebook in December.

Based in Miami, Zamora took part in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion but is now an outspoken critic of the U.S. sanctions. “An embargo that has been in place by a world power like the United States for 50 years and has not accomplished anything substantial is a disgrace,” Zamora writes in his 2013 book, What I Learned About Cuba By Going To Cuba. “This is not what great powers do.” He advises U.S. investors throughout Latin America. He’s circulated conceptual drawings of a Trump tower in Havana beside refurbished versions of the Hotel Neptuno-Triton, a dilapidated pair of 1970s buildings in the city’s business district, according to a person who saw them. (Zamora denies this.)

Zamora does say that he discussed with the Trump Organization the possibility of teaming up with a foreign company to give Trump a minority position in a venture. He says the deal failed to materialize. Zamora dismisses any legal concerns about this, saying he’s been to Cuba dozens of times for conferences, and that the U.S. Department of the Treasury doesn’t bother with these kinds of trips. “It’s a nonissue,” he says.

Farhad Alavi, managing partner of Akrivis Law Group in Washington and an adviser to companies on U.S. sanctions, says that, before 2015, exploring most potential deals in Cuba was “not even in the realm of what Treasury might have licensed.” He adds that “prior to 2015, a fact-finding trip by a U.S. person for a business activity, like building a golf course or hotel, was prohibited. It’s not under one of the categories of permissible travel to Cuba.”

In January 2015, the Treasury Department broadened an exception for “professional research.” That’s viewed by attorneys to encompass all sorts of potential investment activity—short of signing deals. To finalize an investment in Cuba requires a specific license from Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Marriott each announced in March they’d received authorization. (A Treasury spokeswoman says it is agency policy not to confirm or deny whether specific licenses have been issued.) Russo says the Trump Organization hasn’t secured one.

“Professional research” makes it easier for companies to explore business opportunities in Cuba, but it may not put the Trump Organization in the clear. Golf could be seen as promoting tourism, which remains illegal for U.S. companies. (President Barack Obama can’t change that—the tourism ban cannot be repealed without an act of Congress.) “If the Treasury Department believed that a new golf course in Cuba were intended to attract tourists from outside Cuba, then U.S. persons who meet in Cuba to develop the golf course could be charged with promoting tourism in Cuba,” says Richard Matheny, chair of the national security and foreign trade regulation practice group at Goodwin Procter in Washington. “This is unlawful under the current sanctions.”

“You can’t help but say, ‘Wow, here’s a hotel that could be renovated’

Golf’s history in Cuba is tinged with the absurd. In the 1950s the country staged tournaments that weren’t on the official PGA Tour but still attracted top players. In 1958 famed mobster Meyer Lansky—who’d been deported from the U.S. a decade earlier and was running a number of successful casinos in Cuba—set out to build the greatest hotel Havana had ever seen and further showcase the sport. With backing from Frank Sinatra, his Monte Carlo de La Habana was to feature a casino, a helicopter landing pad, and several glorious courses.

Lansky’s timing was spectacularly bad. A few weeks after construction started, Fidel Castro began his final rebel offensive against Cuba’s president, General Fulgencio Batista. On New Year’s Eve, Batista fled to the Dominican Republic. Castro rolled into Havana a few days later, and Lansky soon halted work. Castro declared golf “a game of the idle rich and exploiters of the people” and plowed over almost all the island’s courses. Even so, a series of early 1960s photographs shows Castro and his fellow revolutionary Che Guevara hamming it up with golf clubs. Castro was a baseball player, but Che took up golf as a young man and was rumored to have a 4 handicap. Last year a Cuban composer and an American librettist staged an opera in Havana based in part on those photos.

Guevara (left) and Castro (third from right) get in a round—and a photo op—in the early 1960s.
Photographer: Carlos Nunez/Prensa Latina/AP Photo

These days, Cuban officials actively promote golf development. A 200-page brochure published by the government late last year, Portfolio of Opportunities for Foreign Investment, features three hoped-for golf developments around the island, including two under contract with British and Chinese developers. The government also reportedly has a deal with Spanish airline Air Europa to develop a hotel and golf course at Playa El Salado, about 25 miles west of Havana. The Trump Organization has a particular interest in that development, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Although it’s not clear if Donald Trump is aware of his aides’ activities in Cuba—he didn’t return phone calls for this article—he’s demonstrated a familiarity with the rules for investing there. In his March interview with CNN, he said he wouldn’t enter Cuba “on the basis that you get a 49 percent interest, because right now you get a 49 percent interest.” The exchange was an apparent reference to Cuban law limiting foreign investors’ stakes in Cuban operations to less than 50 percent. Trump didn’t mention the more onerous U.S. regulations limiting investment in Cuba. He said he likely favored Obama’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, “but I’d want much better deals than what we’re making.”

Encouraged by the White House’s loosening of regulations, plenty of other U.S. companies, including Airbnb, Google, PayPal, and Western Union, are gradually entering Cuba, but they must still carefully navigate the embargo. In late June, Starwood began managing a refurbished hotel in Havana’s main business district, the first U.S.-managed hotel in Cuba in 60 years. At a June event in Manhattan, a Starwood executive repeatedly referred to the “business travelers” who would be attracted by the property, apparently mindful of the perils of promoting tourism.

The repercussions of breaking the embargo are real. Violators are still being penalized, even for ventures only remotely connected to Cuba. In February, the Treasury Department alleged that two Cayman Islands subsidiaries of the energy-services company Halliburton had been involved in oil drilling off the shore of Angola, as part of a consortium in which the Cuban government held a 5 percent stake. Halliburton agreed to pay the U.S. $304,706 to settle the matter.

For the Trump Organization, there’s a further concern: the potential conflicts of interest posed by Trump’s far-flung business empire should he be elected president. In addition to his operations in the U.S., Trump operates in Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, Israel, Turkey, and several other countries. Federal conflict-of-interest laws do little to prevent presidents from continuing to exert influence over their businesses—even as they exercise powers that could broadly benefit those interests.

“Make sure that whatever you do is absolutely legal in every way, and at some point, when it’s legal, I’d be interested in it”

Russo, 70, lives in Key West, Fla. He first encountered the Trump Organization in 2002. The former chairman of the town planning board in Bedminster, N.J., Russo helped Trump get authorization for his golf course there. Though he has no formal environmental training, he appears before local regulators around the country seeking approval for Trump projects.

On the phone, he’s friendly, a talker, but the first to admit his memory’s not the best. “I don’t remember last night,” he says. He was unsure how many times he and Glick, Trump’s golf chief, had traveled to Cuba. He says he took Glick on at least one trip to Cuba for some bird-watching.

“He was into it. And that’s the thing. I’m going to Cuba, I’m bringing people to Cuba. And I know people from Trump, I know people outside of Trump. So if somebody from Trump wanted to come with me, I don’t think that means they were representing anything having to do with the Trump Organization. They just enjoyed the environment, like you or I would.” Russo says that on his travels in Cuba, “you can’t help but say, ‘Wow, here’s a hotel that could be renovated,’ or, ‘This is a particular spot that would be perfect for this or perfect for that,’ and I would only hope that someday that the Trump Organization or other investors could develop something nice over there.”


Courtesy of Digital Library of the Caribbean, University of Florida

Asked if he’s discussed Cuban opportunities with Donald Trump, Russo says: “I don’t remember exactly what our conversations were. But you would have to realize that talking to Donald Trump is, you know, it’s a very complicated experience.” He added later that Trump admonished him on Cuba to “make sure that whatever you do is absolutely legal in every way, and at some point, when it’s legal, I’d be interested in it.”

Glick, 49, is close to the Trump family and has worked for Trump for nine years. He recently traveled with Eric Trump, checking the status of the company’s developments in Bali, Dubai, Manila, and Aberdeen, Scotland, according to pictures posted by the two men on their Twitter accounts. He sits on the board of Eric’s foundation. Although he has no formal campaign role, he’s a fierce advocate for Trump’s White House run, excoriating Hillary Clinton on social media almost daily. He accompanied both adult Trump sons at the Republican National Convention during TV interviews. One person recalled a conversation with Glick after he returned from Cuba during which he described the company’s ambitions for golf on the island. Glick didn’t respond to requests for comment.

For his part, Russo gets that even now, pursuing golf in Cuba is problematic. “I would interpret golf as tourism, and therefore it can’t be done at this time,” he says. He maintains his dozen or so trips have all been environmental—and for birding—with only the most casual inquiries into golf-related properties. “Given the nature of the regulations and OFAC’s licensing trends, I would be quite surprised if it authorized multiple trips to Cuba for nonspecialist, nonexpert, random bird-watching,” says Alavi, the U.S. sanctions adviser.

In February 2013, Zamora, the Cuban-American lawyer, set up a nonprofit in Miami called the Florida-Cuba Environmental Coalition. Its directors include Russo and several advisers for investors in Cuba, including some who have consulted for the Trump Organization. Certain “environmental” projects qualified as one of the reasons U.S. citizens could travel to Cuba legally in 2013. When he’s asked about the nonprofit, Russo’s memory falters again. “I don’t think I’ve ever been to a meeting. I didn’t even know my name was on that group,” he says.

Larry Glick, Ed Russo, Ron Lieberman, and companion on the links in Cuba in a photo posted on Facebook.

Another board member of the coalition, Dominic Soave, is a Havana-based business consultant from Canada who’s made introductions for Trump executives in Cuba, according to two people familiar with the matter. He’s also circulated a set of drawings of Havana with a Trump tower. “I really haven’t been advising anyone,” says Soave. He, Zamora, and two other directors say their nonprofit has taught sustainable fishing techniques to Cuban fishermen. The group has also promoted the Ernest Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament in Cuba, helping Americans get licenses to take part.

A second nonprofit, the American-Cuban Golf Association, was set up last year by Russo’s wife, Jennifer Hulse, and lists a residence in Key West as its address. The group lists her and her husband as directors. The organization’s third director is David Schutzenhofer, who runs the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster. Schutzenhofer did not return calls prior to publication.

Asked about the golf nonprofit, Russo first seems confused: “What is that supposed to do?” he asks. “Am I listed on that also?” He eventually explains that the group was intended to provide cross-cultural golf instruction: Cubans teaching golf to Americans and vice versa. “You should know that the organization was my idea and had nothing to do with the Trump Organization,” Hulse wrote in an e-mail. “One of my passions in life is golf, and I would like to find a way to bridge the distance between our countries through love of the game.”

A couple of Hulse’s cultural exchanges may have taken place toward the end of last year. Photographs and a video posted to Hulse’s Facebook page in December show her husband and Greenblatt, the Trump chief legal officer, at the Floridita restaurant in Old Havana, a favorite of Hemingway’s. Another set of pictures, posted a month earlier, shows Russo, Glick, Lieberman, and Soave listening to a live performance of Hotel California in the lobby of the Parque Central hotel in Old Havana.

Still another series finds the men playing at the Varadero course. One shot shows Russo teeing off, with Glick and Lieberman waiting their turn. Below the pictures of the Trump executives golfing, one Facebook friend asked: “How is the golf course?”

Hulse replied: “Not spectacular but it’s the only one in Cuba right now. Plans to build many more in the near future.”

07/24/16

Rubio was Right, the Russian Memo, Just the Facts

By: Denise Simon | FoundersCode.com

In 2014, this site posted a summary of Russia’s push into Nicaragua and Cuba for covert operations. It is important to note that with continued deference by the Obama administration to Russia for all things terror, Russia officially received that ‘reset’ button as a green light and the Kremlin under Putin has been aggressive.

Related reading: While You Were Sleeping, Russia Bombed the U.S., No Really

During one of the Republican debates, then candidate Marco Rubio and Donald Trump were in a one on one heated discussion over the Cuba policy. Rubio also mentioned during the debate the signals intelligence operation that Russia has in Cuba known as Lourdes.

 

Cuba has been a puppet and proxy for Russia going back to the Kennedy administration and since the relationship has continued.

Further, Guccifer 2.0 is noted to the hacker of the DNC email system and all cyber expert forensic analysis points back to Russia. An excellent summary is here from Motherboard.

Continue reading

06/10/16

Trump Seen as Vehicle to Destroy GOP

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Trump

While showing an image of Donald Trump as a wrecking ball, veteran leftist operative Webster Tarpley told the recent Left Forum in New York City, “If we play this right, he can destroy the Republican Party.” The comments, delivered at the major left-wing gathering of the year, reflect the belief among “progressive” activists that the Donald J. Trump candidacy can be used to destroy the Republican Party and usher in a major period of Democratic Party rule, under the increasing influence of an openly socialist faction.

“This party must be destroyed,” Tarpley said, referring to the Republicans.

Tarpley’s analysis of the political scene takes on additional significance as we see evidence of communists and Mexican nationals protesting outside Trump rallies and assaulting Trump supporters. Tarpley’s audience was the Left Forum, which is described as “the largest annual conference of a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public.” The theme for this year’s event was “Rage, Rebellion, Revolution: Organizing Our Power.”

Those participating included the Democratic Socialists of America (which supported Barack Obama and now Bernie Sanders), the Southern Poverty Law Center, representatives of the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, the “Exonerate Ethel Rosenberg” campaign, CodePink, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the Workers World Party, the Trans Queer Liberation Movement, and the Greek Communist Party.

A former operative in the movement led by Lyndon H. LaRouche, an aging Marxist ideologue who served time in prison on fraud charges, Tarpley is viewed by the left as an expert on the class struggle that defines the evolution of the American political system. He has been a prominent figure in the so-called 9/11 Truth Movement, which blames unnamed U.S. officials for carrying out the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He is today associated with the Tax Wall Street Party, a group backing the Sanders proposal to raise taxes on financial transactions in order to finance a socialist super state.

Drawing on historical sources and stories about turmoil in the Trump campaign and the GOP, Tarpley predicted that Trump’s candidacy will divide the Republicans and result in one of its factions merely surviving as a regional party based in the Deep South, rural areas, and the intermountain West. However, he said the party itself has become so dependent on “aging white men,” a shrinking percentage of the electorate, that it may be “demographically doomed” in the long term.

Tarpley, who thinks Sanders has not gone far enough to the left, believes opposing Trump and calling him a fascist is a smart organizing tactic by the left. In his talk, “Destroy the GOP—Split the Dems,” Tarpley describes the Sanders campaign and associated groups as “New Deal Democrats,” as opposed to the “Wall Street Democrats” backing Hillary Clinton. Eventually, if everything goes according to plan, the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party will take control in a “progressive realignment,” and a “new progressive coalition” could emerge and dominate American politics for decades.

“Trump is the trigger” for this dramatic series of developments, he told the leftist conference, and it means the Republican Party could go “extinct,” since it is perceived as being hostile to the new immigrants who have flooded into the country. He is predicting a complete political realignment for the period 2016 to 2046.

However, left unsaid in his presentation is whether after Mrs. Clinton is presumably done with her first term as president, she could be challenged for another term by the Sanders wing of the party, possibly represented at that time by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

But the idea that Warren is somehow against the interests of Wall Street and finance capital is, of course, complete nonsense. She ran for the Senate with the support of hedge fund billionaire George Soros and other big money liberals.

While Tarpley is not a supporter of Mrs. Clinton or President Obama, he gives Obama, a skilled Marxist-trained operative, enormous credit for assembling a winning coalition in the presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012. He explained, “2008 was a watershed election, and in retrospect that will become more obvious than it is now.” He said Obama had ushered in “a new phase” of politics that has put tremendous pressure on the Republican Party to generate support from enough of the electorate to survive as a national political entity.

“That future is what you have to keep your eyes on,” he emphasized. “That’s where you have to get. It means a crushing defeat for Trump, if we can do it.”

At the same time, Tarpley acknowledged that Trump supporters have “legitimate economic beefs,” based on the declining standard of living, and the fact that “deindustrialization” has harmed the middle class by destroying millions of factory jobs. But the Republican ideology is “in crisis,” as factions of the party disagree over the benefits of free trade and solutions to other economic problems. Other major Republican donors have libertarian tendencies that threaten the GOP coalition as well, he stated.

While the demise of the Republican Party may seem like wishful thinking, Tarpley outlined a political scenario that is plausible to outside experts and which could mean that the GOP would meet the fate of other political parties in American history—such as the Federalists, Whigs, and Know-Nothings — “by breaking apart” and losing the presidency, the Congress, and the Supreme Court in the process.

Tarpley’s predictions about Trump’s negative impact on the Republican Party came just a few weeks before Trump unleashed a series of attacks on a “Mexican” judge, who was actually born in the United States, prompting more concern from current and former Republican officials that the Trump presidential campaign could jeopardize Republicans prospects in November.

The destruction of the GOP also means the defeat of what Tarpley called the “neocon warmongers,” defined as those who favor U.S. military intervention against radical regimes and terrorist groups in the Middle East.

Continuing the pro-Russian bent that has long characterized the LaRouche movement, Tarpley favors the destruction of NATO. He was a speaker at the “No to War, No to NATO,” conference in Rome, Italy, which also included a representative of the old Soviet front, the U.S. Peace Council. Tarpley then participated in a forum on “good relations with the Russian Federation” held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

While Trump has been critical of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and has questioned the need for NATO, a one-time anti-Soviet alliance, these positions were not of any interest or concern to Tarpley. Instead, Trump was viewed as an opportunity to divide and weaken the Republican Party.

With the Republican Party out of the way, the activists making up the Left Forum would be able to consolidate their power in the Democratic Party and move it even further to the left, in terms of more socialism at home and more accommodation of “anti-imperialist” and “anti-capitalist” forces abroad.


Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.

05/28/16

Reds Demand Arms, Dollars and Trade Benefits

By: Cliff Kincaid – Accuracy in Media

Reds

Having established relations with the Castro regime in Cuba, President Obama has now signaled his willingness to sell weapons to the Communist Party dictatorship that runs Vietnam. It is the successor to the regime in Hanoi, North Vietnam, which overran South Vietnam, while in the process taking the lives of more than 58,000 Americans resisting communist aggression.

Media coverage of President Obama’s announcement in Hanoi portrayed the move as an attempt to counter Chinese influence in the region. This is pure propaganda from another “echo chamber” established by the Obama administration to sell a controversial policy. While China and Vietnam have some disagreements over territory, they are still both communist countries that share the same objective of defeating global “imperialism,” led by the United States.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech on China-Vietnam relations at the Vietnamese National Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam, on November 6, 2015. He referred to how relations have assumed “strategic importance.” China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner. These communist countries are not enemies. They are friends.

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05/5/16

The Propaganda Network Behind Trump’s Bizarre Tabloid Charges

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Ted Cruz

Until Tuesday, political observers thought Donald J. Trump got information about foreign affairs from the Sunday shows. Then we learned that he had relied on an unsubstantiated story in the National Enquirer for the facts about the assassination of John F.Kennedy.

The charges were classic Russian disinformation. These had a double purpose—taking attention away from the communist conspiracy that actually murdered President Kennedy, and transferring the notoriety to Trump’s political opponent in the U.S. presidential race.

The attack on Cruz’s father, publicized by Trump on the Fox News Channel, was taken directly from the National Enquirer but has also been transmitted by a series of outlets known to be part of Moscow’s global propaganda apparatus, and some lesser-known left-wing, or “progressive,” sites. One name that figures prominently in several of the reports and who apparently “broke” the story is Wayne Madsen, who claims all kinds of high-level intelligence connections. Until the Cruz story, his main claim to fame was being the source for a story in the Globe—another supermarket tabloid—which allegedthat President George W. Bush was having an extramarital affair with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

A regular contributor to the Russia Today and Iranian Press TV propaganda channels, Madsen has also alleged that Barack Obama and/or his family members had CIA connections. He highlights the work of his grandmother in his bio, calling her “a newspaper reporter and editor for Land og Folk as well as a novelist.” Land og Folk was a Danish language communist newspaper. One of Madsen’s admitted journalism icons is I.F. Stone, exposed as a Soviet agent of influence.

Madsen’s story tried to link Cruz’s father to JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, a pro-Marxist member of the “Fair Play for Cuba Committee,” which had links to the Communist Party USA and the Socialist Workers Party.

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03/23/16

34 More “Thoughts and Prayers”

By: James Simpson | Townhall.com

More

While the Islamic State claims responsibility for triple bombings in Brussels this morning that have left at least 34 dead and scores injured, our political class hands out generic “thoughts and prayers” for the victims.

Neither thoughts nor prayers, muttered after-the-fact, are sufficient to defend America. By allowing unsecured borders, encouraging mass migration and aggressive “refugee” resettlement and by severely limiting law enforcement actions against illegals, our leaders are failing to protect us. They have abandoned their primary role of defending our people and, instead, are rolling out the welcome mat to people whose stated goal is world domination.

A screenwriter could concoct no better example than our lame-duck president. As the body count was still being tallied, the ostensible leader of the free world was cuddling with the leader of a long-standing state-sponsor of terrorism, Raul Castro.

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03/23/16

Obama’s Propaganda Gift to the Castro Regime

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

Announcing that “I have come to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas,” President Obama wrapped up his two day trip to Cuba by attending a baseball game and calling for an end to the U.S. embargo against Cuba. But most of the world, and the news media, were focused on the latest act of Islamic terrorism, in the heart of Europe. Three bombs in Brussels, Belgium have resulted in at least 34 dead and more than 250 injured.

While the mainstream media continue to praise another one of President Obama’s signature “achievements” in further expanding relations with Cuba, in reality his visit there legitimizes the oppression and corruption of that regime. Although the Cuban government has done little to reform itself from within, Obama has honored the island with a visit that constitutes little more than an American blessing upon Raul Castro’s continued repression.

“[Deputy National Security Advisor Ben] Rhodes and Obama have cited Cuba—along with a brokered deal with Iran to end its nuclear program—as successful evidence of the President’s 2009 inaugural vow to ‘extend a hand’ to traditional U.S. foes,” reports CNN, pointing to Congress for its refusal to open trade with Cuba.

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