Travel to Cuba Legislation Mired by Scandal, Fierce Opposition

• Ideologues sharpen their knives over important issues in U.S.-Cuban relations
• Menendez, Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen quarterback Castro-bashing strategy
• Cuban exile funds pour into Menendez’s campaign bank account

In 1963, following heightened tensions in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy imposed the first travel restrictions on American citizens desiring to travel to Cuba. After years of gridlock regarding the subject courtesy of Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and her ideological kinsman from the ultra-conservative Cuban American National Foundation, a growing number of U.S. members of Congress have consistently introduced legislation in an attempt to remove long-held constraints on U.S. citizens’ freedom to travel. Although former Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), among others, nearly managed to muster sufficient forces in Congress to remove the restrictions, these reforms have failed to attract a sufficient number of votes to lift the ban.

In a November 2009 hearing, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Howard Berman (D-CA), raised important issues regarding the logic behind the travel ban in his opening statement. During the hearing, entitled “Is it Time to Lift the Ban on Travel to Cuba?,” Berman explained, “Americans have the right to travel to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism…We can go to North Korea, which threatens to destabilize East Asia with its nuclear weapons program. And even during the darkest days of the Cold War, our citizens could visit the Soviet Union.” Berman argued that the U.S.’s current approach toward Cuba has had the effect of undermining ordinary Cubans’ prospects for attaining political and social freedoms. He emphasized that Washington’s policy, which is centered on inhibiting the Castro regime, should be guided by a more constructive compass that helps rather than consciously hurts the Cuban population.

Although support for the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations has steadily mounted on Capitol Hill, a number of setbacks have limited the goals of Representative Berman and other progressive legislators. Such incidents include the December 2009 detainment and subsequent imprisonment of Alan Gross, an American contractor working in Cuba, and the death by hunger strike of political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo in February. These episodes have sparked new rifts in the relationship between Washington and Havana. Deep political divisions and a scandal involving Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY), who has sponsored bills that encourage improved bilateral relations, further complicate already frustrated attempts to reinstate American travel rights to Cuba. (Best Trisara.com Private Resort in Phuket). In addition to these foothills, the Obama administration was not prepared to use its political capital to scale the peaks of a regional foreign policy issue which has a limited domestic constituency and is fiercely opposed by a relatively small core of zealots, whose detestation of the Castro brothers cannot be exaggerated.

Previous Legislation

In the previous congressional session, Representative Rangel and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced bills in their respective chambers proposing to end the travel ban. However, neither lawmaker succeeded in passing their bills, which would have appreciably altered the status quo.

House of Representatives

On January 24, 2007, Representative Rangel introduced bill H.R. 654, entitled the “Export Freedom to Cuba Act of 2007.” The measure urged the President to rescind all travel limitations to Cuba upon its enactment, stating that “the President shall not regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly, travel to or from Cuba by United States citizens or legal residents, or any transactions incident to such travel.” The legislation also outlined three cases in which the new policy would not apply: in the event of war between Cuba and the United States, the escalation of armed hostilities between the two nations, or the rise of danger to the health or safety of traveling Americans. The “Export Freedom to Cuba Act” was supported by 120 co-sponsors and received substantial bipartisan support. However, it lacked the signatures of an additional 98 co-sponsors necessary to reach the grand total of 218 votes required for it to pass. Another complicating factor was posed by Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) decision to withdraw his name as a co-sponsor of the bill, a move that sheds light on the extreme sensitivity of the issue.

After H.R. 654 failed to pass, a fast-moving scandal further impeded progress on lifting Cuban travel restrictions. Last March, Representative Rangel, a major House proponent of improving U.S.-Cuban relations, was investigated by the House Ethics Committee and stepped down as Chairman of the influential Ways and Means Committee, while the inquiry was taking place. The New York Times reported that Rangel explained that he “sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi asking her to grant [him]…a leave of absence until the ethics committee complete[d] its work.” According to the article, the committee has accused Rangel of violating Congressional regulations on the bestowal of gifts because he accepted corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008. Representative Rangel also may face additional charges from the committee concerning fundraising and federal tax evasion. This expanding scandal has seriously tarnished Representative Rangel’s image and compromised his work as a powerful legislator; it has also hindered his ability to effectively introduce and push bills through the House. Furthermore, outside groups, as well as other members of Congress who oppose travel to Cuba, have used the scandal as ammunition to fight Rangel’s attempts to introduce Cuba-related legislation.

Senate

On March 1, 2007, Senator Enzi introduced bill S. 721 entitled the “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2007,” a measure identical to Representative Rangel’s previously proposed legislation. The co-sponsors of the bill consisted of 19 Democrats—including the party’s second-highest ranking Senator, Richard Durbin (D-IL)—4 Republicans, and an Independent. Despite receiving bipartisan support, the legislation failed to attract the 51 votes required to pass in the Senate.

Current Legislation

House of Representatives

On February 4, 2009, Representative Bill Delahunt (D-MA) introduced H.R. 874, the “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act,” which, similar to its 2007 counterpart, stipulated that the President would be forbidden to restrict American citizens and legal residents from traveling to and from Cuba. Like previous pieces of legislation introduced in Congress, this Act would be revoked in times of war or armed hostilities between the two countries, or if imminent danger threatened the health or safety of U.S. travelers. Currently, 178 representatives from both parties are co-sponsoring the bill.

Senate

On February 12, 2009, Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) introduced S. 428, entitled the “Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act.” This bill closely mirrors H.R. 874, and it currently has 38 co-sponsors. The ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar (R-IN), has urged his colleagues to support the measure. According to the prominent legislator, the bill would inherently increase contact between Cubans and Americans, who would act as “ambassadors for the democratic values we hold dear.” Overall, there are very few differences between the pieces of legislation introduced during this and past congressional terms with respect to American travel to Cuba. Lawmakers have repeatedly focused on eliminating the President’s ability to prohibit or impede travel to and from Cuba by U.S. citizens or legal residents. They argue that by nurturing an evolving relationship, Washington will stand a greater chance of advancing authentic U.S. national interests in Cuba and establishing normal relations with the nation in the future.

While lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have introduced measures that would improve U.S.-Cuban relations during this legislative session, the issue has not been a major priority for Congress, especially during a time when debates regarding healthcare reform and the overhaul of the financial system have dominated the political arena. For instance, Representative Delahunt told Reuters that “support [for H.R. 874] has not waned but it’s clear that the debate over healthcare has consumed the first year of the Obama administration and has had a similar impact in terms of congressional action.” Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a sponsor of H.R. 874 and a consistent advocate of advancing ties with Cuba, added that there were sufficient votes to pass the Act but that deep divisions among Democrats had stalled a floor vote. Additionally, Representative Delahunt’s decision to retire (he announced this March that he would not seek re-election) could put the legislation in jeopardy if a vote does not occur before he leaves office. Like Representative Rangel, Delahunt has always promoted development of a constructive relationship with Cuba.

Mounting Opposition Jeopardizes Legislation

Divisions on the issue among House Democrats intensified when, in November of 2009, 53 representatives presented a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposing any change to U.S.-Cuba policy. In the letter, the signatories state, “Any legislation that would seek to ease or lift sanctions, in disregard of these conditions in law, would send a devastating message to Cuba’s opposition movement and legitimize an ailing dictatorship.” They argue that removing any restrictions (including the travel ban) on Cuba would give the Castro regime a disincentive to promote democratic practices and social freedoms, actions which the letter’s authors consider prerequisites for altering Washington’s Cuba policy.
Public Campaign, a non-profit and non-partisan organization whose mission is to reduce the role of special interests in U.S. politics, reported that the 2009 letter’s signers had received approximately $850,000 in contributions from the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee (PAC), a staunch opponent of lifting the Cuban travel ban and other restrictions against the island nation. This report calls into question the lawmakers’ true motives for opposing new Cuba legislation, as congressional members are constantly forced to seek funding for their future campaign races. Proponents of changing U.S.-Cuba policy have argued that money from PACs is one of the main factors driving Washington’s stagnant Cuba policy. Indeed, it comes as no surprise that representatives who benefit from these contributions are fierce advocates of pro-embargo strategy.

In the Senate, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a Cuban-American whose parents emigrated to the U.S., is known for his hard-line approach toward Cuba, even though he votes along liberal lines on many social issues. In contrast to many of his Democratic colleagues, Menendez vehemently opposes working with the Castro government, which he describes as a regime that “has been adept at…instilling fear and terror and perpetuating their own power through a Stalinist police state.” With respect to Cuban travel legislation, Menendez argued in a March 2009 speech on the Senate floor that “allowing Americans to sit on the beaches [of Cuba]…will not bring the Cuban people their liberty.” Although his views are the minority within his own party, Senator Menendez has used his influence as Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to confront advocates of a new and more responsive U.S.-Cuba policy, such as Senator Dorgan. Menendez’s tough stance on Cuba may, to an extent, be shaped by his parents’ heritage; however, Public Campaign reported that he too has received an impressive sum of funds from the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC ($165,800 in total). Knowing that Senator Menendez is one of the top five recipients in donations from the group perhaps gives some insight as to why he supports nearly every constructive policy toward Latin America, but rejects those regarding Cuba.

What do Americans Say?

Harris Interactive, a market research firm that specializes in public opinion, released a series of polls in March 2010 regarding Americans’ opinions toward U.S.-Cuban policy. When asked their opinion on the statement, “It is too soon for normal relations to be restored with Cuba,” 44% agreed and 38% disagreed either strongly or somewhat. Similarly, when asked to state how they felt about the statement, “The embargo towards Cuba should remain in effect,” 40% said they agreed and 36% said they disagreed. These statistics show that the American public is as divided as are many members of Congress regarding the topic, something which is reflected in various pending pieces of legislation. However, only 28% of Americans aged 18-34 believe that the embargo should remain in effect versus 49% of Americans older than 55, who think so. These younger voters’ views should signal to congressmen that Americans’ opinions are changing and that supporting legislation that would ease restrictions on Cuba might reflect the best interests of their constituents.

New Obstacles

Although the Harris Interactive study shows that many Americans tend to support normalizing relations with Cuba, new scandals have impeded the enactment of constructive policies. The December 2009 arrest of Alan Gross, an American contractor and alleged spy, has caused tensions to flare between officials in Washington and Havana in recent months. Gross, who remains imprisoned in Havana, was in Cuba carrying out a USAID-funded project aimed at improving communication networks between Cuban Jews and other Jewish communities. Gross’s detainment has greatly troubled lawmakers in Congress. Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who represents Gross’s home state, was prompted to draft a letter on March 23 to Jorge Bolaños, the Chief of Mission at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, pleading for Gross’s release. In the letter, Representative Van Hollen expresses deep concern that Gross’s imprisonment could dramatically affect U.S.-Cuban relations, stating:

The arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Gross is viewed with great consternation by the government of the United States, including both Democrat and Republican Members of the United States Congress…It has caused many to doubt your government’s expressed desire to improve relations with the United States. We cannot assist in that regard while Mr. Gross is detained in a Cuban prison.

BBC News reported that Cuban President Raúl Castro had similarly harsh words for the U.S. government after Gross’s detainment, declaring that “the enemy is as active as ever,” and that Gross was doling out “sophisticated methods of communication to members of the civil society which they hope to form against our people.” Indeed, it appears that until Gross is returned to the United States, Washington will freeze policy implementation and the two closest of “enemies” will continue to engage in a war of words.

The current human rights situation in Cuba has also made matters worse for proponents of S. 428 and H.R. 874 who are looking to drum up support for the bills. On February 23, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a political prisoner who had been conducting a hunger strike for 83 days to protest unacceptable prison conditions, died of starvation in a Havana hospital. Zapata’s death not only set off a series of protests and additional hunger strikes conducted by human rights activists in Cuba, but it also prompted lawmakers in Washington to slam the Cuban regime and warn of the potentially disastrous consequences that lifting the travel ban could have on the Cuban people. In a March 23 Special Order Session on Cuba, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) argued that those supporters “believe that somehow if you coddle dictatorship, you will see an amelioration of their egregious acts. It doesn’t happen… over this last half century, it has not happened in Cuba….The more you enable a dictatorship, the more of an appetite it has for political prisoners, for repression…” Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) discussed the regime’s oppressive approach toward human rights, adding “…if [Castro] gets mass tourism, then imagine the ability to further repress, to further torture, to further denigrate, discriminate, because the essence of that regime is not only totalitarian regime; it is a racist regime against the Cuban people.” Lawmakers like Smith and Diaz-Balart who oppose easing restrictions on Cuba have staunchly supported the embargo in the wake of Zapata’s tragic death, insisting that the regime must improve its human rights record before it receives any carrots from the U.S. government. Opponents of the embargo, however, maintain that this flawed approach will merely perpetuate the unnecessary punishment of Cuban citizens, and that Washington’s policy towards Cuba is obsolete because it is not emulated anywhere else in the world.

Conclusion

While the issue of American travel to Cuba is clearly divisive—both camps adamantly claim that their policy will persuade the Cuban government to promote freedom for its people—efforts to include S. 428 and H.R. 874 on the political agenda unfortunately have been compromised by what the administration has seen as the emergence of more urgent problems (namely healthcare reform and the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis) in Congress. Although the Obama administration took minor steps to ease travel constraints on Cuba in April 2009 by removing restrictions on family visits by Cuban-Americans to the nation and by lifting barriers on remittances being sent to Cuba, very little has been done since then to expand upon those initial smart moves. Nonetheless, debate on the subject is bound to resurface again until substantial changes are made, as the American public has begun to grow tired of Washington’s outdated policy and the Cuban people continue to suffer.

If the United States truly wishes to improve its relationship with the Cuban government and to strengthen ties with other leaders across Latin America, it must part ways with its archaic policies by engaging the island nation and taking a more responsible approach toward promoting freedom across Cuba. Congressman James McGovern (D-MA), a co-sponsor of H.R. 874, effectively summarized his colleagues’ goals for building a constructive relationship with Cuba during a February statement on the floor. He stated that “if we are truly going to do a better job of standing with the Cuban people, then we need to be closer to them and in greater numbers. We need to travel freely to the island to meet and to learn from them and they from us.” Many Americans share Representative McGovern’s sentiments and see free travel to Cuba as a way to jumpstart talks between the two nations. Unfortunately, it appears that efforts to implement this straightforward policy remain bogged down by an influential group of opponents and a series of setbacks that have kept Cuba and the U.S. at odds. Given these regrettable conditions, it is doubtful that new travel laws, which would expose ordinary Cubans to American culture and boost Cuba’s tourism industry and informal economy, will be implemented any time soon.

19 thoughts on “Travel to Cuba Legislation Mired by Scandal, Fierce Opposition

  • May 21, 2010 at 10:26 am
    Permalink

    The Latin American Studies Associatiion will not hold their conferences in the U.S. because the State Department will not allow Cuban scholars to attend. As a result, conferences are held in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, etc. The restriction policy inhibits the contact of Cuban academics with U.S. scholars and injures prospects for democracy at some future date. It is an anti-democratic policy that injures both the U.S. and Cuba on the long run.

  • May 21, 2010 at 3:01 pm
    Permalink

    My wife and I are part of a humanitarian mission to deliver needed medical supplies to help improve lives of Cuban people. This people-to-people exchange program, sponsored by Elderhostel / Exploritas, and Bringing HOPE Foundation is needed if there is ever to be hope to restore friendly relations. As South Florida residents we note that young people are searching for enlightened ways to understand their unique heritage, with a goal to see our two countries co-exist. The older generation seems locked into their vindictive determination to keep restrictions.

    • October 20, 2010 at 9:57 am
      Permalink

      My husband and I are considering the humanitarian program sponsored by the Hope Foundation and Roads Scholar. I am a little nervous. Could you e-mail me how you felt about the program? kayct13@aol.com
      My husband is not Cuban but grew up in Cuba and we are very interested in helping the Cuban people. Please let me know any details you know about the trip. We have traveled with Elderhostel before but this program is a little vague. Thanks, Kay Thurman

  • May 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm
    Permalink

    The policy of restricting US citizens from traveling to Cuba, justified in the US by claims that lifting restrictions will benefit Cuban dictatorship, actually has the oppositie effect. US refusal to allow its citizens to travel to Cuba limits the possibility of political change in Cuba. From the Cuban government's perspective, the anti-Cuban policy of the US justifies continuing anti-US rhetoric and policy.
    If we want to see political change in Cuba obviously the best approach is to promote more contact between US and Cuban citizens.

  • May 21, 2010 at 11:36 am
    Permalink

    The cases of Alan Gross and Orlando Zapata are the most disturbing part of this story. I can’t help but wonder whether fair trials, and the likely subsequent release, of the Cuban 5 might not be the step that would lead to more of what the USG likes to think of as “human rights” in Cuba.

  • May 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm
    Permalink

    The Cuban government is a dictatorship. It does not respect human rights. The U.S. has had a long-standing feud with the Cuban government. Is it hypocritical? Yes. Does it starve Cuba of much-needed American currency? Yes. Anyone that still supports the Castro government needs serious psychiatric evaluation.

  • May 21, 2010 at 9:16 pm
    Permalink

    The embargo on trade and travel with Cuba has been a highly successful policy–if your aim is maintain Castro ‘s rule. Thanks to this policy, Fidel and now his brother Raul have been able for almost a half century to portray themselves as defenders of national sovereignty against American imperialism . If U.S. policy doesn’t change, neither will Cuba.

  • May 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm
    Permalink

    Excuse me, but I cannot understand, why the COHA staff doesn't research more carefully and is just repeating even the last defamation campaign regarding Orlando Zapata Tamayo. At least, you could have mentioned what Cubans extensively reported about this case.
    According to Cuban sources, he was just a criminal convicted because several crimes, among others because of aggravated assault severely hurting a head of his neighbour by a machete.
    He decided to become a "dissident" after several years in jail, s.: essayist, Enrique Ubieta Gómez athttp://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/2010/02/27/nacional/… .
    The Cuban people are human beings wanting to protect their social and educational achievements in their majority (if they are not corrupted by USAID money) and they don't want to suffer from terrorist attacks carried out by exile Cubans remaining in hatress an revench against their former homeland.
    Cubans just want to live in peace and stay alive.
    More over, I want to join Ann Jefferson and to ask you: "What about the 'Cuban Five'?"
    The whole article is very unmascing the US ideological attitude.
    It would be ridiculous if it would not mean cruelty against Cuban people and against the Cuban Five having tried to protect their people from terrorist attacks.

    • May 24, 2010 at 1:34 am
      Permalink

      Ja ja ja! What ABOUT the "Cuban five?" It's called espionage, and that's what happens when you get caught.

    • May 26, 2010 at 4:47 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you Josie you are absolutely correct in stating that Orlando Zapata was not a political prisoner, he was a common criminal who demonstrated a tendency for violence and disorder, he had a history of crimes going back many years but none of them were political in nature and there is no evidence that he was a "prisoner of conscience." His three year sentence was increased to 25 years when he assaulted two Cuba prison guards. He went on a hunger strike in order to get a private phone, stove and television in his prison cell. The Cubans tried deligently to save his life.
      It is very irresponsible of COHA to further this kind of propaganda and have it printed in your name in Truthout. Your staff should stop reading the main stream media and do their own research to find out the facts, Rodriguez and Patchen should retract their statments regarding who Zapata was.
      Dale Sorensen

  • May 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm
    Permalink

    Chronology in the Case of the “Cuban Five“

    Beginning in the early 1990s, the Cuban Five infiltrated terrorist Cuban exile groups in South Florida, in order to inform Cuban authorities about the terrorist groups’ planned attacks against Cuba. (In 1999 Cuba complained to the U.N. of the 3,478 deaths and 2,099 disabled Cuban people, caused by terrorist attacks planned and carried out by exile Cubans mainly based in Miami.)

    In May 1998, Gabriel Garcia Marquez accomplished a discreet mission of intermediation between the Clinton administration and Fidel Castro because of those terrorist acts. (1)

    June 16 and 17, 1998: The Cuban government gave voluminous documents to the FBI as evidence concerning terrorist activities in South Florida.

    September 12, 1998: The FBI arrests 10 members of the “Red Wasp”, the Cuban agency network. Five of them “cooperate” (in turn they receive just common penalties for their illegal activities as foreign agents). The other five disappear into solitary confinement for 17 months and are charged with 26 federal counts, including espionage conspiracy, and in the case of Gerardo Hernández, for murder conspiracy, as well, concerning a shoot down of two MIGs of the “Brothers to the Rescue” after having repeatedly penetrated Cuban airspace despite of warnings even from U.S. authorities before by the Cuban air force in February 1996. During the following trial the prosecution could not supply evidences that Gerardo was linked to that shoot down.

    June, 2001: After a trial of over 6 months an intimidated jury in spite of the lack of evidence finds the five guilty of all charges. In December 2001, they are sentenced to prison terms from 15 years up to two life terms + 15 years, and then transferred to different high security prisons widely spread across the USA. (2)

    April – May 2003: The defense is unable to file their appeals to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on April 7, 2003. (From the end of February to the beginning of March 2003, solitary confinement in isolation units was again imposed on the five, amounting to torture. This was originally to last for one year and could have been prolonged arbitrarily. Because of the international protests, among them that of Amnesty International, they were released from solitary confinement after one month.)

    March 10, 2004: Oral arguments hearing by three 11th-circuit judges from Atlanta in Miami (with the observance of international lawyers, incl. attorney Eberhard Schultz, Germany).

    May, 27, 2005: The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN Committee of Human Rights in Geneva publishes its “Opinion No. 19/2005” addressed to the Government of the United States on April 8, 2004. Their conclusion on page 6: “The deprivation of liberty” of the Cuban Five “is arbitrary, being in contravention of article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and corresponds to category III of the applicable categories examined in the cases before the Working Group.” (3)

    August 9, 2005: The panel of three judges of the Court of Appeals in Atlanta issues its opinion, saying the sentences of the Five must be annulled because of the pervasive biased atmosphere during the trial in Miami-Dade and a new trial is granted in a new venue outside of Miami. (4)

    October 31, 2005: The appeal of the federal prosecution is accepted and an en banc hearing of all 12 judges of the Court of Appeals in Atlanta is granted.

  • May 24, 2010 at 11:51 am
    Permalink

    By this I ask you, please let me complete the "Chronology in the Case of the 'Cuban Five'".
    As I see, just now, the administrator again – for the 3rd time did not admit to my completing the above mentioned "Chronology".
    There is a special reason why, I urge you to let me tell your readers about it.
    On the upcoming June 14, the attorneys of the Five are intending to file their last possible appeal referring to the "habeas corpus act!". It will deal on the case of Gerardo Hernández Nordelo unjustly convicted by the court of Miami to two lifetimes plus 15 years.
    Another unjustified punishment imposed on him is not to be allowed to see his beloved wife Adriana Pérez O'Connor since his nearly 12 years lasting incarceration.
    I urge the COHA staff by this to publish this case, but rather based on honestly made research than on biased information from Miami.

  • May 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm
    Permalink

    By this I ask you, please let me complete the "Chronology in the Case of the 'Cuban Five'".
    August 20, 2007: The third oral arguments hearing before 3 judges takes place in Atlanta, – meanwhile William Pryor joined the two judges Stanley Birch and Phyllis Kravitch, members of the former three-judge panel. Among the 50 attending international observers are two Germans: human rights attorney, Eberhard Schultz and Professor Norman Paech, expert on international law and member of the German Parliament.
    June 4, 2008: The opinion of the three-judge panel is released by a voting 2:1. Compare to the dissent of judge Phyllis Kravitch. (5)

    September 2, 2008: The three judges dismiss a petition of the defence for a review of their decision and confirm it instead.

    January 30, 2009: Lawyers of Cuban Five file a petition with the Supreme Court saying their trial in Miami was unfairly prejudiced by the larger community.

    • May 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm
      Permalink

      Why do you insist on plastering every COHA article that relates to Cuba with the same information about the Cuban Five? In the past year you have not provided any new insight on the subject in any of the what seems like hundreds of posts you have written on this site. Instead you just litter what could be interesting debates with irrelevant information about your favorite cause. Please stop.

      • May 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm
        Permalink

        Helloh, Albie Sumac, nice to see your comment! I will not stop to insist, asl long persons like you don't engage in the case, and until they Five are free I will use any opportunity.
        Moreover, I would like to ask the COHA staff why they repeat the ly about the case of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, an why they join the US administration in instrumentalizing human rights against Cuba while they are violating human rights against the Five and other cases like Mumia Abu Jamal, Leonard Peltier and Rafil Dhafir, apart from those torture centers like Baghran in Afghanistan, Guantanamo isn't still closed yet etc..

  • May 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm
    Permalink

    See May issue of, "Science." Cuba $325/year health cost per person, per year. Cuban health statistics now closely parallel United States health stats; life expectancies are very similar, for example. Some Cuban statistics are superior: universal health care is one example, every person is talked to by a health assessor at least once per year. Cuba educates 10,000 doctors per year for other less commercialized cultures, and does this free, a transfer between planetary neighbors which makes the world a nicer place for Cubans to live with gusto. What other Cuban cultural positives do we not wish ourselves to know about? Organic gardening? Cuban salsa jazz? Conclusion of "Science," US should send scientists to study and learn from advances in Cuban medical science and practice.

    source, Science … http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/328

  • November 2, 2011 at 5:52 am
    Permalink

    Excellent website. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you to your sweat!

Comments are closed.