Cuba

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Re: Cuba

#251

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:25 am

Addie wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:04 am
Associated Press
Attacks in Havana hit US spy network in Cuba

HAVANA (AP) — Frightening attacks on U.S. personnel in Havana struck the heart of America’s spy network in Cuba, with intelligence operatives among the first and most severely affected victims, The Associated Press has learned.
:snippity:
Ha, I think my first impression further up seems to be correct. Russia behind this. They know who their US counterparts are and want to get rid of them. They also know that the current administration will not take any strong stand if any (remember Trump wanting to give back the US residencies?). I have a fairly good guess as to the likely technology: a highly refined variant of crowd control by sound (see https://www.livescience.com/7900-crowd- ... works.html, also too: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_weapon).



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Re: Cuba

#252

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:40 pm

WaPo
U.S. will expel 15 Cuban diplomats, escalating tensions over mystery illnesses

The State Department is expelling 15 Cuban diplomats after slashing the U.S. mission in Cuba last week in response to months of unexplained injuries to American personnel.

The decision announced Tuesday is certain to deepen the rift between the two countries over what the State Department has called “specific attacks” on U.S. diplomats during the past 10 months. The United States has not blamed Cuba, which has denied any involvement and has cooperated with FBI agents dispatched there.

“We are not assigning culpability,” said a State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity under administration guidelines for briefing the media. The expulsions, the official said, aim to “underscore to the Cubans that they must take more actions to protect our people on the ground.”

The expelled Cubans, whose names were on a list presented to the Cuban ambassador Tuesday morning, will have seven days to leave the country. Last week, the State Department said it would pull more than half its personnel out of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, and they are expected to leave by the end of the week.


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Re: Cuba

#253

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:16 pm

Associated Press (recording at link)
The sound in Havana: What Americans heard in Cuba attacks

WASHINGTON (AP) — It sounds sort of like a mass of crickets. But not quite. A high-pitched whine, but from what? It seems to undulate, even writhe. Listen closely: Some hear multiple, distinct tones colliding in a nails-on-the-chalkboard effect.

The Associated Press has obtained a recording of what some U.S. Embassy workers heard in Havana, part of the series of unnerving incidents later deemed to be deliberate attacks. The recording, released Thursday by the AP, is the first disseminated publicly of the many taken in Cuba of sounds that led investigators initially to suspect a sonic weapon.

The recordings from Havana have been sent for analysis to the U.S. Navy, which has advanced capabilities for analyzing acoustic signals, and to the intelligence services, the AP has learned. But the recordings have not significantly advanced U.S. knowledge about what is harming diplomats. Officials say the government still doesn’t know what is responsible for injuries to its personnel, but the U.S. has faulted Cuba for failing to protect American diplomats on its soil.

The Navy and the State Department did not respond to requests for comment on the recording. Cuba has denied involvement or knowledge of the attacks.


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Re: Cuba

#254

Post by Addie » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:53 pm

CBS News
Uzbekistan incident raises suspicions of Russian involvement in Cuba attacks

A newly revealed incident reported by a USAID officer who is based at the American embassy in Uzbekistan is raising suspicions Russia may have been involved and could have had a hand in bizarre attacks targeting U.S. diplomats in Cuba, according to American sources.

In September, the officer and his wife reported, according to one source familiar with the incident, what may have been at least one acoustic attack similar to those experienced by the diplomats in Havana. ...

Victims of the attacks in Cuba were diagnosed with hearing loss, brain injuries, cognitive issues and other conditions.

The source says the two suffered similar effects and were flown out of Tashkent by the State Department to be evaluated. It is unclear what further diagnosis or care they have had following their departure from Uzbekistan.


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Re: Cuba

#255

Post by RVInit » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:35 pm

Addie wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:53 pm
CBS News
Uzbekistan incident raises suspicions of Russian involvement in Cuba attacks

A newly revealed incident reported by a USAID officer who is based at the American embassy in Uzbekistan is raising suspicions Russia may have been involved and could have had a hand in bizarre attacks targeting U.S. diplomats in Cuba, according to American sources.

In September, the officer and his wife reported, according to one source familiar with the incident, what may have been at least one acoustic attack similar to those experienced by the diplomats in Havana. ...

Victims of the attacks in Cuba were diagnosed with hearing loss, brain injuries, cognitive issues and other conditions.

The source says the two suffered similar effects and were flown out of Tashkent by the State Department to be evaluated. It is unclear what further diagnosis or care they have had following their departure from Uzbekistan.
I had suspicions right from the start that this event had Russia written all over it. Cuba had nothing to gain and everything to lose in doing something like this. I also believe Putin was behind the bombings in Russia that gave him an opportunity to play hero. He is a dangerous man, and having a POTUS that doesn't recognize this is dangerous for the USA.


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Re: Cuba

#256

Post by RTH10260 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:57 pm

Raul Castro: I'm stepping down as Cuba's president on April 19
By KAELYN FORDE Dec 21, 2017, 7:15 PM ET

Raul Castro will step down as Cuba's president on April 19, 2018, he announced Thursday during the National Assembly meeting in Havana.

Castro, 86, has led the country since 2006 after his brother, Fidel Castro, stepped down due to health issues. The younger Castro officially became the country's president in 2008. Fidel Castro died on Nov. 25, 2016, at the age of 90.

The Cuban Parliament approved on Thursday to extend the country's municipal elections to March and the presidential election to April. Hurricane Irma was the reason for the delay, the government said.

Raul Castro announced in 2013 that this would be his last five-year term as president. The Castro brothers fought alongside each other in the Cuban Revolution and have ruled the island since overthrowing dictator Fulgencio Batista on New Year's Day in 1959.

2018 will be the first year that the island has not had a Castro as president in nearly 60 years.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/rau ... d=51932114



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Re: Cuba

#257

Post by vic » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:00 pm

https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/cuban- ... d-suicide/
Cuban government sources confirm Fidel Castro Jr., committed suicide

According to Cuban government sources, Fidel Castro’s son, Fidel Castro Jr. committed suicide Thursday morning, NBC News reported.

The death comes a little over a year after the death of his father. He was 68-years-old.
Edit: Another source. They identify him as Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation- ... 70074.html
Fidel Castro’s oldest son commits suicide, reports say

Fidel Castro’s oldest son — Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart — committed suicide late Thursday, according to various news reports.

Díaz-Balart had been seeking medical attention for the past few months after falling into a “deep depression,” reported Cuban news website, CubaDebate.

It is still unclear how exactly he took his life.

“His delicate health situation required hospitalization and then continued with outpatient follow-ups,” reporters said on Cuban television, according to news site, CiberCuba.

The Cuban president’s nephew served as a scientific advisor to the Cuban government and was the vice president of the country’s Academy of Sciences.




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Re: Cuba

#258

Post by Addie » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:34 am

Associated Press
US lawmakers say it's time to restore staff at Cuba embassy

HAVANA (AP) — U.S. lawmakers visiting Cuba urged the State Department on Wednesday to restore embassy staff pulled from the country last year in response to mysterious ailments among diplomats and their families.

The visit by six Democratic members of the Senate and House of Representatives comes as the State Department decides whether to send its personnel back to the island. A decision is expected by March 4.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the symptoms, which included nausea, dizziness and headaches, resulted from "targeted attacks" and cut embassy staff by 60 percent in September.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and other members of the delegation told reporters in Havana that Cuban officials have cooperated with U.S. authorities in an investigation into the cause of symptoms and that the cut to embassy staff only hurts bilateral relations.


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Re: Cuba

#259

Post by Addie » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:40 am

Reuters
Cuba's Capitol reopens after years of restoration

HAVANA (Reuters) - After eight years of restoration work, Cuba on Thursday re-opened to the public the doors of its Capitol, an imposing neoclassical gem previously shunned as a symbol of U.S. imperialism now to become the seat of its national assembly.

Built in 1929 to house Cuba’s Congress and inspired by Washington’s Capitol, it was swiftly repurposed after Fidel Castro’ 1959 leftist revolution along with other buildings seen as testament to corrupt governments too cozy with the Americans.

Most recently used for the Science and Technology Ministry, its restoration was started in 2010 as part of the Office of City Historian’s revamp of Havana, one of the architectural treasures of Latin America.

Four years later came the landmark announcement of a U.S.-Cuban detente by Cuban President Raul Castro and former U.S. President Barack Obama, although that is now under threat from the more hostile stance of the administration of Donald Trump.


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Re: Cuba

#260

Post by Addie » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:57 am

Daily Beast
Did These Computer Scientists Solve the Cuban ‘Sonic Attack’?

Three computer scientists reverse-engineered a recording of the sound and think they know what got 24 people at the American embassy in Havana sick.

A technical report from the University of Michigan offers a stunningly simple theory for the source of the Cuban “sonic attack”: a pair of eavesdropping devices too close to each other and tripping the ultrasound that ironically was supposed to make their presence quiet.

More importantly, it might not have been done with malicious intent.

“It doesn’t prove it’s the cause,” Kevin Fu, an associate professor at the University of Michigan and one of the co-authors of the study, cautioned. “It’s a correlation. But to us, it seems like a strong correlation.”

A recap: Last September, the State Department recalled 21 American employees from the U.S. embassy in Havana. These employees, along with three Canadians, reported dizziness, cognitive difficulties, headaches, and hearing loss, among other medical issues, according to an official statement made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The victims of what was being termed a “sonic attack” reported hearing a high-pitched sound that made them physically ill.


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Re: Cuba

#261

Post by RTH10260 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:43 am

:o Dang - Putin would have loved to claim the "attack" as his achievement ! :lol:



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Re: Cuba

#262

Post by Volkonski » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:50 pm

A historic power shift will take place in Cuba after more than four decades of the Castro brothers' regime.

Raul Castro is set to step down as Cuba's president this Thursday.

Meet the man likely to succeed him.
https://www.
nbcnews.com/news/latino/wh
o-miguel-d-az-canel-cuba-s-likely-new-president-n860906

3:35 PM - Apr 16, 2018
Now all eyes are on Miguel Díaz-Canel — seen by many as Raúl’s hand-picked successor as the nation's next leader.

“Following Cuba’s political system, it’s only logical that Díaz-Canel become president after serving as first vice president for the past five years without any issues,” said Arturo Lopez-Levy, a former analyst with the Cuban Interior Ministry who is now a lecturer at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.

Díaz-Canel, 57, has a long history in Cuba politics. Before his current role, he was the minister of higher education.

Díaz-Canel headed the Communist Party of Cuba in Villa Clara province from 1994 to 2003, at a time when the country was suffering from a severe economic crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union, which had heavily subsidized the island nation.


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Re: Cuba

#263

Post by Addie » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:01 pm

WaPo
Castro rule in Cuba nears end as Miguel Diaz-Canel named sole candidate for leadership change

HAVANA — Cuba’s National Assembly opened a historic session Wednesday that will shift power outside the Castro family for the first time since communist forces swept to victory almost 60 years ago.

The official Granma news service said the 605 assembly members would vote for the new president of the council of state — effectively Cuba’s top job. In an unusual twist, the name will be held in reserve and announced on Thursday. Typically, the succession in Cuba happens in one day.

At the start of the session, President Raúl Castro, in a dark suit and red tie, entered the legislative hall to thunderous applause. Alongside Castro was his first vice president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, who is tipped to replace him as Cuba’s first leader outside the Castro family since the ouster of a U.S.-backed government in 1959.

The departure of Raúl Castro, 86, who took over Cuba’s leadership from his elder brother Fidel Castro in 2008, is not expected to lead to radical change.

Raúl Castro will remain head of the powerful Communist Party here. And Diaz-Canel, the 57-year old poised to succeed Castro, is a longtime Communist Party stalwart viewed as a carefully groomed successor at a time when Cuba is facing important questions that include its new and complicated diplomatic and economic openings with the United States.


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Re: Cuba

#264

Post by Addie » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:47 am

Associated Press
First clues emerge about Cuba’s future under new president

HAVANA — Miguel Diaz-Canel has been the presumptive next president of Cuba since 2013, when Raul Castro named the laconic former provincial official to the important post of first vice president and lauded him as “neither a novice nor an improviser,” high praise in a system dedicated to continuity over all.

Castro said nothing about how a young civilian from outside his family could lead the socialist nation that he and his older brother Fidel created from scratch and ruled with total control for nearly 60 years.

Exiles in Miami said Diaz-Canel would be a figurehead for continued Castro dominance. Cubans on the island speculated about a weak president sharing power with the head of the communist party, or maybe a newly created post of prime minister. No one who knew was talking. And no one who was talking knew.

The first clues to the mystery of Cuba’s future power structure were revealed early Thursday when Raul Castro handed the presidency to Diaz-Canel, who took office when the 604-member National Assembly said 603 of its members had approved the 57-year-old as the sole official candidate for the top government position.

With Castro watching from the audience, Diaz-Canel made clear that for the moment he would defer to the man who founded Cuba’s communist system along with his brother. Diaz-Canel said he would retain Castro’s Cabinet through at least July, when the National Assembly meets again.


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Re: Cuba

#265

Post by Addie » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:52 am

Business Insider
Russia sent Obama a blunt message about Cuba, and now Trump is giving the edge back to Moscow ...

It remains unclear who was behind those attacks, but in mid-2017, President Donald Trump reversed many of Obama's Cuba policies, restricting US travel to the island and prohibiting dealings with the Cuban military, which has sprawling commercial interests. That made dealing with the US harder, but Russia remains a ready partner.

Russia has forgiven 90% of Cuba's Soviet-era debt and backed firms looking to export to the island. In May 2017, Russian state oil company Rosneft began sending fuel to Cuba for the first time in this century. Russian exports to Cuba during the first nine months of 2017 were 81% higher than the same period in 2016. The assistance has been welcomed in Cuba.

"Russia sees it as a moment to further its own relationship with Cuba," Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, told Reuters in December. "The more the Russian footprint increases in Cuba, the more that will reinforce hardened anti-US attitudes."

Rhodes has said that Trump curtailing ties with Cuba "delivered a better deal for Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping." ...

"Trump is essentially ceding whatever small influence Obama was developing back to Moscow," Weeks said. "If Miguel Díaz-Canel cannot work with the United States, it makes sense for him to lean more on Vladimir Putin, especially since Venezuela is no longer in a position to assist him."


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Re: Cuba

#266

Post by RVInit » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:58 am

Trump is getting something in return for all the good he's doing for Putin. I have serious dread, and I'm not even kidding a little bit, about Trump's upcoming meeting with Putin. I believe we will be in a different world once the two of them complete whatever it is they are going to plan together. The idea of the two of them alone in a room should strike terror in the hearts of any reasonable thinking person.


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Re: Cuba

#267

Post by Addie » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:21 am

Miami Herald
Castro proposes changes to Constitution, including term limits for president, gay marriage

After leaving the Cuban government at age 86, Raúl Castro is proposing a new constitution that would limit the age of future presidents to 60 at the start of their first terms.

The constitutional reforms, discussed Saturday by the Cuban parliament, also would erase the word “Communism” from the document and open the way for same-sex marriage, according to official TV broadcasts of the gathering.

But the proposed constitution repeats that Cuba’s socialist system is “irrevocable” and says the Communist Party is the only legal party and holds a “vanguard” role in the country’s affairs. ...

Raúl Castro, who is still in charge of the Communist Party and heads the commission that wrote the draft of the constitutional changes, seems to be taking steps to avoid a long run at the top by another president.

The draft restricts presidents to two terms and says they must not be older than 60 at the start of the first term. The proposed new system of government also calls for a division of powers at the top. ...

Nevertheless, the president will not be directly in charge of the Council of Ministers — which would be run by the Prime Minister — nor the Council of State, which Raúl and Fidel Castro and Díaz-Canel have headed.

Although U.S. analysts doubted preliminary reports published in the official news media, it has now been confirmed that the draft says the president of the parliament, the National Assembly, will also preside over the Council of State — making that person very powerful.


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Re: Cuba

#268

Post by Addie » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:26 pm

Reuters
Cuba begins public debate on modernizing Cold War-era constitution

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba on Monday began a rare public discussion to overhaul its Cold War-era constitution, a process the government is calling participatory democracy at its best and opponents are branding a fraud.

Cuba’s National Assembly approved a draft of changes to the 1976 constitution last month, including amendments that would pave the way for recognition of private small businesses and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

The Communist Party-proposed overhaul will be discussed in 35,000 workplaces and community meetings across the Caribbean island scheduled to stretch into November. Once the debate is concluded, the legislature will approve a new draft and submit it to a nationwide vote in February.

While state media have praised the participatory and democratic nature of the consultations, dissidents say the meetings will simply rubberstamp the changes proposed by party leadership.

With much fanfare in the state-run media, more than a million copies of the proposals have been distributed and they are also available online.


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Re: Cuba

#269

Post by Addie » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:43 am

Reuters
Cubans cheer as internet goes nationwide for a day

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba’s government said it provided free internet to the Communist-run island’s more than 5 million cellphone users on Tuesday, in an eight-hour test before it launches sales of the service.

Cuba is one of the Western Hemisphere’s l east connected countries. State-run telecommunications monopoly ETECSA announced the trial, with Tuesday marking the first time internet services were available nationwide.

There are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in Cuba but virtually no home penetration. ...

Hotspots currently charge about $1 an hour although monthly wages in Cuba average just $30.

The government has not yet said how much most Cubans would pay for mobile internet, or when exactly sales of the service will begin. But ETECSA is already charging companies and embassies $45 a month for four gigabytes.


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