GOP Can't get Enough Hookers for NYC Convention - But Bush Self-Righteously Condemns Cuba's Alleged 'Sex Tourism'

For one thing, what the heck is 'sex tourism'? Must be the most lurid term Karl Rove could think of that wouldn't actually say anything. But Bush is now accusing Castro of "exploiting children" by encouraging a "sex-tourism industry." 'The dictator welcomes sex tourism,' Bush declared at a conference on "human trafficking" -- forced labor, sex and military service. " Of course Bush doesn say how children are being exploited - he just injects the word "children" into the sentence with dark inuendo - the same tactic he used to tie Saddam to Al Queda. But- wanna talk about 'sex tourism' and prostitutes - how about the GOP Convention?! Btw- note how AP claims that "Kerry agrees," with Bush without actually quoting the senator. This is the new AP-Rove tactic - make Kerry look as if he agrees with everything Bush does and says.

In Targeting Cuba, Bush Breaks Promise NEVER to Use Food as a Political Weapon

US Newswire: "Sarah Stephens, director of the Freedom to Travel Campaign [re:] the Bush admin restrictions on travel to Cuba and aid to Cuban families, which become effective today, June 30, 2004: 'The new restrictions on travel and payments to families will cause more hunger in Cuba, divide American families from their Cuban relations, and give more ammunition to a government that has always taken strength from America's preoccupation with driving it from power. Bush should stop aiming weapons of malnutrition at the Cuban people. Using hunger to prompt regime change in Cuba is immoral, and it won't work. In the last campaign, Bush promised never to use food as a weapon in America's foreign policy. The right policy is to end restrictions on contacts between the Cuban and American people, and place no limits on the amount of money and food Americans can send to family members who are hungry. Restrictions on travel should be banned, and trade should flow in both directions."

Castro Calls Bush Anti-Cuban Sanctions Scheme 'Cruel and Cowardly'

Despite the growing number of international businesspeople, including dozens of US companies, who have been working on opening peaceful trade with Cuba, Bush wants to create a crisis in Cuba that will enable him to trump up an invasion strategy later. Castro slammed Bush's new sanctions against Cuba as "cruel and cowardly," the product of a "putrid ideology. His cruel and cowardly measures surely will impose some sacrifices on our people, but they will not stop for a single second its strides toward human and social goals" a Cuban Communist Party statement said." Of course the real reason for Bush's squeeze on Cuba: oil. Some of the world's last unexploited oil fields are off the coast of Cuba.

Cuba Next?

"A 500-page report on U.S. policy toward Cuba due at the White House... recommends limiting Cuban-Americans' visits to the island, significantly cutting remittances and drastically reducing the money that U.S. visitors can spend there, activists familiar with the document said. The recommendations by the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba are the result of a six-month review ordered by President Bush to hasten and prepare for a democratic transition in communist-ruled Cuba... The first section outlines ways to strengthen the internal opposition on the island, disseminate news and other information to Cubans, and enforce economic and travel restrictions already on the books. More hard-hitting recommendations are outlined in classified sections of the report, the activists said, though those suggestions did not include military action."

So That's Why Bush is Obsessed with Cuba: Oil!

China Daily reports that during a recent US-Cuba trade fair, "Juan Fleites, a senior official of the [Cuban Basic Industry] ministry... said Cuba has 49 oil plates in the Mexican sea area which remain untapped by venture capital. Cuba has granted foreign capital the right to participate in oil exploration and exploitation since 1990. Oil companies from France, Canada and Spain are hitherto its major partners in this field. Currently, Cuba's oil production mainly comes from oil fields on land, with an output of 80,000 barrels per day used in electricity generation. The first offshore oil rig, jointly funded by Cuba and Spain, is believed to start production soon." Like Bush in Central Asia, it's not enough for him and his oil baron buddies to fairly acquire opportunities for drilling - they want to invade and take it all!

Bush Tightens Rules on Travel to Cuba

"Bush tightened U.S. travel restrictions against Cuba... Bush's order, less than two weeks before Florida's presidential primary, said Castro's government had used sometimes deadly force against American and Cuban citizens over the past decade and might do so again. Such an incident 'could threaten a disturbance of international relations,' Bush said." The question is whether such an incident will "be made to occur" and provide a "wag the dog" scenario in this election year.

Is Tom DeLay Now the Acting pResident? Must Be, Because Friday, He Declared War on Cuba

Looks like Bush has been declared incompetent by Karl Rove due to the Meet the Press debacle and other "lapses." In his place, Rove has apparently appointed Tom DeLay as "acting pResident." And, as his first act, Delay promptly declared war on Cuba: "Humanity has known it by many names -- Nazism, fascism, Communism, terrorism. But it is one and the same evil, inhuman ideology -- no matter what language it speaks, or what uniform it wears," DeLay said. "The war on terror is a war against evil, and it is therefore a war against Fidel Castro," DeLay said. "Freedom and terrorism cannot coexist, and evil will not stand. And if it will not stand in Baghdad, Kabul, Tehran, or Ramallah, then it will not stand in Havana...If the war on terror is going to be won, it must be won in this hemisphere first, and if it is going to be won in this hemisphere, then Castro must go."

Castro Speech Lambastes Bush and U.S. Economy

Reports Lisa Adams of AP: "America's economy hangs by a thread while Cuba -- after four decades under a U.S. economic blockade -- continues to offer free health care and boasts an infant mortality rate lower than its northern neighbor, President Fidel Castro asserted early Saturday. In a 41/2-hour speech to economists, Castro also took shots at President Bush, saying he 'couldn't debate a Cuban 9th-grader.' He recited for a half-hour from 'Dos Cabalgan Juntos (Two Men Riding Together),' a book of purported malapropisms by Bush. Castro also challenged Bush to be clear about how the United States plans to realize a transition to democracy in Cuba. He wondered aloud -- again -- if it involved a plan to kill him. 'The great difference between Cuba and the United States is that Cuba "has learned to do a lot with very little,' Castro said."

Bush Lays Plans to Invade Cuba Even As Blood Continues to Flow in Iraq

"The Bush administration has been planting a series of pre-invasion-type tactics for Operation Free Cuba. With a view to gaining support for this invasive venture," writes Sharmini Perez. "By now it is clear that the U.S.' continued slander of President Castro as a fanatic, totalitarian dictator is no different from their accusations against Saddam Hussein. In the latter case they managed to convince their allies and most U.S. citizens. And they may do it again in Castro's case. Nevertheless, what is the real angst that the U.S. has about Cuba? There is only one answer - Cuba's resilience." There is another answer: Having trashed America's coastal resort areas, Bush's developer pals have their greedy eyes on Cuba's "prime beachfront property" - the most unspoiled, least polluted in all of the Caribbean.

Record U.N. Vote Against U.S. Embargo on Cuba

Reuters: "For the 12th straight year, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday against Washington's four-decade old economic embargo against Cuba that Havana sees as tantamount to 'genocide.' The annual roasting of the United States by friends and adversaries alike was approved by a record vote of 179 to 3 with two abstentions on the resolution urging Washington to end the trade and travel sanctions. Opposing the resolution were the United States, Israel and the Marshall Islands while Morocco and Micronesia abstained. Similar resolutions have been adopted by increasing majorities each year since 1992. Last year's vote was 173 to 3 with four abstentions. The resolutions are not mandatory but express the will of the international community. Cuba has been under a U.S. trade and travel embargo since Fidel Castro defeated a CIA-backed assault at the Bay of Pigs in 1961."

Senate Joins House in Voting to End Travel Restrictions to Cuba

"Defying a threatened presidential veto, the Senate joined the House Thursday in moving to end four-decade-old restrictions on travel to Cuba. 'It is not constructive at all to try to slap around Fidel Castro by imposing limits on the American people's right to travel,' said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. The Senate voted 59-36 to bar the use of government money to enforce current travel restrictions. Last month a nearly identical measure passed the House, setting up a showdown with the administration, which says Resident Bush will veto a $90b Transportation and Treasury Department bill if it contains the Cuba language... The Treasury Department estimates that about 160,000 Americans, half of them Cuban-Americans visiting family members, traveled to Cuba legally last year. Humanitarian and educational groups, journalists and diplomats are also allowed visits, but thousands of other Americans visit illegally, by way of third countries, risking thousands of dollars in fines and imprisonment."

To Win Votes in Florida, Bush Announces Harsher Sanctions on Cuba

"US Resident George W Bush has announced fresh measures designed to hasten the end of communist rule in Cuba. They include tightening an American travel embargo to the island, cracking down on illegal cash transfers, and a more robust information campaign aimed at Cuba. Mr Bush said the punitive measures were being introduced because the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, had acted with 'defiance and contempt and a new round of brutal oppression that outraged world conscience'. The speech - before members of the Cuban community at the White House - came as the 2004 election campaign gets under way. Mr Bush's advisers know that fiercely anti-Castro Cuban exiles living in the key state of Florida might well be hugely important in determining whether the resident holds on to power, says the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington."

House Votes to End Travel and Cash-Transfer Bans on Cuba

The Latin America Working Group writes, "The House of Representatives voted to end funding for enforcement of the travel ban to Cuba Tuesday evening by a vote of 227-188. They also voted to reinstate legal people-to-people travel to Cuba and to permit US citizens to send money to Cuba without restrictions.... Last night's win marked a turning point because the Senate is expected to approve identical language on its version of the bill. This could lead to the next step - getting this bill to the Resident's desk. This is the 3rd consecutive year that the House has voted to end restrictions on travel to Cuba.... In recent years, bipartisan votes to ease the embargo have been stripped out of bills through parliamentary maneuvers because of pressure from House Republican leadership and the White House. Today's Cuba vote took place under a veto threat from the White House, which is under pressure from hard-line Cuban American voters in Florida."

'It's Time for Bush to Start His Campaign' - U.S. Indicts 3 Cuban Army Officers

CubanAmericanDemocrats.com writes: "Some Cuban-Americans questioned the timing of the murder indictment of a Cuban general and two pilots in the shooting down of two civilian planes in 1996, saying the charges smacked of political maneuvering by the Bush administration. But U.S. Attorney Marcos Jimenez denied Thursday's indictment was politically motivated. The indictment was filed seven years after four men were killed when their planes were shot down over the Florida straits by a Cuban MiG... 'These charges should have come a long time ago,' said Jose Preval Lafita, a Cuban journalist who came to Miami in the 1960s. 'It's apparently time for Resident Bush to start his campaign.'"

Nobel Laureates & Intellectuals Launch Campaign to Defend Cuba

"Latin American Nobel laureates Garcia Marquez, Rigoberta Menchu, Aldolfo Perez Esquivel and South African writer Nadine Gordimer, also a Nobel prize winner, have signed a declaration of support, Mexican sociologist Pablo Gonzalez said. U.S. singer Harry Belafonte and U.S. actor Danny Glover are also among the personalities who have signed the two-paragraph declaration 'To the Conscience of the World' so far, Gonzalez announced to a May Day rally in Havana. 'A single power is inflicting grave damage to the norms of understanding, debate and mediation among countries,' the declaration says, referring to the United States and the war in Iraq. 'At this very moment, a strong campaign of destabilization against a Latin American nation has been unleashed. The harassment against Cuba could serve as a pretext for an invasion.'"

Cuba's Castro Says U.S. Is Provoking War

"Fidel Castro accused the United States of wanting to attack Cuba, speaking at a May Day celebration on Thursday that aimed to defend the island's socialist system against criticism from abroad. 'In Miami and Washington they are now discussing where, how and when Cuba will be attacked,' the Cuban president told a crowd of hundreds of thousands gathered for the celebration in Havana's Plaza of the Revolution. 'I want to convey a message to the world and the American people: We do not want the blood of Cubans and Americans to be shed in a war,' he said. The crowd responded with cries of 'Whatever it takes, Fidel!' while waving handheld Cuban flags. One group hoisted an effigy of President [sic] Bush that read, 'Bush: Don't mess with Cuba.'"

The Democratic Left and Castro

Steven Sherman writes: The 'Democratic Left', aka Leftists Against the Same Stuff as Bush (LASSAB for short) are at it again. You know these folks--Leo Casey, Michael Berube, Eric Alterman, Todd Gitlin. In recent times they have bravely stood against such forces as the Taliban and the ANSWER coalition. Now they have found a new target...: Cuba...Looking over the signatories, the absence of many leftists - both those coming out of a Marxist background, who one might suspect are 'soft' on revolutionary regimes (Alexander Cockburn, Mike Davis, James Petras, Tariq Ali, etc) and those who come from more anarchistic perspectives (Michael Albert, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein)-is striking. One might call all those leftists who failed to sign this letter LAUSI (Leftists Against US Imperialism). So the leftist reader might be confused: should she or he stand with LASSAB, or LAUSI?"

New Diaz-Balart in Congress Adds to Family's Growing Political Dynasty

Oscar Corral writes: "Newly elected congressman Mario Diaz-Balart huddled at Casa Larios restaurant in South Miami recently, chatting on a cellphone with [Iran-Contra player and Venezuelan coup attempt accomplice] Otto Reich about Reich's future at the U.S. State Department... Then Mario Diaz-Balart, the youngest brother in a family whose political dynasty stretches back more than a century from Cuba to Miami, got on the phone again and did something that surprised even a veteran politician like Ros-Lehtinen. 'I don't know what number he called,' Ros-Lehtinen said, 'But he got Jeb [Bush] on the phone right there. We brainstormed with him about how to solve the state's fiscal crisis'... Unlike older brother Lincoln, who was born in Cuba, Mario was born in Fort Lauderdale. But he is no less dogmatic about his anti-Castro, pro-embargo stance, which he drove home in his campaign."

Cuba vs Saudi Arabia vs Mullah Bush

King George said he would veto any bill sent to him regarding lifting travel or trade restrictions with Cuba. As this clearly was to help his brother get more support of the Florida Cuban vote, let's examine how well the embargos are actually working: Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said, "After 40 years of a U.S. policy of isolating Cuba, Castro hasn't moved an inch closer to democracy... There is no reason to believe that continuing our current policy will hasten that transition." Bush has also sought closer ties to Saudi Arabia, a monarchy that does not allow its people freedom of speech or religion, and which does not hold any kind of free elections. China is in the same boat, yet Cuba is George's favorite to pick on. George, you should stop listening to the terrorist you appointed, Otto Reich!!!

Bush's 'Cuban Initiatives' Will Only Strengthen Castro, While Changing Little for Cuban Citizens

The end result of Bush's "Cuban initiatives" will amount to one dictator helping another dictator. 'The problem is that this is not an initiative aimed at improving relations with Cuba, but at destabilizing the Cuban government,'' said Lisandro PĂ©rez of the Cuban Research Institute. "The Cubans will just say that if that's the goal, then no.'' Meanwhile, Bush has handed Castro plenty of new ammunition for cracking down on dissidents and thickening the wall between the U.S. and Cuba - all at a time when a peaceful, gradual normalizing of trade between the two countries was finally becoming possible. The most generous sounding of Bush's proposals - easing restrictions on humanitarian aid - was totally empty, as groups like the Catholic Relief Services already send millions to Cuba each year under federal permits. So, as always, Bush is all show and no real substance. His only goal was to pick up a few Cuban-American voters and some photo ops.

Fidel and Bioweapons: Where's the Proof?

David Corn writes, "A few days ago, I was on a television show arguing there was nothing wrong with ex-President Jimmy Carter visiting Cuba, and the host kept exclaiming, 'But they're making biological weapons, they're making biological weapons.' Credit the Bush administration with a job well done--propaganda job, that is. But the Bush administration provided no evidence. When President John Kennedy took a stand against Cuba for accepting Soviet nuclear missiles in 1962, he produced overhead reconnaissance photos showing the missile bases. [John] Bolton merely says the United States 'believes' Cuba is developing these weapons... Even though Powell did support Bolton's comments, after a dust-up ensued, cynics still had ample cause to believe the goal was to throw a handful of sand in Carter's face before he hit Havana."

Of COURSE Bush Is Using Cuba to Re-elect Jeb! D-UH!

If there's anything we know for sure about Shrub, it's that just about every decision he makes is either about courting more votes or paying back campaign contributors. That's why all the debate about Jimmy Carter's groundbreaking trip to Cuba is moot. It doesn't matter that Castro has thrived for the 40-something years we've implemented our sanctions and embargos, or that he survived numerous CIA assassination attempts. Nor does it matter that Bush's Cuba policy contradicts all the claims he makes when he talks about China that free trade fosters democracy. No, reason and logic don't matter when it comes to Cuba. As long as Shrub and his vote-stealing brother need the votes of anti-Castro Cuban Americans in Florida, he'll keep our dismal failure of a foreign policy.

Bush's 'Extremist Elements' Manufactured the Cuban 'Crisis' to Win Votes for Jeb

"The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), a Washington-based think tank that watches Latin America has accused Undersecretary of State Otto Reich and other 'extremist elements' in the Bush administration of creating discord between the United States and Cuba...'The administration is attempting to perpetuate a super hoax on the American public to secure Cuban-American electoral support for the Bush brothers and blunt the...visit of the Carter delegation to the island,' according to a COHA statement...'The situation is quickly developing into one of the most dangerous confrontations between the two ancient adversaries witnessed since the Cuban missile crisis. Senior (Bush) administration policymakers distort, pass on rumors, concoct fables and tell tall tales, as well as flatly lie in order to breed conflict between Havana and Washington,' the COHA statement reads." Why is Bush such a provocateur? Could it also be to deflect attention away from his misdeeds?

More Bush LIES Exposed: Powell Backpedals on Bolton's Claims of Cuban BioTerrorism

Caught in yet another twisting of truth, ABCNews.com reports that "Colin Powell today appeared to tone down an earlier allegation that Cuba was developing biological weapons and providing technology to rogue states. Powell's comments came ahead of a speech to be given in Havana tonight by former President Jimmy Carter. Speaking to reporters on his way to a NATO foreign ministers' meeting in Iceland, Powell said Washington was concerned that Cuba 'has the capacity and capability to conduct such research.' The statement appeared to back away from an accusation made by Undersecretary of State John Bolton last week that the United States believed Cuba 'has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort.' Bolton also accused Havana of sharing the technology with other rogue states'." When will these guys stop LYING to the American people? This is what happens when the Resident stands to inherit more for making W-ar not Peace, thanks to Carlyle!

On Cuban Bioterrorism, Bush is Either Lying to Jimmy Carter - or to the World

The AP reports, "Jimmy Carter said Monday that American officials briefing him for his trip to Cuba said they had no evidence the communist country was transferring abroad technology that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction. The former president's statement followed remarks last week by Undersecretary of State John Bolton, who said Cuba has provided such biotechnology to rogue states. Secretary of State Colin Powell, asked about Carter's comments while traveling to Iceland to attend a NATO summit, repeated what Bolton had said and added that this was not a new statement on the part of the Bush administration... [Before his trip, Carter] asked White House, State Department and intelligence officials specifically if Cuba was transferring technology or other information that could be used in terrorist activities... 'The answer from our experts on intelligence was 'no.''" So who is Bush lying to - Jimmy Carter or the entire world?