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Posted January 26, 2006 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

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By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ | Associated Press Writer

Fidel Castro visited a mysterious new construction site outside the U.S. Interests Section on Wednesday night, but kept mum over what was being built in front of the mission — a growing flashpoint for U.S.-Cuba relations.

Dressed in his olive green uniform and surrounded by security men, Castro made the nighttime visit one day after directing a massive march past the building to protest recent U.S. actions aimed at Cuba, including a new electronic sign streaming news and human rights messages.

“If I tell you, it will ruin the surprise,” Castro told reporters who asked what workers were building. The Cuban president said he was there primarily “to greet the workers.”

Castro indicated he had no intention of breaking already limited relations between the two countries. “It is (the Americans) who will decide what happens to this Interests Section,” he said.

The American mission irked Castro last week when it installed the electronic sign on the facade of its main building with streaming text of sayings about freedom and excerpts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Cuba is a signatory.

The American mission said in a statement that it was informed by the Cuban government after the march Tuesday that the parking lot in front of the building could no longer be used until further notice.

“The regime appears to be building a permanent structure that, we believe, seeks to obstruct Cubans’ view of the uncensored messages and information posted on our streaming billboard,” the U.S. statement said. “The regime’s reaction is not surprising: building walls to isolate Cubans from the rest of the world is what the regime knows best.

“Why cannot the regime allow Cubans to make up their own minds as to what they want to think, read and say publicly?”

The plaza includes a stage used for music concerts and political events attended by Castro and other Communist Party leaders.

Castro characterized the new U.S. messages as “provocations” and said they appeared to be aimed at breaking off the limited contact between the two governments, which have been without diplomatic relations for 45 years.

The U.S. has an interests section under the Swiss Embassy in Havana to handle consular affairs such as visa processing. Cuba has a similar office in Washington.


Cuban President Fidel Castro speaks with journalists as red luminescent messages are displayed along the fifth floor on the building of the US mission in Havana, Cuba,Wednesday,Jan. 25, 2006. Fidel Castro made a surprise stop Wednesday nigth outside the U.S. Interests Section, but would not say what he told Cuban construction workers to build outside the American mission that is increasingly serving as a flashpoint for bad relations between the countries. (AP Photo/ Javier Galeano)

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  1. Follow up post #1 added on January 26, 2006 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    I wouldnt spend funds on building a wall,that would be much more expensive then simply curtaining off the entire embassy using 100 feet high worth of dark material or canvas,then place 24 hour security around the curtain.

  2. Follow up post #2 added on January 27, 2006 by yumaguy with 176 total posts

    LOL! Now this is getting good. grin

    I wonder that, should the overall situation keep deteriorating, if Fidel might be crazy enough to pull a stunt similar to how the Mariel episode started, and let Cubans storm the Interests Office like they did the Peruvian embassy back in 1980. They would tear the place up in the process, problem solved! wink

    Sit back, relax, and pop open a brewski folks! grin It looks like 2006 is going to be a very entertaining year in the endless U.S. vs. Cuba game. This could get fun. . .  wink

  3. Follow up post #3 added on January 27, 2006 by YoungCuban with 409 total posts

    Even funnier would be for Fidel to disconnect the electricity at the emabssy…lol

    Perhaps then the Swiss may try to control their disrespectful US guests?

  4. Follow up post #4 added on January 27, 2006 by ElaineMiami

    I think I’ll vote for disconnecting the electricity.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on January 27, 2006 by Dana Garrett with 252 total posts

    I think Cuba will construct a giant movie screen and project images of the photographs of people tortured in Iraq, the dead children killed by USA bombs, the corpses with the melted skin from the phosphorous ordinance used in Iraq; and the napalm bomb victims in Viet Nam, the slaughter at Mi Lai (sp?), the photos of the 30,000 non-combatants murdered in Nicaragua by the USA armed Contras, etc. etc.

    That would be a fitting response to the slogans flashed on a display at the USA Interests Section in Havana—mere words promising freedoms & justice that the USA rarely guarantees in the countries it invades or insists on for the citizens in the nations governed by the tyrants the USA calls “friends.”  Words that often aren’t even realized in the USA itself, unless they first come from people protesting, insisting on their realization in the streets against great and sometimes brutal opposition from the USA government itself.

    That should put the USAís little tantrum in Havana in some perspective. 

  6. Follow up post #6 added on January 27, 2006 by yumaguy with 176 total posts

    A lot of important buildings as well as the hotels in Havana and elsewhere have their own power generators. I don’t think that old trick would work. . .  grin

  7. Follow up post #7 added on January 28, 2006 by ROLO

    The only concept which I support and it seems to me very
      reasonable and attainable is the one expressed by Ms or Mrs
      Garret.the rest,sorry are rubbish.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on January 28, 2006 by ElaineMiami

    Rolo, the other stories were meant as humor.

  9. Follow up post #9 added on January 29, 2006 by ROLO

    Right.No money for building wall or whatsoever,a big screen instead,with
    many issues and of course,the Posada Cariles One,the blast of
    the plane,the Cia conexion,etc,etc,Building constructions? Yes,
    but for the people who lives in shanty houses,for more Homes for
    elders who needs that very much so.Politics has to be abreast
    with economic improvement,if not the vast majority could never
    understand well,wasting money if more than an aggraveted felony
    take into account the Cuban situation,macroeconomic improvements say nothing,when the microeconomic betterment is
    not seen.

  10. Follow up post #10 added on February 08, 2006 by Anna

    If I worked for the US interests section, I’d recruit dissidents and people in the building and sorroundings to dump garbage, water, (it doesn’t have to be clean) paper, wood, dirt, etc. into the cement foundations, equipment, and the construction and sabbotage the whole thing. Also some audio (very loud) is needed to support the lighted banners outside the embassy. Using hot air balloons anchored to the building, to fly propaganda over the US interests section, asking the government about the thousands of soldiers they sent to massacre people in Angola, the hundreds of cuban security personnel the government sent to serve as personal security for Hussein. The CIA must have a lot of material regarding this subversive government’s activities. They need to make that public and start asking questions. I’d recruit victims of this government who have been tortured and families of the people who were killed daily by the fire squads. There are thousands of testimonies rendered to the Human Rights organizations by the victims of the regime, and too few people know about them. The destabilizing activities of the Cuban dictator in the continent and beyond, and the other puppet governments that follow his disasterous tyranic model have a negative effect in the US and America’s economy. I’m sure the cuban dictator throws a party when soft (mainly democrat) presidents get elected in the US, because he can bluff them, threaten them and terrorize Latinamerica at will, but the schizophrenic tyrant knows that he can only take walks and cry in front of the embassy b/c President Bush & his team are in control, and very willing to escalate if necessary.

  11. Follow up post #11 added on February 08, 2006 by Anna

    Responding to “On Fri January 27, 2006, Dana Garrett wrote” above,

    #1 - The US is based on democratic institutions, so we and the present administration are not responsible for decisions past administrations took. The cuban tyrant is responsible for all the killings, the disgrace, the torture and the guerrilla-terrorist activity they’ve encouraged around the world during 50 years.

    #2 - The US as a nation have the right to defend themselves, specially against the sovietic-communism imperialism and the subversive terrorism we are target all the time.

    #3 - Nobody has the right to attack US possessions, like bombing our buildings and killing more than 6000 people, all innocent, including children.

    #4 - Why is that the US cannot torture terrorists when there are daily videos on the internet of US innocent citizens being decapitated for no good reason? You call torture to flushing pages of the coran down the toilet? They have been burning our flag every day they feel like it and nobody complains.

    #5 - You are talking about the phosphorus etc. If any of these countries/haters (of the US etc.), like Bin Laden, Iran, Irak, Castro, etc. had the military power the US have, the US and most of Europe had probably ceased to exist anymore.

    #6 - FYI: US bombers were required to alert VNam’s territories that were going to be bombed days in advance so innocent people were warned. Which other country wuld do that? Do you think Hussein would do that? How about BinLaden?

    Vietnam is closed case: the communists backed up by the USSR, Korea and China menaced and slaughtered thousands in the South and the US helped the victims to fight back and avoid the soviet imperialism to oppress South VN into slavery. US has the right to help their allies, and we do it in a clean way, undisclosed to the press and the world. The communists do it differently, they always pretend not to be involved in anything, everything is kept secret by terror.

    #7 - About south and center america, let’s not forget they were the communists who started it. Guerrilla and terrorism have been active in the area at least since the 50’s. Communist governments are a one-way trap. Once they get to power by force, a lifetime of oppression and bloodshed follows. Let’s look at Nicaragua, they keep killing each other, constant chaos, their economies are devastated and their people keep fighting. They didn’t want a totalitarian government in the 80’s and the US did very good helping them.

    #8 - US has a policy of helping everyone. The Us helps even their enemies! US is paying millions of $‘s to countries like Vietnam for past conflicts! Which other country does that? All the most important organizations in the world exist and function thanks to huge contributons from the US.

    #9 - Instead of blaming the US for their people’s misery, why don’t all these leaders of middle-eastern countries like Iran distribute their wealth more evenly? There’s enough money in those countries to stop the population from living in pre-fourteenth-century.

    #10 - It is not the US government responsibility to guarantee anything to any other country because no other country guarantees anything to the US. The US government responsibility lies wth the needs of the US people. If in oppresed countries people rebels, wants justice and freedom, it’s b/c they feel they desperately need it and do not have it, so it’s the oppressor government’s (like Castro’s) fault that their people don’t have freedom, justice, food, etc. When the US has economic problems we don’t blame others. Nobody helped the US when the US has had a crisis.

    #11 - The only tantrum that should be put in perspective is dictator Castro’s. He’s such a loser that after almost 50 years, the only thing he has “accomplished” is how to achieve the worst “economy” in the world and make it worse on a daily basis w/o any cause or reason. He’s such a loser that he can’t even flee the country, because he’s the most schyzo-paranoid bastard I’ve ever heard of and he’s affraid that because he’s soooo “popular” he’ll get killed. So he’s in a dead-end street he’s terrorized to leave power b/c most people in his country wants him dead for all the bad things he has done, ordered to do, encouraged and supported. He’s a rat in his own trap. He’s so miserable that he can’t even enjoy the wealth he’s stolen b/c he’s affraid. When he came into power he confiscated all US and other countries’ investments in Cuba. He stole billions. His government has been constantly attacking the US administrations, the people and everything that is American, ridiculizing us in the press every day, brainwashing children so they grow up to hate the US, etc. This is the kind of stuff communist governments do in the schools. He profoundly hates the US. Why should we have any kind or relationship with his government? If he wants to have any kind of relationship with the US, he needs to start by rembursing us all the wealth he’s stolen from the US plus interests, plus a penalty by the action of taking something that belongs to the US.

    #12 - Now about all US-haters: A lot of governments and other groups hate the US. They have some things in common: They hate the US and they envy the US, they like to live and stuy in the best US and European universities.
    All these “leaders” are a bunch of cowards. They talk about “the mother of all wars” and “sacrifice for ideals”, but neither BinLaden flought in the planes that crashed against the twin towers, nor Hussein attacked the soldiers who found him hidden under the ground. Why didn’t them immolate themselves for their cause? B/s they don’t really believe in what they preach, they are liars, they brainwash and utilize others who are stupid enough to kill themselves so these “leaders” can live better.
    Another lie they try to spread around is that they are doing all this for their religion, that they attack the US b/c in the US we’re not muslims. Well, the Soviet Union and China and Korea and the former european-communist block are not muslims, so why didn’t these people dropped a bomb in soviet Moscow? or in China? Well, these terrorists know better than that. First of all, some of these countries support(ed) terrorism in one way or another, and on the other hand, communist governments’ response would have been immediate, smashing and with no regard for any public opinion. These governments would go after whichever group or government attacks them and total annihilation would be their only objective.

  12. Follow up post #12 added on March 14, 2006 by cuban

    it’s a good idea ,i love it.it’s time that our country rise up and do something to get our fredom .i hope us is trying to find an excuse to take fidel out .fidel is so stupic is trying to close cuban eyes one more time but i think is wasting his time.that sing is the only real information that the cuban people have to know what is really happen.

  13. Follow up post #13 added on March 15, 2006 by Ralph

    The Castro’s antics,the haters of freedom share a trait of call american names
    every single day,the very good side of the american people and american record as a whole,the cowardice of the terrorists and evil-doers,the double-
    standard of Terrorism itself,that is all about I agree with Anna’s standpoints,then i give my kudos to her,B U T “total annihilation” as an only
    political goal,the picture of American are always right and its doubters are
    A L W A Y S Wrong,the lack of clarity when speaking about the american policy
    relate to Latin american,etc,etc,are issues I am not in line with,so no kudos
    for them to her.

  14. Follow up post #14 added on March 15, 2006 by Ralph

    In respect with Angola war,even though I am aware about some nasties
      misbehaviour from Castro government side,I was proud of me,myself,when
      i was in Kunene, as a medical doctor,under redcross stipulations,b/c that
      was the way to say to the bastard southafrican pro-apartheid government,
      you have not an easy way to seize Angola “.At that very moment I was not
      a cuban,I was not a doctor,I was much more than those,I was a human who
      decided lay down,if it is needed,to defend the right of other humans in need.
      No matter other issues, that was the basic one, and that was great.Freedom is to everyones,such a vital issue,that’s why i am currently living in exile here.

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