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Column 020413 Brewer

Monday, February 4, 2013

Business as Usual in Cuba Guards Hugo Chavez and Aids Castro

By Jerry Brewer

At the Sixth Summit of the Americas in April 2012, in Cartagena, Colombia, the moniker “Connecting the Americas” that was created as its theme appears to remain somewhat fragmented with the oppressed island of Cuba.


Perhaps one issue was to be the denial and continued exclusion of Cuba from Organization of American States (OAS) sponsored meetings, "including the previous five Summits of the Americas."


The U.S. and Canada continue to staunchly oppose Cuba's participation in OAS activities, and they continue to support and maintain the U.S. embargo against Cuba.


Previously, as an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama cited his support for ending the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Recently, U.S. President Barack Obama said the government of Cuba “has shown no interest in changing their relationship with the United States, nor any willingness to respect the democratic human rights of the Cuban people,” or a basic structure of government for the Cuban people that is stable and secure.


Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has previously stated that “… we can't turn a blind eye to the fact that Cuba is a communist nation, and we want to see progress on freedom, democracy and human rights, as well as on economic matters.”


It is abundantly clear that current and former Cuban citizens of the world continue to speak out against the Castro regime, citing executions, torture and an oppression that has held and degraded the Cuban homeland since Fidel Castro came to power with his revolution in 1959.


As leftist leaders, such as the currently silent President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, claim a devotion, emulating and glorifying Castro's revolution as their own, the Castro brother's tenure with their dictatorial lack of humane leadership and ruin of the Cuban homeland remains constant world chatter by those that live and have lived the nightmare.


And now, in their midst the Castro's have Hugo Chavez recuperating  -- assuming he is really alive -- anew from cancer surgery, surrounded by an air of secrecy except for a few statements by followers and occasional brief (and likely manipulated) press comments.  This as the Cuban government goes about business as usual.


Since Hugo Chavez’s last surgery took place in Havana, Cuba, there has not been a single official (or certified) photograph posted, this with a world media’s insatiable hunger for information on his condition. There has not been a single sound bite of audio or video released. This is certainly odd given the once boisterous and pompous nature of Chavez who is known to control the media airwaves in Venezuela with hours of his speeches, or take every opportunity to get in front of the world cameras to denounce U.S. polices and insult its leaders. 


Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced that, “he (Chavez) gave us his approval to keep the people informed always, always with the truth, however harsh it could be."


The truth is that to this very day there has been little said about the true diagnosis of Chavez’s illness since June 2011, other than it is “believed” to be a cancer of the pelvic region.  Despite very few accounts of other leftist leaders in Cuba and South America, announcing they have seen him alive or spoken with him, there are those that believe he has died or remains in a coma. Albeit, some print media have announced that they have been told that he is “getting well.”


There is no doubt that the Cuban government, at the highest levels, is in total control of all issues relating to Chavez’s true condition, as well as respecting the wishes of Chavez as to his mandate for actions on Venezuelan soil in his absence or in case of his demise. The Castro regime would have a lot to lose without proper safeguards of their Venezuelan financial inroads with Chavez.


How do we know this with the intense secrecy exhibited by the Castro regime?  The Cuban military is continuing to grow on Venezuelan soil, with numbers now estimated at more than 5,000 infantrymen, high ranking officers, and intelligence and counterintelligence operatives. Battalions have been strategically placed throughout key locations, and it is believed they are being led by General Leonardo Ramon Andollo Valdes, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba.


Castro's hatred for the U.S. has never waned. His support of terror and revolutionary anti-U.S. groups throughout the world, as well as his unwillingness to change those practices, is clearly demonstrated by Cuba’s closest allies today that include Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, and Russia.


Cuba's state-dominated economy (as well as Chavez’s rule in Venezuela) has been often documented as unproductive, inefficient, and riddled with mismanagement and corruption.  As well, a strong case is made that Cuba's failed economy, and the intense suffering of the oppressed Cuban people, is not the result of the U.S. embargo "but of a failed economy dominated by Castro and his communist military elite for over 47 years."


As secrecy abounds between close leaders of Venezuela and Cuba, the previously unthinkable has occurred.  At the recent meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, Cuban President Raul Castro assumed the presidency over 33 sovereign countries in the Americas that represent roughly 600 million people.  (Castro remarked, “Don’t worry, it will only be one year.”)


CELAC’S coalition professes to defend democracies, as well as the founding document that was signed by member countries in Mexico in 2010. However the election of a military despot as president for even a year is indeed suspect.



Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern Virginia.  His website is located at

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