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Column 010614 Brewer

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Rogue Political Regime in Cuba is Unlikely to Change

By Jerry Brewer

Cuba continues to rival even itself by increasing, and possibly surpassing, its over 50 year Castro brother’s repressive security stranglehold on the majority of its citizens.  The tired and disastrous Communist state apparatus continues to slowly crawl along, virtually denying even basic human rights that have been awaited for decades by the Cuban people.  

Fidel Castro led Cuba from 1959 until 2008, an island nation that today is estimated to have a population of slightly over 11 million people.

During his choke hold domination, Castro exhibited his regime’s violent propensities early as Cuba became a major contributor to wars in the Caribbean, Central America and elsewhere.  Targeting Africa, he sent tens of thousands of troops to support Soviet-involved wars in Africa, particularly in Angola.

Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul, who now serves as Cuba’s national leader, continue their anti-U.S. agendas and rhetoric as they maintain and establish close relationships with left-leaning and other anti-U.S. government leaders. The Castro brothers openly embraced the bloody regimes of the late Saddam Hussein of Iraq; Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi; and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Add to these Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and the leaders of North Korea, China, Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, among others.

What does all of this mean, and what do we say to those who say the cold war is over and this is old news?  It has been said that U.S. policy has likely delayed rather than hastened Cuban democracy, and held back Cuba’s socioeconomic abilities.  Some pro-Castro pundits claim that gradual and limited shifts, allowances and improvements for the Cuban people are evident on the island.  And there are those who rationalize that Cuba is too poor to be a threat to anyone.

Reality -- versus rose-colored views of Cuba, its citizens, government and rogue security services, factually tell quite a different story.

The Castro brothers have not discarded their bloody revolutionary communist and socialist ideology over the last 50-plus years of iron fisted rule.

The Cuban government and the Castro security apparatus are frequently accused today of tremendous human rights abuses that involve beatings and torture to innocents. These acts include oppression, arbitrary imprisonment, intimidation, harassment and violence against women. Cubans throughout the island have a limited voice to this very day. Some are able to blog or share news and incidents of brutality with others throughout the world via electronic mail, albeit often highly censored. The Twitter network is often saturated by “breaking” news of incidents of arrests of notables, descriptions of perceived kidnappings by security officials, beatings, torture, and unfair trials.

Human Rights Watch alleges the government "represses nearly all forms of political dissent," and that "Cubans are systematically denied basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law.” No political party is permitted to nominate candidates or campaign on the island.

In the 1990s, Human Rights Watch reported that Cuba's extensive prison system, one of the largest in Latin America, consisted of 40 maximum-security prisons, 30 minimum-security prisons, and over 200 work camps. According to Human Rights Watch, political prisoners, along with the rest of Cuba's prison population, are confined to jails with substandard and unhealthy conditions.

As far back as 2003, the European Union accused the Cuban government of "continuing flagrant violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms."  And within the United Nations Human Rights Council, Cuban members continue to receive criticism.

In 2008 Cuba had the second-highest number of imprisoned journalists of any nation, behind only the People's Republic of China, this according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Gladys Bensimon, an award winning multilingual producer, director and president of HBR productions near New York City, has spent much of her career exposing dictators and associated human rights violators.  One of her most recent films was "Celebrating Life in Union," a factual docudrama narrated by the famed Cuban American actor Andy Garcia.

The film and powerfully courageous story of surviving ex-Cuban political prisoners is told through their memories of imprisonment, physical and mental torture, and death by firing squads under the tyrannical and oppressive Castro regime.

Cuba continues to maintain and aggressively fund its state intelligence service, the Dirección de Inteligencia (DI).  DI agents are especially active in Venezuela, and they are found in and around the U.S. and much of Latin America, with a large hub in Mexico City. Their recent espionage activities within the U.S. have been widely and factually documented.

Cooperative engagement with Cuba’s totalitarian regime, curbing sanctions against Cuba, as well as Cuba’s token and claimed concessions promulgated by the world media will not bring about this regime’s demise. Chief of State Raul Castro recently warned Cubans not to waste their time hoping to build wealth (as he is not about to let that happen).

No one is responsible for the failed Cuban revolution of the Castros’ except for Fidel, Raul, and their loyal and close minions. It remains a weak, corrupt, bankrupt, and miserable Communist party and revolution, hurting and oppressing the Cuban homeland.


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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