Archive for March, 2011

For Lenny by Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada

March 26, 2011

On the afternoon of March 23rd, the same day he would have turned 78 years of
age, Leonard Wineglass’s heart ceased to beat.

He had been a victim of a cruel illness and since January of this year he had
entered into a critical and especially painful stage of health, despite this, he
did not distance himself for an instant from his work. During the last months of
life, heroically combating both the illness and physical pain he dedicated
himself with body and soul to the preparation and presentation of the habeas
Corpus in favor of Gerardo Hernandez and Antonio Guerrero, without neglecting
the work on behalf of other comrades.

Shortly before entering the hospital where he was to undergo surgery, he took
the final steps in the appeals process of Gerardo and Antonio and delegated to
other colleagues what they should do while he was undergoing treatment. Only
then did he accept the ordeal of taking care of himself.

He was always like that. In his youth he began working in the law offices of
Victor Rabinowitz and Leonard Boudin, where he fought countless legal battles in
favor of workers unions, civil liberties and justice in the United States. With
his brilliant defense in 1968 of the Chicago 8, Lenny began an endless and
admirable career as a defense attorney representing Jane Fonda, Daniel Ellsberg
and the Pentagon Papers, Angela Davis, Mumia Abu Jamal, Amy Carter, Kathy Boudin
and many more to include the Cuban Five and more recently collaborating with the
defense team of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. The history of the
struggles of the American people can not be written without mentioning on every
page, the name Leonard Weinglass.

Now and always we shall owe him our homage and gratitude.

Losing Lenny is a great blow to Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René. He
had been their best and most relentless defender, he dedicated all of his
energies and his talent to their cause, and for them he fought to the end in the
midsts of pain and agony, to his last breath.

The struggle for the freedom of the Cuban Five must continue, now under even
harder circumstances, without Lenny. We must all multiply our commitment untill
our brothers are free. We must do so without intermission or rest. It is the
least we can promise this resolute, self sacrificial and lucid man, who will for
ever be our beloved comrade Leonard Weinglass.

Messages of Cuban Five for Leni

March 25, 2011

PARA WEINGLASS DE RAMON LABAÑINO    

 

Con gran dolor recibimos la triste noticia del fallecimiento de nuestro querido Leonard Weinglass.

Aquellos que tuvieron el honor de reunirse con él, conservaremos para siempre en nuestras mentes y corazones  su ejemplo de dignidad, inteligencia y de excelente ser humanoñ

 

Weinglass no fue solamente nuestro abogado en esta lucha por la justicia y la libertad, fue un verdadero hermano y amigo, y un gran maestro en todos los aspectos de la vida.

  

Les hacemos llegar nuestras más profundas condolencias a su familia y amigos en todo el mundo.

La mejor manera de honrarlo es seguir su senda, nos mantendremos luchando hasta la victoria final!!!

 

El corazón de los Cinco, de nuestras familias y del pueblo de Cuba está con este hermano inolvidable.

 

Cinco abrazos”

ANTONIO
GERARDO
RENE
FERNANDO
RAMON.        
                   MARZO 24, 2011.
                   FCI JESUP, GEORGIA.

 

 

 

WITH GREAT PAIN WE RECEIVED THE SAD NEWS ABOUT THE DEPARTURE OF OUR DEAR LEONARD WEINGLASS.

THOSE WHO HAD THE HONOR OF MEETING HIM, WILL KEEP HIS EXAMPLE OF DIGNITY, INTELLIGENCE AND EXCELLENT HUMAN BEING, IN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS FOR EVER.

WEINGLASS WAS NOT ONLY OUR COUNSEL IN THIS FIGHT FOR JUSTICE AND FREEDOM, HE WAS A REAL BORTHER AND FRIEND, AND A GREAT TEACHER IN EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE.

WE EXTEND OUR DEEPLEST CONDOLENCES TO HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS ALL OVER THE WORLD.
THE BEST WAY TO HONOR HIM IS TO FOLLOW HIS PATH, WE WILL KEEP ON FIGHTING TIL THE FINAL VICTORY!!!

THE HEART OF THE CUBAN FIVE, OUR FAMILIES AND THE CUBAN PEOPLE IS WITH THIS UNFORGETABLE BROTHER!!!
“FIVE HUGS”,

ANTONIO
GERARDO
RENE
FERNANDO
RAMON.        
                   MARCH 24TH, 2011.
                   FCI JESUP, GEORGIA.

UNA IRREPARABLE PERDIDA

March 24, 2011

Queridos amigos:

Ayer en la noche fallecio nuestro abogado y querido amigo Leonard Weinglass. La noticia me llego esta man~ana a traves de varios mensajes de amigos y mis familiares.

Es una de esas ocasiones en que no hay palabras para expresar el profundo dolor que se siente por la perdida de un ser tan entran~able, compan~ero de lucha.

Nada podia hacer que nos prepararamos para este momento. Tal como el propio Len me ensen~o muchas veces, siempre mi pensamiento fue de una esperanza, una esperanza en que venceria tan repentina enfermedad.

 

Hoy he evocado muchos momentos compartidos con el.

Uno de ellos, aquel dia de mi resentencia en la Corte de Miami, donde Weinglass esperaba que todo fuera una cuestion de tramite y que yo lograra la menor sentencia posible, por la cual habia trabajado sin descanso. Todos conocemos al final que sucedio. Pero hubo un momento muy critico, cuando la Jueza increpo a la fiscal sobre las cosas que ella habia argumentado para predirme 8 an~os antes la sentencia de vida que se me impuso en el 2001. Yo que estaba al lado de Len pude ver su reaccion de molestia y asombro, y me miro exclamandome: Que es esto? Y yo le dije: No se preocupe, digale todo lo que quiera, yo confio plenamente en Usted. Y Len encontro las palabras precisas, porque en su corazon solo se albergaba la fuerza de la justicia y la pureza de la verdad.

 

Estamos en medio de lo que se considera es nuestro ultimo recurso legal, el habeas corpus. Con una voluntad de acero Len escribio en estos duros dias en cama un memorandun que fortalece nuestros irrebatibles argumentos. Es dificil pensar que ya no estara fisicamente entre nosotros, pero Len nos estara acompan~ando por siempre. Su trabajo y su ejemplo serviran en todo momento de guia y estimulo para todos los abogados que nos seguiran defendiendo dignamente y para todos los amigos que conforman la indetenible solidaridad que nos llevara de regreso a casa.

 

Pensar en Weinglass me conduce a Marti.

“La muerte no es verdad cuando se ha cumplido bien la obra de la vida…”

“Hasta muertos, dan ciertos hombres luz de aurora”.

 

Cinco abrazos.

!Venceremos!

Tony

FCI Florence

24 de marzo de 2011

 

IN MEMORY OF LEONARD WEINGLASS BY GERARDO HERNANDEZ

March 24, 2011

lchirino |

South Journal–Gerardo Hernandez, one of the five Cubans imprisoned in US jails since 1998, wrote some of his impressions about outstanding US lawyer Leonard Weinglass, who passed away March 23 inNew York. Weinglass was active as part of the defense team of the Cuban Five. We bring you the English version of this article as published on the website of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five:

In memory of Leonard Weinglass

Not that long ago Len came to visit me and we worked for several hours preparing

for the next step of my appeal. I noticed at the time that he was tired. I was

worried with his advanced age that he was driving alone after a long trip from New

York. The weather was bad and the roads from the airport up to Victorville wind

through the mountains surrounding the high desert. I mentioned my concern to him

but he did not pay it any attention. That was the way he was, nothing stopped him.

When we would meet the same thing would always happen. At some point in our conversation,

while listening to him talk, my mind would separate from his words and I would focus

on the person. I would realize that here is this great man, the tremendous lawyer,

the legendary fighter for justice, right here in front of me. I told him that I

had seen images of him in documentaries on TV dedicating himself to important legal

cases that he had participated in from a very young age. With pride I would tell

people watching, “that is the lawyer of the Five”. It did not matter how much I

read or heard about Len I knew through his humility and modesty that there was

a lot I still had to discover about this man who had dedicated his life to his profession.

Len always insisted that our case, like the others that he had dedicated lots of

his time to, was essentially a political one. He cautioned us from the start that

this struggle would be long and difficult. His experience with the “system” had

taught him that. For our part, beyond the professional relationship we had, we

always thought of him as one compañero in the battle for justice.

Len leaves us at an important moment, but he leaves us prepared to carry on the

path. On more than one occasion he expressed his admiration and respect for the

other lawyers on our legal team, and I think that he has left confident that our

case is in good hands.

Like other people, who during these years have accompanied us in our struggle to

make justice prevail, he will not be with us to see the inevitable triumph. We

are confident that day will arrive and to Len, and to all the others, we will pay

them a well deserved tribute in our homeland.

On behalf of the Cuban Five, and our families, and from the millions of Cubans,

and brothers and sisters from all over the world who trusted and admired him, we

send our most sincere condolences to Len’s family and friends.

Leonard Weinglass, Presente!

Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo

USP Victorville, California

March 23, 2011

Also available in: Spanish

More information at: US Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Watch a short video to listen to Leonard speak ?v=NCoT4Vdca1A?v=NCoT4Vdca1A,

In Memory of Leonard Weinglass

March 24, 2011

 

 
Logo

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5  

 

In Memory of Leonard Weinglass 

  
Len y Gerardo

 

 

 

In memory of Leonard Weinglass.

Not that long ago Len came to visit me and we worked for several hours preparing for the next step of my appeal. I noticed at the time that he was tired. I was worried with his advanced age that he was driving alone after a long trip from New York. The weather was bad and the roads from the airport up to Victorville wind through the mountains surrounding the high desert.  I mentioned my concern to him but he did not pay it any attention. That was the way he was, nothing stopped him. 

When we would meet the same thing would always happen. At some point in our conversation, while listening to him talk, my mind would separate from his words and I would focus on the person. I would realize that here is this great man, the tremendous lawyer, the legendary fighter for justice, right here in front of me. I told him that I had seen images of him in documentaries on TV dedicating himself to important legal cases that he had participated in from a very young age. With pride I would tell people watching, “that is the lawyer of the Five”. It did not matter how much I read or heard about Len I knew through his humility and modesty that there was a lot I still had to discover about this man who had dedicated his life to his profession.

Len always insisted that our case, like the others that he had dedicated lots of his time to, was essentially a political one. He cautioned us from the start that this struggle would be long and difficult.  His experience with the “system” had taught him that. For our part, beyond the professional relationship we had, we always thought of him as one compañero in the battle for justice.  

Len leaves us at an important moment, but he leaves us prepared to carry on the path. On more than one occasion he expressed his admiration and respect for the other lawyers on our legal team, and I think that he has left confident that our case is in good hands. 

Like other people, who during these years have accompanied us in our struggle to make justice prevail, he will not be with us to see the inevitable triumph. We are confident that day will arrive and to Len, and to all the others, we will pay them a well deserved tribute in our homeland. 

On behalf of the Cuban Five, and our families, and from the millions of Cubans, and brothers and sisters from all over the world who trusted and admired him, we send our most sincere condolences to Len’s family and friends.

 

Leonard Weinglass, Presente!

 

 

Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo

USP Victorville, California

March 23, 2011

 

  

 

 

 Alarcon y LenTony y Len

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

Join Our Mailing List 

For updated information about the case visit: www.thecuban5.org

 

 

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 | P.O. Box 22455 | Oakland | CA | 94609

Latest Cuban Five Appeals

March 23, 2011
 
“Gerardo Hernández – for the first time in his own words – gives irrefutable evidence of his innocence.” – Attorney Richard Klugh
There was “a distinct, fundamental violation of the premises of a fair trial where the government secretly paid highly influential journalists.” – from the Memorandum of Antonio Guerrero

Gerardo affidavit (pdf)Antonio memorandum (pdf)
Gerardo affidavit (html, in English and Spanish)
Antonio memorandum (html in English, with a summary in Spanish)

FOIA Information about paid journalists

Read more about the press conference  :  http://www.freethefive.org/,

USA: IT at the Service of Its Cyberwar

March 22, 2011

Havana, Mar 22 (Prensa Latina) New U.S. information and communications technology (ICT) at the service of its cyberwar was the subject of the Monday night Cuban television series “Las razones de Cuba” (Cuba´s Reasons).

  Since the late 1990s, the United States began to develop studies on how to use the Internet and computers for warfare, said Carlos del Porto, an expert with the Computerization Office of the Cuban Ministry of Informatics and Communication.

Cyberwar is a concept in which information tools are used against the servers that control, for example, the aircrafts at an air base.

This was seen in Iraq during the first Persian Gulf War of 1990 and 1991, when printers purchased by the Iraqi government were subjected to a malicious program.

It was also revealed that a few days before George W. Bush´s inauguration in 2001, representatives of U.S. spy agencies such as CIA Director George Tenet stated that Cuba represented an asymmetric threat for U.S. national security.

It was claimed that Cuba had the capacity to unleash cyber attacks, but in June 1995, the U.S. National Defense University graduated its first 16 experts in information warfare. They were trained to use the benefits of communication technology as a war scenario.

The footage broadcast on the Monday night program showed how they were preparing new pretexts and spaces of confrontation to slander the Cuban Revolution and facilitate eventual military aggression against the island.

In 2009, this irregular warfare doctrine became official and the Pentagon´s Cyber Command was created, by approval of U.S. President Barack Obama.

That especial force received a budget of almost 90 billion USD in 2010. Its objective is to direct operations and defend specific information networks of the Pentagon, and to be ready to direct any kind of military operation in cyberspace in all domains.

http://razonesdecuba.cubadebate.cu/noticias/eeuu-destina-millones-para-la-ciberguerra-contra-cuba-video/,

Important Developments in Cuban Five Appeals

March 21, 2011
Press Conference to Discuss
Important Developments in Cuban Five Appeals

“Gerardo Hernández – for the first time in his own words – gives irrefutable evidence of his innocence.”
                                        – Attorney Richard Klugh

There was “a distinct, fundamental violation of the premises of a fair trial where the government secretly paid highly influential journalists.”
     – from the Memorandum of Antonio Guerrero

Two of the Cuban Five, Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernández, have just filed important legal briefs in their “habeas corpus” appeals, their final legal opportunity to obtain a new trial and overturn their unjust convictions.

On Tuesday, March 22, at 12 noon (Eastern), the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five will conduct a call-in press conference at which lawyers involved with the appeals and others involved with the case will speak. (See below for the call-in information, and links to the court documents).

Hernández’s affidavit will be filed today, March 21. Hernández, who is serving life without parole for the shootdown of two planes from the Brothers to the Rescue organization — in which he had no role — explains for the first time, in his own words, his complete innocence.

In the affidavit, Hernández explains to the District Court judge Joan Lenard, that had he known he could have had a separate trial on the ‘murder conspiracy’ charge, he would have testified on his own behalf. Hernandez lists in details the facts of his innocence, which he was unable to present at trial. Cuban Five attorney Richard Klugh will speak to these issues in the Conference and answer questions regarding same.

The press conference will discuss “compelling and irrefutable facts that we believe would exonerate Gerardo Hernández completely,” said Richard Klugh.

Gloria La Riva of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five on the importance of Hernandez’s affidavit beyond the legal process: “It is essential that the public be made aware of it as well, including the thousands of active supporters of the Five around the world, and important political figures and the media. Most importantly, we demand that the Obama administration immediately free the Cuban Five.”

Guerrero’s appeal, as well as that of Hernández and the upcoming appeal of Ramón Labañino, focuses on newly uncovered evidence of extensive payments from the U.S. government to Miami journalists covering the trial of the Five, evidence which was uncovered in part through Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five.

Speakers
Speaking at the press conference, and available for questions from the media, will be:

  • Richard Klugh, Miami attorney, one of the Cuban Five’s legal team
  • John Nichols, Professor of Communications (ret.) at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, an expert witness before Congress on the subject of TV and Radio Marti
  • Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, atty. with the Partnership for Civil Justice who helped uncover government payments to Miami journalists
  • Andrés Gómez of the Alianza Martiana in Miami
  • Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Call-in details:

Host: Gloria La Riva
Time: 12:00 PM Eastern, Tuesday, Mar. 22 (please call 5 minutes prior)
Phone #: 1 (847) 413-2425
Code: 6823 731#

  •  Hernández affidavit (available Mon. after submission to the court)
  •  Guerrero memorandum
  • Extended bios of speakers
  • FOIA Documents
  •  

    Or call: 415-312-6042

    Free the Cuban Five Now!
    Allow the families’ visits!
    Grant entry visas to
    Adriana Pérez and Olga Salanueva!

    The US-American aggression against Cuba

    March 19, 2011
     
    From Ballooning to Twittering: Same Method, Assumptions and Purpose But Different Technology

     

       
    Nelson Valdés

     

    The United States government in its public declarations claims that the Cuban government is not popular and has never been. It has also asserted that the Cuban people lack enough information. These are not recent claims; they go back to January 1959. In private communications, however, the United States has recognized – at times – that the Cuban government has had widespread support. However, any support from the Cuban people is assumed not to be the result of revolutionary policies but the consequence of ignorance. Meanwhile, the United States tries, by all possible means, to foster and organize an opposition within the island. And when there is none, to manufacture it. This has a long history as well.

    Below the reader will find a document that is not unique when it comes to US policy toward the Cuban government.
     
    The document shows one of the first attempts at “informing the Cuban people”. The effort was idiotic then, as similar efforts continue to the present. In early 1960s, the United States had numerous clandestine radio stations broadcasting into the island. Radio Swan was the first – begun on May 17, 1960 [on the first anniversary of the Cuban Agrarian Reform Law] from a small island off Honduras. The station was set up, its programs, personnel, and equipment were all paid for by the CIA. The station would be recognized by Americans today because it was an early precursor of the hate-radio programs that can now be found all over the United States. [1]

     

    Radio Swan used to broadcast from an island off the Honduras coast

     
    Although it tried to give the appearance that it was a private effort by Cuban exiles, in fact, US commercial products were advertised, free of charge. There were dozens of other shortwave and medium range stations doing the same. But not everyone had a shortwave in Cuba. So the US government came up with other efforts.
     
    Thus, the invention of operation counterrevolutionary balloons!
     
    What is really important about the document below is what it reveals about the implicit and explicit guidelines that are inherent features of US operations against the island:
     
    – First, hide the fact that it is a US sponsored and organized clandestine operation that has the intention of organizing an opposition and overthrowing the Cuban government.
     
    – Second, use Cuban exiles and others, as if to show that this is an effort by others, independent of the United States government.
     
    – Third, make sure that the Cubans involved show no independence at all.
     
    – Fourth, try to convey to the world that this is an independent operation by Cubans who seek to get information into the hands of ill-informed Cubans on the island.
     
    -Fifth, depend on private contractors to do some of the work: contract the vessel, contract the balloon companies, contract technical studies, produce a set of messages and then use Cubans to cover your tracks.
     
    Sound familiar?
     
    The technology and the means have changed, but the rest continues to be the same. Thus, US policy on Cuba has gone from helium balloons to Twitter, BGANs, et al. Of course, the private contracting also continues. It is accompanied by mad schemes, hubris and a disregard for international law.
     
    *       *       *
     
     
    SUBJECT: Operation MONGOOSE – Propaganda Balloon Operations Plan
    Memo to Brig. Gen. Lansdale, dated 17 September 1962
    Subject: Request for Approval to Establish a Propaganda Balloon Delivery Capability
     
    A.       MISSION
     
    To establish a seaborne propaganda balloon launching facility for the infiltration of anti-CASTRO, anti-Soviet propaganda into Cuba.
     
    B.       METHOD
     
    1. Helium-inflated balloons will be launched at night from a foreign Flag ship in international waters at least two miles off the coast of Cuba. The ship will avoid the use of United States ports to the extent practicable and will particularly avoid the Miami area. The ship will be chartered by a Cuban exile sponsor respected by and politically acceptable to a broad segment of the Cuban exile community. He will also have the private financial means to establish the facility without causing questions in the exile community as to how the funds were raised. He will be well known to all anti-CASTRO groups and above partisan politics. The Agency has selected a candidate who meets the above particulars. Although he has not yet been approached to undertake such an operation, he has in the past Indicated a willingness to collaborate with the United States in support of anti-CASTRO activities. After the proposal is accepted by the sponsor, arrangements will be made for the sponsor to charter the proper type of vessel. He will also be placed in contact with a cleared firm that specializes in balloon technology. A commercial contract will then be drawn between the firm and the sponsor in which the firm agrees for a specified fee to provide and install balloon launching equipment on the ship, and train the members of the crew and other personnel in balloon launching techniques. In addition, the firm will agree to provide the balloons, helium and others supplies on a regular basis to the sponsor. For the secure and efficient conduct of the operation, the sponsor will deal only with the one cleared commercial firm. All supplies required for the operation are commercially available. The helium which is produced at a plant [BLACKED OUT] will be loaded on the vessel in Galveston, Texas or some other Gulf port. The legal aspects involved in loading helium on board of a foreign flag ship in a US port are being studied by the Legal Counsel’s office and will be taken into consideration when the final arrangements are formalized.

     

    Radio Free Europe propaganda drop via balloons, from the same period

     
    2. The Cuban sponsor either personally or through his delegate will establish contact with all politically acceptable anti-CASTRO Cuban exile groups believed to have some assets or following in Cuba and offer the facility for their use. Within the above framework, priority shall be accorded the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC). In order to avoid contributing to division within the CRC, the means of communication shall be made available to the CRC as an entity and not to any of its components individually, except in unusual cases which will be agreed upon at the working level.
     
    3. The sponsor will set certain guidelines (provided by the Agency) which must be met by the contributing groups if their propaganda is to be delivered by balloon. Upon receipt of the propaganda, provided it meets the specified guidelines, the sponsor will assume responsibility for its delivery.
     
    Every effort will be made by the Agency to insure that the guidelines are met, but it may not be possible in view of the extent of Cuban exile participation.
     
    a. The following themes will be emphasized:
     
    (1)      Return of the Revolution to its original acceptable aims.
    (2)      The betrayal of the Revolution by CASTRO and the Communists.
    (3)      Expose the contradictions between promises and performance.
    (4)      The takeover of Cuba by Soviet Bloc Communists.
    (5)      Appeal to the masses to cooperate with the resistance.
    (6)      Call upon the population to commit specific acts of administrative harassment, passive resistance and simple sabotage to thwart the actions of the Communist regime and generally promote the “gusano libre** {free worm) symbol, which has become synonymous with resistance to the CASTRO regime.
     
    b. Within the stated limitations, the following types of propaganda will be rejected:
     
    <1> Propaganda which attempts to interpret U. S. policy regarding the liberation of Cuba or a specific Latin American country’s policy , regarding the liberation of Cuba.
     
    <2> Propaganda which is directed at or which will contribute to the petulant quarreling amongst or between Cuban exile or resistance groups.
     
    As far as practicable, the propaganda will be prepared upon the initiative of the Cuban exile groups. If necessary to keep the propaganda offensive moving, the Agency will through its contacts with exile groups and cleared Cuban exiles, assist the offensive by providing timely ideas, themes, news items and technical assistance. Propaganda may also be prepared for Soviet and other Bloc personnel stationed in Cuba.
     
    4. The Cuban sponsor and perhaps a person designated by him will be the only non-American in direct contact with the agency on this project. The Cuban sponsor will be responsible for chartering a foreign flag vessel with the necessary crew to carry out the operation. The ship’s basic crew will be augmented by a meteorologist, two radio operators, and one radar tracker.
     
    The Agency will assist the sponsor to obtain the ship, crew and specialists. The training necessary for the conduct of the operation will be provided by a cleared commercial firm which specializes in balloon technology. Contact will be maintained by an Agency official who will be in direct contact with the Cuban sponsor or his representative. The Cuban sponsor and his representative will be the only persons witting of U.S. Government interest.
     
    C. TECHNICAL CAPABILITY
     
    Technical studies have been made which confirm the feasibility of balloon operations in this area. A launching vessel would cruise at night in a westerly direction approximately ten miles off the northern coast of the country. The balloons would be carried over Cuba by the low altitude easterly trade winds which prevail in that area. Meteorological studies indicate that the easterly trade winds in the Caribbean are among the most constant of any area in the world. Balloons can be launched at the rate of twenty per hour per station with a four pound pay load per balloon. Four stations will afford a launching capability of eighty balloons per hour. As presently planned the target for at least the first launching is the Matanzas-Havana area.
     
    Depending on the type of paper used as well as the format and size of the leaflets, it is estimated that each balloon can deliver on target a payload of between 2,000 and 4,000 copies of a given leaflet. Assuming two balloon launching operations per month and the release of approximate 500 balloons per operation, it is estimated that between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 leaflets can be dropped over Cuban targets each month. In addition, a wide variety of novelty Items such as “gusano libre” pins, toy balloons in the shape of the “gusano libre”, small plastic phonograph records, decals, stickers, etc. are readily available. The number of these which can be delivered on target during a launching operation will, of course, depend upon the weight and size of such items.
     
    D. COSTS AND LEAD TIME
     
    It will cost approximately $50,000 to establish the balloon launching capability. This includes the purchase of launching, communications, and meteorological equipment and the training of personnel to conduct these operations. It will take a minimum of two months to establish an operational capability. Subsequently, it will cost $22,000 per month for the first six month period to launch 1,000 balloons per month exclusive of the propaganda material to be delivered. Each balloon ready for launching, including the balloon itself, timer, ballast and helium, but exclusive of the propaganda material to be delivered, costs approximately $15.50. The one-time cost of outfitting of the chartered vessel is estimated at approximately 310,000. The recurring monthly costs for operation of a type of vessel as will be required for this operation amounts to approximately $11,000.
     
    E. RISKS AND SECURITY EVALUATION
     
    Regardless of the launching facility used or the attribution of sponsorship, charges of U. S. involvement, tacit approval, or outright sponsorship will undoubtedly be generated. It is possible, particularly if the propaganda balloon missions have the desired impact in Cuba, that the Government of Cuba will react strongly and bring charges against the U.S. before the United Nations, or other regional and international forums. Judging from past experience with Communist reactions in other areas of the world, the Cubans will probably accuse the United States of harboring and abetting criminals who violate Cuban air space with propaganda balloons causing a menace to aviation, burning cane fields, injuring children, and damaging buildings and homes. It is the view of the Operations Group (MONGOOSE) that these charges can be handled.
     
    To reinforce the cover and weaken the anticipated Cuban Government’s charges after the first balloon operation, the sponsor will be urged to hold a press conference or press interview outlining his effort to help the anti-CASTRO cause and pointing out the technical features of the operation which renders the operation relatively harmless to individuals or property.
     
    * I would like to thank Saul Landau, Ned Sublette and John Kirk for their useful comments.
     

    [1] Ned Sublette brought this similarity to my attention.


    Courtesy of Nelson Valdés (personal communication)
    Publication date of original article: 18/03/2011
    URL of this page: http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=4285

     

    Baptism Ceremony in France dedicated to The Cuban Five

    March 16, 2011

    ( acn) The singular republican baptism of a baby boy in the French commune of
    Carnoules, dedicated to the five Cuban heroes incarcerated in the United States for over 12
    years now, was highlighted by the local newspaper La Marsellesa.
      The name of the baby is Leandro, and he’s the son of Eric Epitalon, president of the
    France-Cuba Friendship Association of Var. The ceremony was presided over by Henri Ceze,
    communist mayor of Carnoules, in the department of Var, the Prensa Latina news agency
    reported.
      The morning paper underlined that the five Cubans are called Antonio Guerrero, Fernando
    Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez, and that they were unfairly
    sentenced in the United States for warning about terrorist actions against Cuba.
      Leandro has other godfathers, clarified mayor Ceze in reference to The Five, and stressed
    that their absence was because they are in prison, where they have shown great courage, the
    reason for which they have received –he said- the acknowledgement and the respect of millions
    of progressive people from around the world.
      La Marsellesa reported the participation of Andre Minier, president of the France-Cuba
    organization of solidarity; the head of the same group in the French Basque Country; and of
    Ana Maria Chongo, Cuba’s consul in that European nation, and reproduced the speeches
    delivered by each of them.
      The France-Cuba Friendship Association, about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of
    relations with the Cuban Revolution, has branches spread throughout France.
       In June, the head of the Europe department of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the
    Peoples (ICAP), Holmedo Perez, pointed out that there’s a vigorous reaction in the French
    solidarity-with-Cuba groups against the persistence of Washington’s blockade of the island
    and in favor of the release of the five patriots unfairly incarcerated.


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