[Tue 11 Sep, 16:37]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
I wonder - (20 replies)

what Castro thinks about the events in the USA today.


[Tue 11 Sep, 18:47]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
1. Castro on Today's Events

If you can read Spanish go to The Cuban government catagorically condemned and rejected the terrorist attacks on the United States, offered condolences to those who lost loved ones and even offered to allow international flights to the US which were diverted to land in Cuba. The US Congress is on the verge of repealing the travel ban and possibly relaxing the embargo. Castro is not stupid so why would he endorse something as truly horrible as what happened today in New York and Washington. The quotes in Granma by the way were from Felipe Perez Roque.


[Tue 11 Sep, 20:42]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
2. ???

Do you not have any thoughts of your own? This question takes the prize!

#1 has put it very clearly, however, I think there is a genuine concern for those who must personally live with this tragedy.

peace everyone!


[Tue 11 Sep, 20:44]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
3. US citizens visiting Cuba

US citizens who were using Canada as a departure and arrival port for Cuba may find greater scrutiny by both US and Canadian customs officials. The once peaceful border will never be the same.


[Tue 11 Sep, 21:02]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
4. See


[Wed 12 Sep, 03:11]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
5. OP here

Thanks #1.
#2 yes I do have oppionions of my own. My mothers family is African American and I visit the states every year. I will however keep my thoughts to myself.
The question is a genuine quiery as I also visit Cuba every year and have seen the Anti American feeling from the Elian Gonzales and so on. I just wondered how Castro felt about the whole thing.


[Wed 12 Sep, 08:20]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
6. hypocrisy?

The US (Bush) condemns terrorism, while supporting it.

Aplha66, Directorio, Hermanos etc. are all quasi-terrorist groups. Many (all?) trained and funded by the US government, there's forty years of history.

Remember Possada Carriles, Orlando Bosch, anyone?


[Wed 12 Sep, 10:26]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
7. Traveling to Cuba

the irony, eh? Castro has always touted himself as morally better than the US that tries to kills him. Thus, Elian isn't paraded around like a political trophy as he promised (and as the Guzanos were doing).

BUT, as someone noticed above, I'm very concerned with how this will effect traveling to Cuba. As I see it, there are two new fronts: 1) the obvious logistical difficulties with no planes flying anywhere, 2) more seriously, the possible assaults on civil liberties and the Bill of Rights in the US. As always happens in times of war, the First Amendment is the first to go. And since the US gov still views Cuba as a "sponsor of terrorist groups" (or some vague, archaic wording that legitimizes the embargo, even though the DOD has stated otherwise), anyone who goes to Cuba can be construed as a supporter of a terrorist state, and thus a supporter of the WTC, etc etc. Anyone have a word on this?

THUS, all travelers to Cuba, heads up! We need to network if there's an increase in harassment, etc.

Stay tuned for developments


[Wed 12 Sep, 13:32]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
8. Castro's rEAction

The attack on the WTC is probably one of Castro's happiest days, second only to the attempted coup in the Soviet Union, which he thought would restore his old buddies to power.


[Thu 13 Sep, 07:47]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
9. more craftwEArk

more craftwEArk -

'The Twin Towers Attack' (the Sequel) is presumably a terrorist response
long overdue, retaliation for decades of support for zionist militarism
and american imperialism in the Middle East. The hatred of the US (for
what it does over there) is no secret - it's festered openly in
Palestinian concentration camps, in Lebanon, Iran (remember the puppet
Shah?) in poor Arab nations and even in rich ones. The only wonder is
'what took so long?' - blowback is fierce, but remember Osamaa bin Laden
was trained by the CIA in Afganistan, like so many others. Yeah, and
thats just the tip of this iceberg.

The chickens have come home to roost. Sad, for the families of innocents
killed on both sides, but really not so surprising after all. It's
called war: we've waged it over there for decades, now it comes back to
haunt the USA.


[Thu 13 Sep, 08:02]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
10. Ccastro's concern

His concern is not so great that he intends to return the hijackers of American aircraft to whom he has given shelter over the years.


[Thu 13 Sep, 10:59]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
11. US Concern - turn that table

Cuba and the US have extradition treaties? That's news here: we thought they'd broken off normal diplomatic relations decades ago.

And the USA harbors anticuban terrorists and their supporters in Miami. Are you calling for extraditions (to Cuba) too Dutchie? Write the MiamiHerald!


[Thu 13 Sep, 13:18]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
12. Yanks in Cuba

There are certainly "Interests Sections" in the USA and Cuba that deal with subjcts of mutual concern. The US Interests Section is in the same building that was the US Embassy, just the sign is new. In DC Czechoslovakia was the "protecting power" until their revolution pitched out the communists in Prague. Remember Elian? He got sent back, as do those who fail to meet the wet foot/dry foot test. Turning over a few of those guys would be a nice gesture, I suspect that Fidel could get a waiver from the government of Cuba to take care of the extradition concerns.


[Thu 13 Sep, 14:38]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
13. This matter of extradition, in perspectiive

(website address, below)

On September 14, 1998, the House of Rep-resentatives passed H. Con. Res. 254, calling on the government of Cuba to extradite Assata Shakur (Joanne Chesimard). That resolution was not only incredibly hypocritical, but illegal and unwarranted as well. There is no basis for that resolution.

First, even apart from Assata Shakur's innocence and the unfairness of her trial, it is politically hypocritical for the United States to insist on her extradition. If there is a place where terrorists can call home, it is the United States. It gives refuge to criminals who have attacked and murdered scores, if not hundreds, of Cubans. Most notorious of these is Orlando Bosch, living in Miami, who was convicted of blowing up a Cubana airliner killing 76 people, including a young Cuban fencing team. And what of the agents of the CIA who planned and paid for numerous sabotage and terrorist attacks in Cuba?

But the U.S. is not only a home for Cuban terrorists. Living among us is Emmanuel Constant, the former head of the Haitian paramilitary organization FRAPH; its members tortured and murdered hundreds in the aftermath of the 1991 coup in Haiti. During the coup, Constant was on the CIA payroll. After the coup, the U.S. labeled FRAPH "terrorist," and Secretary of State Warren Christopher said his presence here would seriously undermine U.S. foreign policy interests and cast doubt upon the seriousness of our resolve to combat human rights violations. He said Constant "was instrumental in sustaining the repression that prevailed in Haiti...." Yet the State Department refused a Haitian extradition request and stopped his deportation back to Haiti. Constant walks the streets of New York intimidating and frightening Haitians.

And what of the Salvadoran General Jose Guillermo Garcia and the head of El Salvador's national guard, Vides Cassanonva, who according to the United Nations covered up and protected the murderers of the three nuns and lay worker in El Salvador? These two men obtained political asylum and are living well in Palm Coast, Florida. The U.S. has laid out a welcome mat for other terrorists, including General Hector Gramajo, accused of killing as many as 10,000 Guatemalan Indians, General Prosper Avril, a former dictator of Haiti and responsible for the torture of opposition leaders, and Sintong Panjaitan, an Indonesian general, responsible for the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor that killed hundreds. But, these are only a few terrorists whom the U.S. has welcomed; scores more are probably unknown to the public, hidden in the U.S. after carrying out its bidding overseas.

Second, under the extradition treaty with Cuba, Cuba has the absolute and unfettered right not to extradite Assata Shakur. Assuming the treaty is still valid, it contains a clear exception to extradition for crimes that are of a "political character." Article VI of the treaty states: A fugitive criminal shall not be surrendered if the offense in respect of which his surrender is demanded be of a political character, or if it proved that the requisition for his surrender has, in fact, been made with a view to try or punish him for an offense of a political character. Interestingly, after the revolution, it was the United States that first invoked this "political offense" exception to shield two escaped murderers who had been convicted of killing a prominent member of the Cuban Communist Party : Ramos v. Diaz, 179 F. Supp. 458 (1959).

Cuba has made the decision that Assata Shakur's case fits the "political exception" of the treaty. On April 2, Cuba forcefully turned down any request for Assata's extradition. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Alejandro Gonzalez, said Assata was "a civil rights activist." He stated that she would not be extradited as the "government of Cuba has sufficient reasons to disagree with the charges against her and fears that she might be the target of unfair treatment." This decision by the Cuban government cannot be questioned or overruled by the United States. Article VI of the treaty is clear on this: If any question shall arise as to whether a case comes within the provisions of this article, the decision of the authorities of the government on which the demand for the surrender is made, or which may have granted the extradition shall be final. The current demand by the House of Representatives flies in the face of the treaty and violates U.S. treaty obligations and U.S. law.

Third, I believe, as do many others, that Assata Shakur is innocent. The evidence at trial showed that she was illegally stopped by racist New Jersey State police, shot in the back with her hands in the air and tried by a jury inflamed by politicians and a press bent on her conviction. The New Jersey State Police have a long history of discriminatory and racist conduct that unfortunately is still continuing. No matter what position you take on Assata Shakur's innocence or guilt, her trial was clearly, like that of Sam Shepard's, a miscarriage of justice.

The vote on the resolution represents political grandstanding of the worst sort. But for the United States and the House of Representatives, hypocrisy, inconsistency, and illegality are a matter of course when dealing with Assata Shakur and Cuba.

Yours, Michael Ratner ( WIN/tocongressonassatashakur.html


[Thu 13 Sep, 15:00]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
14. Hemming or Hawing?

FACT: The US has no extradition treaty with Cuba, in this matter.

From a website on a Panther in question (c.1998):

HAVANA, (Reuters) - Cuba, responding to a call by a U.S. state governor for the return of a former Black Panther living in Havana, said Thursday it had no extradition treaty with the U.S. and disagreed with the accusations against her.

Asked the reaction of the Cuban government, Gonzalez said: "The government has reasons to disagree with the accusations made against her (Chesimard) and fears she may be the object of unfair charges". He said Havana had no extradition treaty with the United States and added he was unaware of any formal request from the U.S. government for her extradition.

So is there, or isn’t there, an extradition treaty? Apparently there was (before the Revolution), but it’s essentially and effectively invalid now. The US broke other treaties with Cuba, and broke off diplomatic relations.

“[In July 1998, State Department spokesman] Rubin then details Assata's alleged crime, and says there is a 1905 extradition treaty (amended in 1926) with Cuba, but it hasn't "been invoked, presumably because the Castro government won't abide by the treaties."

An astute reporter then pointed out that "Cuba's response generally is that extradition is a two-way street and that there are a number of people accused of murder here in the U.S. that Cuba would like back." Rubin can make no meaningful response to the point; he can only mock Cuba by saying, "when there are murderers in Cuba, they send them to the United States... [and] if we have a convicted murderer, they would simply be returning these people to the United States."

There are, however, both legal and political answers to the U.S. extradition request. Even assuming the treaty is still valid, it contains an absolute exception to extradition for crimes that are of a "political character." [4] Assata's claimed offense clearly fits within this exception and the Cuban government has said so. Moreover, the treaty states that this decision is solely that of the Cuban government and its determination is final. [5] There would also seem to be serious questions regarding the United States' continued reliance on this treaty after it has repudiated other treaties with Cuba, organized and supported the Playa Giron invasion, embargoed the country in an effort to strangle it economically, cut off diplomatic relations and labeled it a terrorist state.”

“The US Interests Section is in the same building that was the US Embassy, just the sign is new.”

FACT: “Officially, the Interests Section is part of and U.S. diplomats are accredited to the Swiss Embassy.” That’s why its called the “U.S. Interests Section of the Embassy of Switzerland, Havana, Cuba.” The American bald eagle is cast in concrete on the side – I haven’t seen any other sign.

When were you in Cuba to see otherwise, Dutch?


[Thu 13 Sep, 17:59]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
15. Here's a thought from Canada

I posted the following as a separate post today (Thursday 09/13/01), and it was deleted by The Thorntree staff. I find it difficult to believe that Lonely Planet would delete a positive post such as the following and yet allow venemous attacks such as one of the above on the United States. (ie, #9)

Does the Lonely Planet staff have no sense of fairness and decency? The following was sent to me in an email, and was apparently written by the Canadian WBill68. It will be interesting to see if this one is allowed to exist on this thread by the Lonely Planet crew.

It would also be interesting to know if this was written by the WildBill who frequently posts here about Cuba.

In a message dated 9/13/01 10:20:43 AM Eastern Daylight Time, WBill68 writes:

We should appreciate this one. This, from a Canadian
newspaper, is worth sharing.

America: The Good Neighbor.
Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently
to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon
Sinclair, a
Canadian television commentator.

What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as
printed in the Congressional Record:
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the
Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated
people on all the
earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy
were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured
in billions of
dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these
countries is
today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the
States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was
Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted
swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States
that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities
were flattened
by tornadoes. Nobody helped.
The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of
dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those
countries are
writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating
over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own
Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the
Boeing Jumbo
Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't
fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly
Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a
man or
woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you
get radios.
You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles.
You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the
moon- not once, but several times-and safely home again. You talk
scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window
everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued
and hounded. They are
here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking
laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to
spend here.
When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking
down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the
Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody
loaned them an old
caboose. Both are still broke. I can name you 5,000 times when
the Americans raced to the
help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time
when someone
else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was
outside help
even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have
faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is
damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come
out of this
thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled
to thumb
their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present
troubles. I
hope Canada is not one of those."

Stand proud, America!

This is one of the best editorials that I have ever read
regarding the United States. It is nice that one man realizes it.
I only
wish that the rest of the world would realize it. We seem to be
for everything, and don't get a thank you for the things we do.


[Thu 13 Sep, 18:15]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
16. Gordon Sinclair

I saw your post this morning and didn't realize it had been deleted. That is indeed curious. But Gordon Sinclair died in 1984 and his tribute to the US was originally broadcast in the late 60's or the early 70's. It's nice to read someone praising the US for its accomplishments but it's also a little dated as the references clearly indicate. A lot of things have happened since this in the world.


[Thu 13 Sep, 18:28]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
17. US interests section

The building is clearly post revolution - 1970s or 80s. How can it be the same building ? Time warp ?


[Thu 13 Sep, 19:15]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
18. Thanks Altahabana

Thanks for the information Altahabana. The first two paragraphs are mine. I received the rest in am email which I opened today. I had no idea who wrote the original material or the date of its origin.

I suppose in my haste to call attention to some positive words about the United States from a foreigner, I failed to research either the authenticity or the date for the material. My mistake!

I hasten to add that I sincerely believe that were the man alive today he would have some similar positive words to say about the contributions of the citizens of this great country.

It does get a bit tiresome to constantly read abusive posts from those who think all Americans belong in that group derisively called "The ugly Americans".

That makes as much sense as labeling all people with Arabic backgrounds as dastardly, barbaric, uncivilized barbarians. We both know that is not the case.

Thanks again for setting me straight. Your information helps, but it offers no clue as to whether the 'WBill68' bears any relation to our Willbill who posts here frequently.

Again, only the first two paragraphs are mine. The rest was in the email I received.


[Thu 13 Sep, 19:19]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
19. More rightwing spam?­

Comments: Aside from the fact that this text was written 28 years ago and has suffered minor revisions during its travels in cyberspace, it is authentic. Journalist and radio personality Gordon Sinclair delivered the commentary on his Toronto show in 1973, when anti-American sentiment was at an all-time high. For obvious reasons, Americans ate it up.

The piece has circulated on the Internet — sometimes attributed to Sinclair and sometimes not (but always to "a Canadian") — for several years. Its suddenly renewed popularity in September 2001 can be attributed to the recent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Americans, smarting from the implicit hatred behind these acts, have found solace in sincere words of appreciation from a geographical neighbor.

Those words were not, however, authored "recently," as most currently circulating versions claim.


[Thu 13 Sep, 21:37]
PST (Gumly Gumly -17)
20. Same Structure, Updated

The US Int Section is still in the original embassy building in Havana. However, maintenance has been done, to include facade work because bits were detaching and falling off. All this from a contractor who was there for the engineering work.