Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A brief interview - Tomas Estrada Palma

I have met some interesting people I think you would like to know a little bit more of them.
One of them is Tomas Estrada-Palma.

This introduction posted in his blog is self-explanatory: "I am the great grandson of Don Tomas Estrada-Palma, the first President of Cuba (1902-1906)"

I´ve asked some questions to Tomás and he kindly answered me.
Here´s the Q&A:

"Hello Luis:
Thank you so very much for allowing me to answer your questions and reach your readers. I will be happy to answer these questions you have for me today and any questions that you or any of your readers ask of me in the future. I switched answer 1 and 2 so it would run more smoothly.
1) How long have you been to the US?
Too long! No really what I mean is I like traveling and meeting new people. I haven't been out of the country in about ten years. The U.S. has its own ways of thinking backwards but it's still a pretty nice place to live. I've been here 51 years not counting the womb time.

2) What is your history, Tomas?
I was born in Miami, Florida November 18, 1954 to Tomas Douglas Estrada-Palma (Don Tomas' grandson from the first president's second son Tomas Andres) and Alyce Mae Carroll (Mom's maiden name) from Washington, DC. Hence, the origins of two of my four children's red hair can be traced to my mother's Irish genes as well as those of my British wife Denise (but call her Deni as she has always been called that). As a toddler my parents moved us to Washington, DC, which at that point included my infant brother Patrick (he had blond hair but what's left now is mostly gray like mine). Soon my sister Candita was born and several years later rounding out the pack was my sister Kathleen. I went to school and grew up in Maryland though we moved many times within that region. I've done many jobs through the years. As a teenager I was a movie theatre usher and motorcycle messenger as proven by my collarbone being broken in three places. I ran a mail collating machine in the mailroom of GEICO the insurance company. I blew art glass, ran emergency service in a tow truck for AAA, sold cars, managed a translation company then became sales director but I finally settled in at the Washington Post as a proofreader, print advertising creator and digital pagination specialist (which is a fancy way of saying pasting up the newspaper but doing so on a computer rather than using glue and paste-up board like in the olden days. I like working at the Post because they are smart business people who treat their employees great. Today, I live in Annapolis, Maryland (the state capital), Deni is in the final year of Nursing school, my 19 year-old daughter Tiree Roxana is in her second year of college and working a couple jobs, 17 year-old Alexander Tomas has been hired by Safeway foods (two working – two more to go) 15 year-old Mathew David is adept at playing the base guitar and has a little band and 12 year-old Andres Ramon is still regularly giving me his philosophy on life instead of doing his school work. But for me life is good. Deni and I have been married 20 years this past July, we are all healthy and happy. Plus now I have very high hopes for Cuba which consumes my every waking hour and much of my dream time.
3) What do you think about Cuba's "revolution", Fidel Castro and Che?

As a social concept communism is not very revolutionary. In fact it has been tried before in many various forms under many different names but these were all based on one flawed fundamental concept – that individuals must sacrifice their liberty for the promise of security for the group. But Benjamin Franklin correctly stated that, "Those who would sacrifice precious liberty
for a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety…" The flaw in capitalism, which even Karl Marx noted, was the monopoly of land. But even so he advocated communism based on banning capital and central planning of the economy. Had Castro or Che had even the slightest amount of formal training in economics then history would not have had to be called upon yet again to demonstrate the folly of this approach. Communists tried to correct the land monopoly flaw in the capitalist system, which does cause a certain amount of poverty in quasi free market economies like the U.S., by central planning which always leads to repression. But the solution to the nagging poverty that plagues capitalist economies was first noted by Henry George during the 19th Century and described aptly and convincingly in his masterpiece, "Progress and Poverty." Your readers can get the whole text right here:
I will bet anyone here that if they read this text they too will become an advocate for this economic reform. This single "tweaking" of the capitalist system lets capital do what capital does best but also lets labor keep the bread it has earned. Thomas Jefferson once defined as the sum of good government as, "- a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." To get an overview of this economic reform go to my blog at and if you are Cuban please take the straw poll on the land reform question. I'm trying to get Cubans on the island to take the poll as well but so far no takers. Could be voter apathy I suppose?
4) Do you know how little the knowledge about Cuba is in South America? They think Cuba only exists after Castro.

Lack of knowledge is a global problem. Either you must work so much just to survive or you have so much that you are preoccupied with the modern day techno bread and circus that you make no time for knowledge. But as one who has been stung in the past by a bee called ignorance I see the value of keeping up with things. Cuba is a sad story that goes back to colonial times of the Spanish empire. Its history is deeply connected to the land. With the signing of the Treaty of Paris ending the hostilities with Spain and the US, part of the agreement was whoever held title to the land got to keep it. The trouble is during the revolution for independence from Spain, all of the Cuban patriots had their land seized by Spain and sold off for pennies on the dollar to Spanish aristocrats who monopolized the land for profit. This creates no new wealth but merely charges for access to the land which diminishes the wages of the laborer. This same sort of thing happened to the Irish in Ireland.

5) Which are your feelings on the future of the Cuba. What could be the after-Castro horizon for Cuba and Cubans.

I am so hopeful for Cuba I can't get to sleep at nights for thinking about the possibilities. Raul and his Havana playboys have seen the wisdom of capital investment for them but not for the regular people of Cuba who are forced to eek out a living under this backwards collectivist system that never even generates enough wealth to support this meager existence. They have to go with their hat in their hand to the Soviet Unions and the Chavez's of the world groveling for a handout. But they are now butting heads with the information age where people find out the truth much faster. Their days in power are very limited and they know it. They are putting together their nest eggs outside the country so they can live out their lives in comfort.
But for the Cuban people it is time to look forward and not into the past. If I am very lucky and certainly bless by God, I will find a way to convince the Cuban people to adopt the economic plan which I advocate. I know for a fact that if they did then before 5 and 10 years after the start the average Cuban would be richer than the average American. And every year thereafter they would become richer than that. America and soon the rest of the world would have to adopt the Cuban social/economic model or face falling farther and farther behind the Cubans. Doesn't that sound exciting? Yes I'm excited about this possibility! Certainly!

6) A message for South America and Brazilians.
First of all never change your personalities. The people from this part of the world are always a joy to be with. You are kind, warm and very generous so it is difficult not to love you all like kin. Second I would remind everyone that we all want the same things in life for the most part. We want peace and prosperity. We want to see our children into happy, productive adult lives and have grandkids. We were put on this earth to enjoy its bounty and enjoy ourselves. But as a species we have not found a way to share the earth which is a pity. The earth is so enormous with so many resources. If every human had his own little piece of the rock we call earth so he could store enough wealth to survive comfortably in a free market environment think about how nice it would be. With everyone being productive and earning wealth for their families there would be less time for crime and decadence. For the first time in history none would be a slave to industry or government. Everyone would be in pursuit of enlightenment and improvement.

7) Do you know what is the "Sao Paulo Forum?"

I don't know too much about the Sao Paulo Forum other than it is a collection of leftist who plot together to spread their ideology. This ideology demands central control of the economy initially but always ends with controls on personal freedom. That occurs because when you remove the economic incentive to work, which happens when profiting is banned, the government then must coerce individuals to be productive and responsible. In the U.S. the main flow of leftist ideology into the minds of Americans is the public school. A majority of teachers in this country are socialist and preach this historically flawed political/economic concept. This is why we homeschool our children. I believe parents who send their kids to public school are guilty of child abuse. I call for a permanent Constitutional separation between school and the state. It is interesting that all of the countries who were formerly communist are moving away from it at lightning speed while some countries in the West like Venezuela are moving towards communism. I am a classical liberal or in other words, a Jeffersonian. I believe the individual has sovereignty over his time, body and money. It is a simple question that most don't bother asking. Who decides, the individual or the state? Take this test and find out how you believe.

8) The way Cuba is influent to the leftist governments in Latin America, Do you think Fidel's friends (Evo, Chávez, Lula) would let Cubans really choose freedom - in a scenario without Fidel?

I have found leftist to also be elitists who have contempt for the individual. Leftists see no wrong in making the individual suffer for what the leadership feels is good for the masses. So the short answer is "no." The socialist rulers get to makes choices for everybody else. This replaces decision making that is practical for the individual with decisions that are based on politics.

9) What do you know about Brazilian president Lula?

I don't know if Lulu is motivated by thirst for power and wealth or if like most of the world's leaders he is just plain old dumb as a rock. Actually saying that is not fair to a great many rocks. But giving him the benefit of the doubt and believing him to be merely ignorant of a better way, he is trying to correct the only flaw in the capitalist system - land monopoly - by taking control of decision making for all the individuals in Brazil. Why even God is not that smart or at least God is smart enough to give humans free will to choose for themself whether a choice is a good one or a bad one. If you make a mistake with your life then life punishes you and that feedback normally causes you to choose differently. But when the government makes a bad choice FOR you they feel no pain - but you still feel the pain. There is a name for this - Cuba. As long as it going to be my thumb that gets smashed let me be the one who swings the hammer in my life. In Venezuela Chavez is approaching land reform in the wrong way. He has appointed himself as the czar of land and takes land away from some to give to others. This is the wrong way to go about land reform. The trouble with land monopoly is it allows land, especially urban land to be used to extract the wages of labor by charging for access to the land. This doesn't create any wealth but merely causes it to change hands from the poor to the rich. The solution is not to take land away. The answer is to charge only one tax in society to pay for government. The is the land location value tax. This simple reform prevents land owners from keeping land vacant until the future when the selling price of the land is high enough. Especially urban land would have to be put to productive use earning wealth from human labor working that land because it would be too expensive to just hold it fallow. Labor and capital should be untaxed. Under my proposal humans would all be working and keeping all the fruits of their labor and capital investment. Naturally this would cause most people to not depend on government for any handout removing the need for most government services. The collectivists are against this because they enjoy being in charge of things. But they can't possibly know what is good for everyone. This is why they are so against elections. The communist is bound to anger and alienate a growing number of citizens so they have to ban elections as the only way they can stay in power and continue making bad decisions. How can the elite in the capitals of the world know what is best for all the individuals of their countries? But I think it is important to note that both communists and neo-capitalist favor land monopoly. Neo-capitalists favor the land being owned by the economic elite while the communist believes that the government should own all the land - which really means the top junta leaders. Either way it is the poorest in society who suffer.

Here´s a final photo:

"May 20th Independence Day celebration: Sitting on my right is my friend Guillermo, (..) and my son Matt on my left"

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Articles on "Sao Paulo Forum"

Due to the amount of information on the "Sao Paulo Forum" - the entity created in 1990 by a bunch of leftist parties, various terrorist/guerrila groups and Cuba with the aim to recover in the Latin America what was lost in Europe - demanded by my readers, I prepared a lista of articles and information on the subject.
It is a partial list. Enjoy!

Sao Paulo Forum
Articles related to Sao Paulo Forum - Portuguese + English

Friday, August 25, 2006

Remembering Armando Valladares, 2002.

I found it. Here the article commented before.

Very instructive.


Brazil toward the abyss? Neo-Lula, collective suggestion and Cubanization

by Armando F. Valladares *

If this October, in gigantic Brazil, the pro-Castro candidate, Lula da Silva,
of the Worker's Party (PT), should win the presidential elections, several
nations on the continent will likely be swept toward the left and the bloody
Cuban Communist dictatorship shall prolong its wicked days.

It is not I affirming this; it is Mr. Lula himself who confesses these sad

In Havana, in December of 2001, during the 10th reunion of the Forum of Sao
Paulo (FSP), the Brazilian organizer - sitting next to the Colombian
narco-terrorist chiefs, Rodolfo Gonzalez (FARC) and Ramiro Vargas (ELN) and the
continent's more than 300Communist leaders - rendered an incredible homage to
Dictator Castro: "Despite the wrinkles marking your face, Fidel, you soul
continues being clean because you never betrayed the interests of the people;"
"thank you, Fidel, thank you because you continue existing." The object of such
an effusive thanksgiving was the tyrant who maintains the most complete misery
and enslaves, by blood and fire, 12 million of my brothers, now for over 40
years; the same tyrant who, admittedly, is directly responsible for the
subversion that laid waste Latin America in the decade of the 70s, including
Brazil, costing thousands of innocent victims their lives.

After eulogizing the so called "social conquests" of the Revolution (education
and health which, in reality, are used as an efficacious instruments of
psycho-ideological control and repression of the population) Lula convoked the
"Latin American and Caribbean left" to protect, "in a unified manner,"
Communist Cuba. Paraphrasing the well known refrain, one could affirm: tell me
with whom you walk, whom you eulogize and whom you intend to help, and I shall
tell you who you are. Let me recall that the FSP is a coalition of Latin
American revolutionary groups, founded by Lula and Fidel Castro in 1990, in
order to save from the drowning the Latin American leftists, demoralized in the
face of the breakup of the Soviet Empire.

From Cuban Hell , in which he felt like he was in Heaven, Mr. Lula da Silva went
to Venezuela in order to consolidate alliances with his friend, President
Chavez. "He thinks the same way I think," he declared, outlining the numerous
affinities that unite him to the pro-Castro president of Venezuela. Whatever
the similarity of the Castro-Lula-Chavez axis - that can lead to the
Cubanization of the continent, it was recently denounced Prof. Constantine
Menges, researcher for the Hudson Institute - is no mere coincidence. In
Brasilia, in June of this year, during a joint session of the Commission on
Foreign Relations of the House and Senate, Lula reiterated his determination,
in the event he were elected president, to make every effort to end what he
considers an unjust "exclusion" of Communist Cuba from the Inter-American
community, and defended the necessity to "include it" in the Alca. In Passo
Fundo, near the border with Argentina and Uruguay, in the beginning of
September, Lula confessed that, with his eventual victory, he expected to
unchain a "domino effect" in the region: "Our victory will change many things
in the region, it will have repercussions in Argentina, in Uruguay, in Paraguay
and in Colombia."

The ambitions of Lula's foreign policy do not end with South America. Three
years ago the PT reestablished relations with the Communist Party of China and
in May of 2001 Mr. Lula took a trip with an important committee to that
Communist nation. Aloizo Mercadante, Secretary of of International Relations
for the PT, Director of FSP, organizer of the international trips of Lula and
probably future Chancellor, explained that the occasions of alliances with
China, Russia and India are "important" in order to give force to a possible
anti-American coalition. Lula, in his referred to visit to the Brazilian
Congress, reaffirmed his determination to deepen such links.

In the beginning of February of 2002, the leaders of the Worker's Party (PT),
convoked the second World Social Forum (FSM), that took place in Porto Alegre,
in the south of Brazil. During the seminar "Another Brazil is possible," in a
discourse before the highest ranking directors of his union and of thousands of
militants, Lula outlined the new strategy that could permit the PT, after so
many frustrated attempts earlier, to take power through the electoral process.
Retaking his intervention in the 10th annual assembly of the FSP, in Havana,
the labor leader recognized that certain "electoral failures" had occurred
because "at times the left plays a game that is not the most convenient,"
imprudently presenting itself before the Brazilian public with a profile that
is "very radical." Such a strategic defect, according to Lula, would affect
some "99% of the participants in the 2nd FSM;" and he made an urgent appeal to
correct it. The organizer limited himself to criticize the tactical means used
up until now, but in no way did he deny the goals or ends of the leftists,
that, in general, continue with the same radicalism.

In the Brazilian weekly "Veja," in its latest edition, is recorded that in a
recent meeting with representatives of the also -pro-Castro Movement Without
Land (MST), "Lula asked that they make themselves understood with a moderate
tone in their discourses as a necessity for his campaign," because "the
question, he told them, is to win the election." Continuing, the magazine asks:
"Three months of moderate campaigning, will they be able to eradicate decades
of PT history?"

All of the above have been published and diffused by international press
agencies; nevertheless, it has not been an obstacle so that Lula, in the face
of publicity wonders, has metamorphosed himself into a new-Lula, with an
appearance so moderate that his slogan could trigger envy among militant
pacifists: "Lulita peace and love."

Influenced by such prestigious agitation, there is no lack of those who believe
that Lula really did change. Nevertheless, his opinions about Cuba's Communist
system and its old dictator, function as a test and show that the revolutionary
dreams of the new-Lula are no different from those of the Lula of always. If he
really had changed, would he not have a moral obligation to publicly beg pardon
for having supported, since not long ago, the Communist Revolution in Cuba and
its cruel dictator?

The new-Lula, in order to be credible, ought to "burn what he adores, and adore
that which he burns," if you will permit me to paraphrase Saint Remigius in his
direction of the new Christian, Clovis, King of France.

But the new-Lula does not seem willing to follow in the footsteps of Clovis,
burning that which he adores, limiting himself to tarnish that which he
continues to adore.

Many in Brazil, in Latin America and the whole world have legitimate distrust
over this sudden "moderation" of the new-Lula. Nevertheless, if logic indicates
one preoccupying diagnosis, the publicity image of the new-Lula is causing
other sectors to allow themselves to be swept by appearances, in a curious
phenomenon that seems to have something of a collective suggestion and that
specialists in social psychology should be able to examine more appropriately.

Similar phenomena paralyzing reason, anesthetics of sensibility and even the
sense of self-preservation itself, have not been lacking to previous moments of
paradigm shifting revolutions of History, such as the French Revolution, the
Russian Revolution and the Cuban Revolution itself, a phenomenon that I knew
from close range. Even before the future dictator and his followers began their
descent from the Sierra Maestra - with medals of the Virgin and rosaries around
their necks - Cuba was being prepared for capitulation in the face of
psychological process of the dissolution of the preventative barriers of horror
in relation to those leaders who were known to defend Communist positions. This
singular process inclusively affected elite members of the agricultural,
industrial and even military sectors, who went to adhere to those who transform
themselves into their executioners. To what extent something similar is
happening in Brazil, Brazilians themselves are the ones to either corroborate
or deny this.

I intended to focus my analysis in the external consequences of an eventual
victory by Mr. Lula and of his leftist coalition. In no way did I wish that my
reflections be interpreted as a form of interference in the internal affairs of
this giant called Brazil, also named the Land of the Holy Cross. I wish only
the best for this Nation of Providence, because that is what her people
deserve, who are, in the majority, Catholic, intelligent, ingenious, happy and
generous; but also, moreover, because the elections, which will occur in some
days, could change the history of America and the whole world. I am not the
only one saying this. This was expressed by Mr. Jose Dirceu, current president
of the Worker's Party, who, in the decades of the 70s got his guerilla training
in Cuba: the challenge of the PT is to "govern Brazil in order to change the
world." That God not permit this.

Postdata: I just finished reading the news that Brazilian Chancellor Celso
Lafer has in his agenda a visit to Havana, carrying in his briefcase loans of
$25 million dollars for Dictator Castro. This is what Jornal do Brasil states
in September 17 edition. If the current government of Brazil, that calls itself
the defender of "human rights," does Dictator Castro this favor at the end of
its mandate, how can one not expect an eventual government by Lula?

Meanwhile, the young Cuban physicist, Dr. Juan Lopez Linares, resident of
Brazil, clamors about his right to go to Cuba to know, to embrace and kiss for
the first time his little son, John Paul, of three years of age. The regime,
that cynically alleged the rights of the father to reunite with his son, Elian
Gonzalez, now denies Dr. Juan Lopez.

The contradiction is flagrant and indignant. What appears important is to save
from drowning, at whatever cost, the wicked Communist dictatorship of Cuba,
with which this time bomb has been activated in the flank of the Americas.

Armando Valladares, Cuban ex-political prisoner, author of the book, "Against
All Hope," was US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission, in Geneva,
during the Reagan and Bush Administrations.

Recuerdos de Armando Valladares - 2002

This was published four years ago, on the eve of Lula da Silva first election. It was the first time that the term "Foro de Sao Paulo" (Sao Paulo Forum) was defined as exactly it was - a bunch of old communist trying to gain the biggest Latin American country government in a new-fashion mood - and the author was not Olavo de Carvalho.

This article was cited many times in the brazilian media, but the "transformers" of opinion in the mainstream media rush to label Valladares as a 'crazy' man.

On a TV interview, Lula was asked about it by journalist Boris Casoy. Lula replied "never ask it again!!" (a real threat, due to the fact that Boris Casoy was fired last year from one of the main TV network of Brazil because he was turned into a problem for Lula for his clear opposition opinions as anchorman of the news)

Here is the link.

Sorry, but  I only got  this in spanish.


Sept. 25, 2002: Diario Las Américas, Miami (FL)

¿Brasil hacia el abismo? Neo-Lula, sugestión colectiva y cubanización


Por Armando F. Valladares

Si en octubre próximo, en el gigantesco Brasil, el pro-castrista candidato Lula da Silva, del Partido de los Trabajadores (PT), venciera las elecciones presidenciales, varias naciones del continente serán probablemente arrastradas hacia la izquierda y la sanguinaria dictadura comunista de Cuba verá prolongados sus nefastos días.

No soy yo quien lo afirma; es el propio Sr. Lula que confiesa esos tristes presagios.

En La Habana, en diciembre de 2001, durante la 10a. reunión del Foro de São Paulo (FSP), junto a los jefes narco-guerrilleros colombianos Rodolfo González (FARC) y Ramiro Vargas (ELN) y a más de 300 líderes comunistas del continente, el dirigente brasileño rindió un increíble homenaje al dictador Castro: "A pesar de que su rostro ya está marcado por arrugas, Fidel, su alma continúa limpia porque Vd. nunca traicionó los intereses de su pueblo"; "gracias, Fidel, gracias porque Vds. continúan existiendo". El objeto de tan efusivo agradecimiento fue el tirano que mantiene en la más completa miseria y esclaviza, a sangre y fuego, a 12 millones de mis hermanos, desde hace más de 40 años; el mismo tirano que es, confesamente, el responsable directo por la subversión que asoló a América Latina en la década del 70, inclusive a Brasil, cobrando millares de víctimas inocentes.

Después de elogiar las supuestas "conquistas sociales" de la revolución (educación y salud que, en realidad, son usadas como eficaces instrumentos de control y represión psico-ideológica de la población) Lula convocó a "la izquierda latinoamericana y caribeña" a proteger, "de manera unida", a Cuba comunista. Parafraseando el conocido refrán, podría afirmar: dime con quién andas, a quién elogias y a quién pretendes ayudar, y te diré quién eres. Me permito recordar que el FSP es una coalición de grupos revolucionarios latinoamericanos, fundada por Lula y Fidel Castro en 1990 para salvar del naufragio a las izquierdas latinoamericanas, desmoralizadas ante el hundimiento del imperio soviético.

Del infierno cubano, en el cual parecía sentirse como si estuviera en el cielo, el Sr. Lula da Silva partió a Venezuela para articular alianzas con su amigo el presidente Chávez. "Él piensa igual a lo que yo pienso", declaró, resaltando las numerosas afinidades que lo unen al también pro-castrista presidente de Venezuela. Cualquier semejanza con el eje Castro-Lula-Chávez, que podrá llevar a la cubanizacion del continente, denunciado recientemente por el Prof. Constantine Menges, pesquisador del Hudson Institute, no es mera coincidencia.

En Brasilia, en junio de este año, durante una sesión conjunta de las comisiones de Relaciones Exteriores de la Cámara y el Senado, Lula reiteró su determinación, en caso de ser electo presidente, de hacer todos los esfuerzos para terminar con lo que él considera una injusta "exclusión" de Cuba comunista de la comunidad interamericana, defendiendo la necesidad de "incluírla" hasta en el Alca. En Passo Fundo, cerca de la frontera con Argentina y Uruguay, a comienzos de septiembre, Lula confesó que, con su eventual victoria, espera desencadenar un "efecto dominó" en la región: "Una victoria nuestra cambiará mucha cosa en la región, repercutirá en Argentina, en Uruguay, en Paraguay y en Colombia". Las ambiciones de la política externa lulista no terminan en América del Sur. Hace tres años el PT restableció relaciones con el Partido Comunista de China y en mayo de 2001 se concretó un viaje del Sr. Lula, junto con una importante comitiva, a dicho país comunista. Aloizio Mercadante, secretario de Relaciones Internacionales del PT, dirigente del FSP, organizador de los viajes internacionales de Lula y probable futuro canciller, explicó en la ocasión que alianzas con China, Rusia e India son "importantes" para dar fuerza a una posible coalición anti-norteamericana. Lula, en su referida visita al Congreso brasileño, reafirmó la determinación de profundizar esos vínculos.

A comienzos de febrero de 2002, el líder del Partido de los Trabajadores (PT), compareció al 2o. Foro Social Mundial (FSM), efectuado en Porto Alegre, al sur del Brasil. Durante el seminario "Otro Brasil es posible", en discurso ante los máximos dirigentes de su agrupación y de millares de militantes, Lula trazó la nueva estrategia que podrá permitir al PT, después de tantas tentativas frustradas, tomar el poder por la vía electoral. Retomando su intervención en la 10a. asamblea anual del FSP, en La Habana, el dirigente petista reconoció que dichos "fracasos electorales" se han producido porque "a veces la izquierda hace un juego que no siempre es el más conveniente", presentando imprudentemente ante el público brasileño un perfil "muy radical". Tal defecto estratégico afectaría, según Lula, al "99% de los participantes del 2o. FSM"; e hizo un urgente llamado a corregirlo. El dirigente se limitó a criticar los medios tácticos utilizados hasta aquí, pero de ninguna manera renegó las metas o fines de las izquierdas, que en general continúan con el mismo radicalismo.

El semanario brasileño "Veja", en su última edición, recuerda que en una reunión reciente con representantes del también pro-castrista Movimiento Sin Tierra (MST), "Lula les pidió que entendiesen el actual tono moderado de sus discursos como una necesidad de su campaña", porque "la cuestión, les dijo, es ganar la elección". A continuación, la revista pregunta: "Tres meses de campaña moderada, ¿serán capaces de anular dos décadas de historia del PT?"

Todo lo anterior ha sido publicado y difundido por las agencias internacionales; sin embargo, no ha sido obstáculo para que Lula, mediante prodigios publicitarios, se haya metamorfoseado en un neo-Lula, con una apariencia a tal punto moderada que su eslogan podría despertar envidia en los militantes pacifistas: "Lulita paz y amor"...

Influenciados por tales prestidigitaciones, no faltan quienes creen que Lula realmente cambió. Sin embargo, sus opiniones sobre el sistema comunista de Cuba y su viejo dictador, funcionan como un test y muestran que los sueños revolucionarios del neo-Lula no difieren de los del Lula de siempre. Si éste realmente hubiese cambiado, ¿no tendría la obligación moral de pedir públicamente perdón por haber apoyado, hasta hace tan poco, a la revolución comunista de Cuba y a su cruel dictador? El neo-Lula, para ser creíble, debería "quemar lo que adoró y adorar lo que quemó", si se nos permitiera parafrasear a San Remigio dirigiéndose al neo-cristiano Clodoveo, rey de Francia.

Pero el neo-Lula no parece estar dispuesto a seguir los pasos de Clodoveo, quemando lo que adoró, limitándose a "maquillar" lo que continúa adorando.

Muchos en Brasil, en América Latina y en el mundo tienen legítimas desconfianzas sobre esa súbita "moderación" del neo-Lula. Sin embargo, si la lógica indica un preocupante diagnóstico, la imagen publicitaria del neo-Lula ha hecho que otros sectores se estén dejando arrastrar por las apariencias, en un curioso fenómeno que parece tener algo de sugestión colectiva y que los especialistas en psicología social podrán examinar con mayor propiedad.

Similares fenómenos paralizantes del raciocinio, anestesiantes de la sensibilidad y hasta del propio instinto de conservación, no han estado ajenos a momentos previos de revoluciones paradigmáticas de la Historia, como la revolución francesa, la revolución rusa y la propia revolución cubana, fenómeno este que conocí muy de cerca. Aún antes que el futuro dictador y sus seguidores comenzaran a bajar de la Sierra Maestra -con medallitas de la Virgen y rosarios al cuello- Cuba fue siendo preparada para la capitulación mediante un proceso psicológico de disolución de las prevenciones y de las barreras de horror en relación a líderes revolucionarios sobre los cuales había indicios que defendían posiciones comunistas. Ese singular proceso afectó inclusive a miembros de élites agrícolas, industriales y hasta militares que pasaron a adherir a quien pronto se transformaría en su verdugo. En qué medida algo similar está ocurriendo en Brasil, los propios brasileños son los más indicados para corroborarlo o negarlo.

Intenté centrar mi análisis en las consecuencias externas de una eventual victoria del Sr. Lula y de su coalición de izquierda. De ninguna manera desearía que se interpretasen estas reflexiones como una forma de interferencia en los asuntos internos de ese gigante llamado Brasil, también denominado Tierra de la Santa Cruz. Para esta providencial nación deseo lo mejor, porque eso es lo que merece su pueblo mayoritariamente católico, inteligente, ingenioso, alegre y bondadoso; pero además, porque el desenlace electoral, que ocurrirá dentro de pocos días, podrá cambiar la historia de América y del mundo. A esto tampoco lo digo yo. Lo expresó el Sr. José Dirceu, actual presidente del Partido de los Trabajadores, que en la década del 70 recibió entrenamiento guerrillero en Cuba: el desafío del PT es "gobernar Brasil para cambiar el mundo". Que Dios no lo permita.

Armando Valladares, ex preso político cubano, autor del libro "Contra toda esperanza", fue embajador norteamericano ante la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la ONU, en Ginebra, durante las administraciones Reagan y Bush.

Postdata: Acabo de leer la noticia de que el canciller brasileño Celso Lafer tiene en su agenda una próxima visita a La Habana, llevando en su maletín préstamos de U$S 25 millones para el dictador Castro. Es lo que informa el Jornal do Brasil en su edición del 17 de septiembre. Si el actual gobierno brasileño, que se dice defensor de los "derechos humanos", hace al dictador Castro este favor de fin de mandato, ¿qué no se podrá esperar que haga un eventual gobierno Lula? Mientras tanto, el joven físico cubano Dr. Juan López Linares, residente en Brasil, clama por su derecho de ir a Cuba a conocer, abrazar y besar por primera vez a su hijito Juan Paolo, de 3 años. El régimen, que cínicamente alegó los derechos del padre del niño Elián González de reunirse con éste, ahora se los niega al Dr. López. La contradicción es flagrante e indignante. Lo importante parece ser salvar del naufragio, a cualquier precio, a la nefasta dictadura comunista de Cuba, con lo cual se deja activada esa bomba de tiempo en el flanco de las Américas.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lies and Distortions in Brazilian Media

Hi all

I went away for almost two weeks (it never happened before!!) due to my secular obligations and cause I was fighting a particular war with a local newspaper.
The subject of this fight was the lies and distortions on Fidel Castro and - of course - Middle East.

This two subjects lead me a little far from Lula and his re-election campaign and the developments from PCC case (just to mention: the second journalist kidnapped two weeks ago was released after the video-footage was aired). But I will return to it. Don´t worry.

About the case:
Last week I sent an e-mail to a newspaper called "Zero Hora" on two issues:
  • The fact that a dictator like Fidel was being called as "president" while other - Stroessner from Paraguay - was an "eternal dictator", despite the fact he was ousted from power more than a decade ago.
  • The silence on the recent photo fraud cases in Lebanon, due to the fact "Zero Hora" has a journalist on the battle-ground.
You can read the original letter (in portuguese) here, and the translation below:

"Dear :

Zero Hora must do decide how intends to call Cuba´s communist dictator. The 08/14 edition, last cover, treats Fidel as "dictator", but in page 23 of the same edition, Raul Castro is called as "president" in charge. (..) If Fidel is a dictator on the last cover, must be this on page 23 too. (..)
This is what I call bias.

Take 2:

During the Israel X Hezbollah conflict coverage, I did not notice any information on the dozens of  falsification and photo frauds (Reuters and AP) emerged on the net. Nothing.

These facts were largely commented on the web since they were denounced by bloggers like " litte green footballs " and  "EU referendum" . Thhey are journalistic facts for all, but Zero Hora.(..).

This is 'bias' on all its extent. Greeting for this wonderful job of half-information.

As Mark Twain said 'If you do not read newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read newspapers, you are misinformed'.


I received two answers:

On 08/19 the first part of my letter was publihed below the title "About ZH" - with no comments. (Read Here)
On 08/20 part of the second part of the letter was published in the section "Answers to Readers" with the answer from Rodrigo Lopes, the journalist that was ZH´s correspondent in the Middle-East (Read Here).

The main points of Rodrigo´s response were:

- They used my letter to explain ZH´s criteria to publish photos ("they do not manipulate photos" -- what a relief!!)
- Reuters photo frauds were not published because they do not publish Reuters photos!
- They do not published the buzz about photo fraud because they think "There were more relevants facts to inform, like the suffering of Lebanese and Israeli people".

My points:

a) If they were so irrelevant then they were irrelevant now. Why - for my response - the manipulated photo and the real photo were published ? Two weeks later?

b) It is very interesting that a fact that could prove that some of the 'suffering of Lebanese people' were faked by photographers-militants were not published but the 'suffering' stuff , yes. I think that the former would somehow lessen the latter.

c) "Suffering of Lebanese and Israeli people" is not real. It is just rethoric. Lebanese causalties were described in details and Israeli in the form of a dry "corpses count" like this in the 08/14 edition " Hezbollah has launched at least 153 rockets against the North of Israel, killing on man of 83 years old and hurting at least 91 people".

d) ZH and Rodrigo Lopes avoided to mention AP - Qana (the Hezbollah-wood case) because they published the photo of the famous "green helmet militant" and his declaration !!

So ZH is part of the Media that tries to distort Middle-East conflict to the public too. If not ZH must to show these case of lies to their public.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Father's Day in Brazil

Yesterday two journalists from Globo TV Network in Brazil were
kidnapped by PCC (First Command of the Capital- in portuguese)
saturday morning.
Alexandre Calado and Guilherme Portanova were their names.
Calado was released saturday night with a video that must be
broadcasted by Globo or his colleague, Portanova would be killed.
This video was broadcasted today at 00:28min. See it below.
It seems to be an Al-Qaeda film...
Last week there was another PCC attack in Sao Paulo, but despite of
the fact, 11,000 dettainees were released this weekend to pass the the
Father's day with their families. Many PCC leaders were among them but
the public prosecuters could not stop the Federal Ministry of Justice
from release them.
It was the same situation on last Mother's day where thousand
criminals were released and the attacks from PCC started.
And Lula is climbing again on the polls...
The future never seems so bleaker to Brazil.
So help us god..

Friday, August 11, 2006

El testimonio de una libanesa

Just received this article from Argentine Newspaper "La Nacion" and perceived the immense difference between Brazil and Argentina.
In Brazil, such article would be virtually not publish due to the heavy anti-USA / anti-Israel biased from our (totally useless as an information tool) media. Enjoy.
Sorry, it´s spanish!!

El testimonio de una libanesa
Por Marcos Aguinis




Brigitte Gabriel es una arriesgada periodista nacida en el sur del Líbano. Fue presentadora de noticias vespertinas para Middle East Television, que se difunden en Egipto, Siria, Jordania, Chipre y su país natal. También fue coordinadora de producción para la TV alemana en el Líbano, Gaza y Cisjordania. Hace pocos años fundó el Congreso para la Verdad sobre el Medio Oriente, curiosa y valiente institución que resiste el maremoto antisemita que se derrama desde los medios masivos de comunicación, reproduciendo el confuso clima previo al Holocausto. Brigitte se expresa con fluidez en árabe, francés e inglés, y sus opiniones se basan en hechos libres de prejuicios, aunque generen la tirria de quienes atizan las hogueras del odio. Acaba de pronunciar una disertación estremecedora en la Universidad Duke, que voy a sintetizar en este artículo para mostrar el lado oculto de una situación que se deforma con vergonzosa irresponsabilidad.

Esta periodista no dudó en presentarse a sí misma como una libanesa que tiene la obligación de revelar los aspectos perniciosos del mundo árabe para bien de los árabes y el resto del mundo, aunque genere descargas epilépticas de asombro o indignación. Fue criada y educada en el Líbano. Su padre tenía un modesto restaurante donde acudía gente de diversa condición social y podía escuchar múltiples opiniones. Pero todos los parroquianos, asegura, incluso los cristianos y kurdos, "estaban influidos por la prensa y las noticias oficiales de que los judíos son el mal irredimible y que no habría paz en la región hasta que se los matara o arrojara al mar".  

Agregó más adelante: "Cuando los musulmanes y los palestinos declararon la jihad contra la población cristiana en el año 1975, se dedicaron a asesinar libaneses de esta religión en forma sistemática, ciudad tras ciudad, sin clemencia. Yo terminé viviendo en refugios subterráneos desde los 10 hasta los 17 años, sin electricidad, comiendo pasto para vivir y serpenteando entre las balas para llegar hasta algún surtidor de agua".  

"Israel vino a salvarnos a nosotros, los cristianos del Líbano. Mi madre fue herida por un proyectil disparado desde una base musulmana y la llevaron enseguida a un hospital israelí para su tratamiento. La seguí desesperada y entré detrás de ella en el sector de emergencias. Tenía miedo y odio a los israelíes, porque me habían enseñado que eran los malignos del universo. Ni siquiera en las clases de Biblia nos dejaban leer el Antiguo Testamento, para que no tuviésemos otra idea de su horrible carácter. Sufrí un shock en ese hospital, porque me encontré rodeada por cientos de heridos, algunos musulmanes, otros palestinos, también cristianos, todos libaneses de cualquier edad y clase, mezclados con soldados israelíes heridos. Los médicos y enfermeros judíos se ocupaban de cada uno según sus problemas, trabajaban con celeridad y eficiencia. Se ocuparon de mi madre antes de revisar a un soldado israelí manchado de sangre y que respiraba con dificultad junto a ella. No ocurrió la temida discriminación religiosa, política o nacional que yo esperaba de esos perversos, según me habían inculcado, sino una práctica solidaria propia de samaritanos reales."  

Brigitte Gabriel abrió grandes los hermosos ojos oscuros y extendió sus expresivos brazos para exclamar: "¡Por primera vez en la vida experimenté la calidad que mi cultura no hubiera brindado al enemigo! Descubrí los valores que predominan entre los israelíes, capaces de tratar con amor al enemigo en sus momentos más críticos. Me daba vueltas la cabeza y el corazón me latía frenético ante esa revelación. Permanecí veintidós días en el hospital. Ese lapso cambió mi vida y la forma de recibir la información tendenciosa que martilla la radio o la TV árabe por todas partes. Me di cuenta de las incendiarias mentiras que fabrica mi gobierno y los demás gobiernos árabes sobre los judíos e Israel, tan lejos de la verdad. Advertí horrorizada que, si en vez de ser una árabe entre judíos, yo hubiera sido una judía alojada en un hospital árabe, me hubieran linchado y destrozado en medio de los aullidos Allah Akbar (Dios es grande), cuyo eco feroz petardeaba desde las calles vecinas".  

"Trabé amistad con las familias de los soldados israelíes heridos, en particular con una mujer llamada Rina, cuyo hijo único fue baleado delante de sus propios ojos. Un día, mientras la visitaba, varios amigos llegaron para cantarle canciones que levantasen su espíritu. Nos rodeaba una estremecedora calidez. Entonaron una canción sobre Jerusalén y abracé a Rina para llorar juntas. Esa madre sostuvo mi mano y me miraba desbordada de lágrimas para decirme, cuando yo mencionaba la desgracia de que su hijo quedase discapacitado para siempre: "No fue tu culpa, Brigitte, no fue tu culpa".  

La oradora hizo una pausa ante la magnetizada audiencia para lanzar una reflexión explosiva: "¡Qué diferencia, por Dios, entre esa madre junto a su hijo deformado, que amaba al enemigo, con ciertas madres musulmanas que envían y bendicen a sus hijos para que se aten explosivos a la cintura y despedacen judíos y cristianos en un acto suicida criminal! ¡Enfatizo – agregó – que la diferencia entre el mundo árabe e Israel es una diferencia de valores! Es la barbarie contra la civilización, es la dictadura contra la democracia, es el desprecio al otro contra el respeto por el otro".  

Cambió la tonalidad, como si fuese a decir un cuento de hadas: "Había una vez...", pero enseguida añadió: "Había una vez la convicción de que merecía el más hondo pozo del infierno quien asesinaba intencionalmente a un niño. Ahora, en cambio, los terroristas han logrado legitimizar el asesinato de niños judíos como recurso de su «justa lucha». Recordemos, sin embargo, que cuando algo se legitima contra los judíos, luego empieza a ser legitimado para el resto del mundo. Ya no sorprende que los explosivos se carguen de clavos y tornillos con el propósito de matar o por lo menos malherir a niños para la gloria de Dios. Los terroristas han acostumbrado a la opinión pública a resignarse con los asesinatos de civiles, ocurran las matanzas en Israel, Nairobi, Bali, Nueva York, Buenos Aires, Moscú, Londres o Madrid. Justifican su salvaje conducta con un argumento deleznable: los «desespera la ocupación». Pero déjenme contarles la verdad – anunció Brigitte Gabriel –. La verdad informa que el terror empezó contra los judíos, cuando no había ninguna ocupación".  

Mientras absorbía las palabras de esta sensible e independiente periodista árabe, pensé que iba a referirse a la gran matanza de hombres, mujeres y niños desarmados que cometieron las bandas dirigidas por el Mufti de Jerusalén, Haj Amin El Husseini, amigo de Hitler, con quien se fotografió en Berlín, tras prometerle ocuparse de la "solución final" en Medio Oriente. Ya había diezmado en el lejano año 1929 a la comunidad de Hebrón, luego seguiría con el resto, hasta "limpiar el país de judíos" y hacerlo Judenrein, como pretendían los nazis y ahora es una trágica realidad consumada en casi todos los países árabes, discriminación étnica masiva que la prensa astigmática y los políticos camanduleros se resisten a tener presente.  

Brigitte Gabriel, contra lo que yo esperaba, se refirió a otro hecho que pronto fue olvidado por el estallido de la guerra de la independencia israelí. Narró en forma documentada que meses antes de esa independencia, el domingo 22 de febrero de 1948 (la independencia fue firmada en mayo), tres camiones cargados con explosivos detonaron en la concurrida calle Ben Yehuda de Jerusalén, donde mataron a cincuenta y cuatro civiles e hiriendo a centenares de transeúntes. En ese tiempo, dijo, severa, no estaban "desesperados por la ocupación".  

Con tristeza evocó el Líbano de su infancia, antes de la guerra civil que pretendió limpiar también al país de cristianos. La mayoría era cristiana y parecía que las fanáticas guerras de religión quedaban atrás. Pero la diferencia demográfica empezó a modificar los guarismos, porque no son equivalentes una familia monogámica cristiana con la musulmana que llega a cuatro esposas y produce una tribu de hijos. "¿Conocen una familia cristiana como la de Ben Laden, que posee 53 hermanos?" Tampoco es lo mismo la cultura cristiana, que absorbe las conquistas de Occidente (igualdad de la mujer, libertad de expresión, estímulo del arte, aprecio por la investigación científica, derechos individuales, tolerancia por las diferencias) con la cultura que rechaza esos valores.  

Las palabras de Brigitte Gabriel me inyectaron de nuevo la esperanza de que en el mundo árabe existen personalidades valientes como las que en su momento lucharon dentro del cristianismo contra la Inquisición o en Alemania contra el nazismo, pese a la confusión que generan las lealtades deformadas. En el Líbano centenares de miles hoy cruzan los dedos para que los criminales de Hezbollah, que han atacado a Israel sin el justificativo de ninguna "ocupación", sean derrotados para el bien de la región y el mundo. El Líbano merece vivir y progresar sin las hordas medievales que sueñan psicóticamente con establecer un califato totalitario que extienda su imperio desde España hasta el océano Pacífico. Su primera etapa es la definitiva destrucción de Israel.  

Link corto:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Qana: The director´s cut

Portuguese blog called Blasfêmias brings me an interesting link: The-now-infamous "green helmet" from Lebanon (Qana) live directing the scenes (photos) that made him famous (and his white-shirt friend too) from what was know as the "Qana Massacre".
Here we can seen him directing the cameramen, preparing the corpses (of a dead child, in a evident full exploitation of the episode from Hezbollah) to the best shot possible.
It´s desgusting !!
The scenes were shown by a German TV network.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

After Pallywood, comes Hezbollah-wood

When I posted the video "Pallywood" on this blog, it was kind of preemptive.
Few days later there was Qana: the blood and the pain of innocent made me felt terrible and I wanted to erase the "pallywood" post. People could think that I believed that carnage at Qana could be posed just like the scenes from the "Intifada" showed on that video.

But I was wrong: Qana turned out to be another round a big fight called "how to mislead-the-western-media" by the Arab militants.

While on monday (1 day later) newspapers screamed about those 58 civilians victims, on Wednesday they had to push down the numbers to 28.

In the mean time the blog EU Referendum showed precisely what was going on at Qana: Hezbollah militants (the mysterious green helmet guy on the photo) posing as "rescue team" for hours to western photographers using dead bodies of children like war throphy.

Ok. There were victims. But they have to blame it on Hezbollah. They used to hide weapons and rocket launchers on civilian areas.  That´s the real problem.

Another take:

Reuters released a photo from Lebanon that was "photoshoped" to amplify the signs (smoke) of an Israeli attack. You can read it here

"This Reuters photograph shows blatant evidence of manipulation. Notice the repeating patterns in the smoke; this is almost certainly caused by using the Photoshop "clone" tool to add more smoke to the image.

Smoke simply does not contain repeating symmetrical patterns like this, and you can see the repetition in both plumes of smoke. There's really no question about it. It's not only the plumes of smoke that were 'enhanced.' There are also cloned buildings."

Scene 3:

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora says only one person was killed in an Israeli air strike on the southern border village of Houla, after earlier saying 40 people had lost their lives.

"The massacre in Houla, it turned out that there was one person killed," Mr Siniora said.


For those who thinks "Pallywood" could be a point-out-of-a-curve, all these stories prove that in this conflict between Israel and who wants to destroy her, one side uses lies, provocations and cowardness against their enemies. Even using their own people as cannon fodder.
And the western media? Swallows it as truth.