Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘cuba’

“By the way, Raoul, do you think you could give us back our missile?”

Posted by Richard on January 8, 2016

Fox News:

An inert U.S. Hellfire missile sent to Europe for a NATO training exercise in 2014 was mistakenly shipped to Cuba and has been there ever since.

Though the missile does not contain any explosives, The Wall Street Journal reports U.S. officials are concerned that Cuban authorites may share the missile’s sensors and targeting technology with countries like Russia, China and North Korea.

May? It’s been there a year and a half. The targeting technology is probably already in the hands of every unsavory regime from the DPRK to Iran and may well be for sale on the darknet.

Several people familiar with the case told the Journal that the incident is the worst example of sensitive military technology falling into the hands of a nation under U.S. sanctions that they can recall.

According to the Journal report, the missile was properly shipped to Spain, where it was used in the exercise. It was then supposed to be taken on a roundabout journey back to the U.S. via Germany. Instead, the Journal reported the missile was loaded onto an Air France truck that took the cargo to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, where it was put on a flight to Havana.

The Journal reported that federal investigators were working to determine whether the shipment was the result of a major error, or the work of international criminals or spies.

A U.S. official told the Associated Press that manufacturer Lockheed Martin was authorized to export the dummy missile for the training exercise. The official attributed the shipping error to Lockheed’s freight forwarders, and said the U.S. was working with Lockheed to get the device back.

I try always to remember Hanlon’s Razor. But in this case, William of Ockham has assured me that “major error” is nowhere near the simplest explanation. A much simpler explanation is that someone(s) perpetrated something similar to the FedEx shipping theft scheme unearthed last year.

And “working with Lockheed to get the device back”? Does Lockheed have some in with the Castro regime that I’m not aware of?

U.S. officials have been urging the Cuban government to return the missile, the Journal said, adding that officials don’t suspect that Cuba will try to develop similar weapons technology on its own. The U.S. and Cuba restored diplomatic relations in July 2015 after more than 50 years of hostility.

Obama is willing to do whatever it takes (constitutional or not) to deprive Social Security recipients and veterans who need help with their finances of their Second Amendment rights. But he wouldn’t make restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba contingent on the return of that Hellfire? Has there ever been another instance of the leader of a country so clearly being an enemy of that country?

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Rubio blasts commie sympathizer Harkin

Posted by Richard on February 26, 2014

One of the things that really sets Sen. Marco Rubio apart from the empty suits in the GOP leadership is that he can speak extemporaneously from the heart, not just read a prepared text written for him by a staffer. On Monday, he spoke on the Senate floor with passion and to devastating effect. John Hayward described the context:

A new low in the disgrace of the American political class was reached when Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) took the floor this week to extol the virtues of Cuban communism.  A new high immediately followed, as Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) rose to annihilate Harkin, and all the other miserable apologists for left-wing tyranny.

Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo was impressed:

For 14 minutes and 16 seconds, Rubio gave the best oration of his political career, speaking largely off the top of his head and with only the barest of notes.

Here’s the video. It’s well worth your time.


[YouTube link]

Compare that to any speech ever by Sen. Mitch McConnell.

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A grim anniversary

Posted by Richard on January 1, 2009

I almost forgot that this January 1 is a grim anniversary. Investor's Business Daily remembered (emphasis added):

New Year's Day marks 50 years of communist rule in Cuba. The Castro oligarchy will trumpet its survival and celebrate. But the reality, up close, is that it's the longest-running failure in the New World.

Spare us the fireworks and media-parroted claims of Fidel Castro's dictatorship bringing universal health care and education to Cuba. The real story is that a prosperous Cuba was turned into ruins in just five decades.

Its inflation-adjusted gross domestic product is a mere 5% of what it was in 1958, the year before Castro took over, according to Jorge Salazar-Carillo of Florida International University.

"It's a major failure," Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a University of Pittsburgh economist, told IBD. "Cuba … now imports 84% of its food. Cuba produced 7 million tons of sugar in 1952. This year, it's 1.5 million tons. This is the result of economic policy of collectivization, killing of individual incentive, inefficiency, constant changes of policy."

As usual, the essential source for all things Cuban is Babalu Blog, so just hit that home page and keep scrolling — lots of analyses of how the mainstream media have been covering the story. 

But let me call your attention in particular to this post by Humberto: 

"Cuban mothers let me assure you that I will solve all Cuba's problems without spilling a drop of blood." Upon entering Havana on January 7, 1959, Cuba's new leader Fidel Castro broadcast that promise into a phalanx of microphones. As the jubilant crowd erupted with joy, Castro continued. “Cuban mothers let me assure you that because of me you will never have to cry."

The following day, just below San Juan Hill in eastern Cuba, a bulldozer rumbled to a start, clanked into position, and started pushing dirt into a huge pit with blood pooling at the bottom from the still-twitching bodies of more than a hundred men and boys who'd been machine-gunned without trial on the Castro brothers' orders. Their wives and mothers wept hysterically from a nearby road.

On that very day, the U.K. Observer ran the following headline: "Mr Castro's bearded, youthful figure has become a symbol of Latin America's rejection of brutality and lying. Every sign is that he will reject personal rule and violence."

A grim reminder of what these monsters — and their apologists — are really like. RTWT.

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