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Internet-Spreading American Gets 15-Year Sentence In Cuba 386

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-a-long-vacation dept.
decora writes "American social worker Alan Phillip Gross, who has spent years connecting developing countries to the internet, has been sentenced by a 'Security Court' in Cuba to 15 years in prison. His crime: 'Acts against the Independence and Territorial Integrity of the State.' The Cuban government also claimed he was trying to 'destroy the Revolution through the use of communication systems out of the control of authorities.'"
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Internet-Spreading American Gets 15-Year Sentence In Cuba

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  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:20AM (#35489066)

    'destroy the Revolution through the use of communication systems out of the control of authorities.'

    And I always thought that a revolution by definition involves total loss of control by authorities...

    • by Bobakitoo (1814374) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:23AM (#35489080)
      No, a revolution is a one full turn. It bring new authorities in control.
      • by fractoid (1076465)
        Woah. I'd never thought of it like that... kind of like the way that "bringing balance to the force" doesn't mean total victory of the bad guys.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LordNacho (1909280)

          OT, but I always wondered WTF the Jedis were thinking when they came across Anakin. Surely if he's the one meant to bring balance to the force, and the good guys are in total power (the Sith were hiding), that means he'll help the bad guys? (Not a big SW buff though, only saw the films.)

          • by fractoid (1076465)
            Yeah that's what I meant to say... On one side you have the Jedi Council, running the galaxy, and on the other side you have the Sith, presumed wiped out. I wouldn't think the Jedi would be so keen on 'balancing' those two sides!
          • by d3ac0n (715594) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @09:34AM (#35490514)

            It wasn't just the Jedi that were wrong. Both sides thought that their way was the exclusive and only way to deal with the Force, and really each side only understood an aspect of the force. Like old parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant, both the Jedi and the Sith of the Old Republic time were suffering from dogma myopia.

            The Jedi believed that "The Vergence" of the Force would sweep away the last vestiges of the Sith and bring about true peace and the Ultimate Jedi Way. Sort of like a Jedi Buddha. The Sith (Through Darth Sidious) Thought that creating the "Ultimate Force Being" via use of the Sith life creating skill (thus impregnating Shmi Skywalker) would allow them to rule uncontested over the galaxy.

                Anakin's true purpose was to sweep away BOTH of the old Dogmas. First by destroying the massive religious structure the Jedi had built up, and then by destroying the last leader of the Sith religion. Doing this cost him his wife, his friends, nearly his sanity and ultimately his life. (Not to mention millions of other lives throughout the galaxy) But in the process renewed not only the Force through his son Luke, but the entire Republic through his daughter Leia.

            That's my understanding of it anyway. More serious SW fans may disagree though. I'm sure they'll be along to flame me forthwith. ;)

            • by Cinder6 (894572) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @09:39AM (#35490564)

              It's sad that somebody is able to explain, in just a few sentences, the entire plot of Star Wars much more convincingly and compellingly than Lucas was able to do in six full-length movies.

              • Haha I thought the exact same thing. I'm convinced Lucas only made the original trilogy good by accident.

                • by drinkypoo (153816)

                  Haha I thought the exact same thing. I'm convinced Lucas only made the original trilogy good by accident.

                  How else do you explain his direction of Return when Empire was the finest movie? "Whoops, can't let THAT happen again."

    • Not news. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Regimes that have, ideologically, started out as Communist revolutions, like to refer themselves as "revolutionary," much like the West uses the word "democratic": "that is us, never mind the word's meaning or our actions". So, yes, it is possible to have a reactionary Revolution, or a fascist Democracy; note the capitalization.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @06:10AM (#35489230)

      They are referring specifically to the theoretical revolution described by Marx.

      Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie > Dictatorship of the Proletariat > Stateless Communism

      Any "communist" state will be a dictatorship, ostensibly of the proletariat, that theoretically safeguards a revolution in progress. That state's duty is to prevent "counterrevolution" by the bourgeois. This is what they refer to when they say Gross is attempting to "destroy the Revolution".

      The Cuban government has, like all communist governments, stalled in the Dictatorship phase, and they are desperately preventing any move forward. Every institution is self-preserving, so the state cannot set into motion the process that would destroy it (the transition into stateless communism). So the state just kind of flops around oppressively until someone puts it out of its misery.

      edit: funny coincidence, my captcha was "anarchy"

      • by Kilobug (213978) <[rf.atipe] [ta] [g_gim-el]> on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @06:43AM (#35489332)

        Dictatorship of the Proletariat is one of the most widely misunderstood expression, used a few times by Marx (and it was a very clumsy wording from him, indeed). What Marx meant by it is a strong government *in the hands of the working class* able to realize fast and profound changes in the society. He didn't mean by it a Stalin-like totalitarian state. He was even clear that for him, "dictatorship of the proletariat", was something like Paris' Commune. Which was the most democratic form of government that existed in modern history in France. In which elected representative could be recalled at any time at the demand of the basis. Which abolished death penalty, and gave right to vote to women, as early as 1870. Even the "army" of the Commune (the National Guard) was democratic, with the officers elected by the guards.

        As for the Cuban government, it's not perfect, but it's not a "dictatorship" under the common meaning of the word nowadays. People aren't arrested there for just disagreeing. There is no torture. People aren't kept in jail without trial. There are elections, and if we can discuss their fairness and the weird system they use, it's not the case only in Cuba (hint, 2000 election in the USA). There is no forced labor camps. Police don't open fire on protests.

        If you compare Cuba to its neighbors, it has much less human rights violations than for example in Mexico, Peru, Colombia or Chile (which are US allies and recognized as "democracies"). And it has several very positive aspects. One of the best healthcare system of the world (with the same life expectancy as USA despite the blockade, and a lower child death rate), one of the best educative system of the world (lower illiteracy and higher university enrollment rate than in USA).

        Cuba isn't perfect, and we should criticize what is broken in the cuban system. But Cuba is not a "tropical gulag", it's not the hell of a country that the mass media tell us it is. Considering its history and the hostility of a nearby superpower, it's quite impressive they managed to get all the good things they have, without much more bad things. Especially when you compare with so many other countries of Latin America.

        • by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @07:03AM (#35489424) Journal
          The problem with communism (Marx/Engels version) is that violent revolution is part of the Communist Manifesto's implementation plan for Communism (read it if you don't believe me).

          In most violent revolutions the person willing and capable of exerting the most violence ends up at the top. Most such people do not give up their power once at the top.

          That's why communist (and other violent) revolutions tend to end up as dictatorships.

          Only a few cases (e.g. the American Revolution) are the exceptions. I'm no expert but I think the American Revolution was quite different when compared to most "communist revolutions". Seems to me that much of each state's structure was maintained rather than overthrown.
          • by stiggle (649614)

            Most communist revolutions are a revolution by the working masses to remove the landed gentry from positions of power and control. The American Revolution was a revolution by the landed gentry - who then put in place a system of government to keep themselves in positions of power and control.

            If the revolutions mantra of "No taxation without representation" is true then why are Green Card holders taxed?

            • by sumdumass (711423)

              If the revolutions mantra of "No taxation without representation" is true then why are Green Card holders taxed?

              Because they have no other right to be in the country outside that granted to them by the government who also taxes them.

              But you have to also remember, the people who started "No taxation without representation" were stating it as citizens, not guests temporarily allowed to work in the country.

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by HungryHobo (1314109)

                and yet they still, quite simply, are taxed without having any representation.
                Nothing you said justifies that.
                it just makes you feel better about it.

              • by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @08:36AM (#35489886) Journal
                In a few US states, convicted felons even after serving out their time no longer have a right to vote.
                • by lwsimon (724555)

                  That's the case in most states, I believe, and it is not the only right denied.

                  Felons typically also lose the right to own firearms, even if convicted of non-violent crimes.

                  • by afidel (530433)
                    Dude you don't need to be convicted of a felony, or even a crime to have your rights revoked. In many states a simple psych eval is all that's needed to deny you your rights (psychology is a pseudo-science with many quacks willing to say whatever gets them paid). Another example is in Ohio where *any* drug conviction even a minor misdemeanor (same as a ticket and technically not a crime) bars your from owning a firearm until and unless you are able to beg your county prosecutor to reinstate your rights.
                    • by GooberToo (74388) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @10:49AM (#35491546)

                      Dude you don't need to be convicted of a felony, or even a crime to have your rights revoked. In many states a simple psych eval is all that's needed to deny you your rights (psychology is a pseudo-science with many quacks willing to say whatever gets them paid). Another example is in Ohio where *any* drug conviction even a minor misdemeanor (same as a ticket and technically not a crime) bars your from owning a firearm until and unless you are able to beg your county prosecutor to reinstate your rights.

                      This is the sad truth. It wasn't so long ago that when you were released from prison you were given cash for roughly 30-days of living if you stretched it real tight. Likewise, if you were arrested with a firearm, you were returned your firearm and given six or so shells for your weapon. Yes, that's right, felons were re-armed if they were arrested with a firearm. They understood this was essential to allowing them to live. Of course socio-economically times have changed somewhat in that regard, but the point remains, anything else is blatantly illegal and unconstitutional. This is something that was well understood and accepted even less than a hundred years ago.

                      The sad truth is, unless there is a Constitutional amendment to revoke the second amendment rights from criminals, all of these laws are unconstitutional. Frequently citing US law, Title 18, Section 922(g) of the US Code, is given as an excuse why felons are not allowed to carry weapons but completely ignores the fact that a law can not usurp the protections provided by the US Constitution and it is specifically mandated only an amendment can do such a thing. So according to the US Constitution and US law, the US and state laws which prevent felons from owning weapons is both unconstitutional and illegal - nonetheless, its enforced.

                    • by lwsimon (724555)

                      Most, if not all, of Section 922 is unconstitutional. Sickening.

            • If the revolutions mantra of "No taxation without representation" is true then why are Green Card holders taxed?

              Of course it must be remembered that individual taxes at the Federal level were forbidden in the Constitution by the "no taxation without representation" people.

              It was only later that the Federal government decided to amend the Constitution to allow the phrase "no per capita tax" to be translated as "any per capita tax we think we need"...

          • by SQL Error (16383)

            The problem with communism is that it doesn't scale [ucla.edu]. A communist economy of any significant size will always go down the tubes, and the people will revert to a market economy or simply leave unless prevented by threat of violence.

        • by chroma (33185)

          You gotta be kidding. You're wrong about just about everything. Read, for instance what Amnesty International has to say:
          http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cuba [amnesty.org]

        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          People aren't arrested there for just disagreeing. There is no torture. People aren't kept in jail without trial.

          Yes, there are people arrested just for disagreeing, there are people tortured, and people jailed without trial. A lot fewer than there were back in the 1960's when Che Guevera was summarily executing people daily, but it still occasionally happens.

          That said, there's a lot of evidence that Cuba is a lot better place for most of its residents than, say, Haiti or the Dominican Republic.

        • Wow. I didn't see it before, but you have opened my eyes. With all of this "awesome" happening in Cuba, I fully expect that soon people will be clamoring to get in and live under this impressive system. That's really cool that they don't open fire on protesters. Does that include anti-Castro protesters? When is the next anti-Castro protest scheduled? Maybe I will try and find a video feed.

          And elections, too? What percentage of the vote has Fidel/Raul gotten, historically? Or is it completely represe

          • by tehcyder (746570)
            Cuba' is in a poor way economically due to the on-going trade embargo by the US and knock-on effect to other countries, combined with the absence of major external supporters since the fall of the USSR. It's hard to make a country great to live in when immensely rich near neighbours are doing their best to starve you out of existence.
        • therefore, it is not legitimate, and deserves no respect. either the people participate in who is chosen as their leader on a regular basis, or they don't. if they do, it is a good government and a stable country. if the people have no voice in their own government, it is a vile government that deserves no respect, internationally and domestically, and will crumble eventually, as the middle east shows: even the most hardened despot can do nothing if his people ceases to fear him anymore. and if you do not h

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tehcyder (746570)

            there is no other choice between what undergirds the source of the power of your government: either consent, or fear

            The collection of capitalists, crooks, psycopaths and scum that make up most Westen governments rely almost exclusively on fear and propaganda to maintain themselves in power against the true will of the people, or else you wouldn't have billionaire cunts paying minimal taxes and getting away with whatever they want around the world.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Hush! America is a faith based country, where people decide what they want to believe and then go looking for evidence that supports it, they don't wish to be confronted by contrary evidence.
        • What Marx meant by it is a strong government *in the hands of the working class* able to realize fast and profound changes in the society.

          Making rapid changes to a system as complex as a human society is rarely a good idea. Even gradual change tends to produce unexpected consquences, and making many big changes quickly leads to a situation where the results of the changes becomes completely unpredictable.

  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:21AM (#35489070) Homepage

    to withstand criticism, maybe it doesn't deserve to rule.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you know the history of Latin America you remember the role of USA agencies (including USAID) in putting military puppet regimes in power. USA agencies in Latin America is not as innocent as some may think. Sadly.

      • Yeah no shit, maybe if we worried about our own business and corruption, instead of playing "Hey lets fuck with everybody else!" maybe we wouldn't be in such bad shape.

        Hell when you are covering up for private contractors selling 9 year old boys as fuck toys to get better deals on contracts? you have NO STANDING to be preaching to anyone else about freedom and rights, since child trafficking is about as low and sick as it gets.

        And I don't care what anyone says Manning is a damned hero for showing what sick bastards we are actively supporting. The sick part is it wasn't even the first time we covered for these fuckers, they were selling 8 year old girls in Kosovo in the 90s. It is pretty much SOP for those bastards and we STILL kept hiring them and covering for them. Makes me ashamed to be an American. How much lower can we sink?

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @08:53AM (#35490050) Homepage

        Very relevant quote:
        "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." - Maj Gen Smedley Butler

    • by makomk (752139) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:32AM (#35489108) Journal

      Probably not, no. It's not terribly surprising that this guy was arrested and imprisoned, though - I mean, he was actually being funded by the US to try and undermine the Cuban government. Can you imagine what would've happened if someone funded by the Soviet Union tried to set up communications networks in the US that the Government couldn't monitor?

      Remember that the US has a history of attempting assassination attempts against Fidel Castro and has organized (badly) at least one attempt to violently overthrow the government - and they're not exactly doing it out of a desire to spread freedom and democracy... Also remember that the previous US-supported dictator was pretty horrid and screwed over basically the entire Cuban population in favour of the US interests that owned most of Cuba.

      • by nospam007 (722110) * on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @06:25AM (#35489276)

        "Can you imagine what would've happened if someone funded by the Soviet Union tried to set up communications networks in the US that the Government couldn't monitor?"

        I can.
        Phil Zimmerman (Pretty Good Privacy) was investigated for 3 years because the US Government regarded cryptographic software as a munition, subject to arms trafficking export controls.

        And he wasn't even funded by the Soviets or anybody else.

        • "Can you imagine what would've happened if someone funded by the Soviet Union tried to set up communications networks in the US that the Government couldn't monitor?"

          I can. Phil Zimmerman [...] And he wasn't even funded by the Soviets or anybody else.

          So you mean you can't?

          • by corbettw (214229)

            The question wasn't "Can you remember a time when someone was funded by the Soviets", it "can you imagine what would happen if..." So if Phil Zimmerman was investigated just for creating software the Powers That Be© didn't like, it's easy to imagine from there how much harder they would come down on someone funded by an enemy state.

      • Can you imagine what would've happened if someone funded by the Soviet Union tried to set up communications networks in the US that the Government couldn't monitor?

        I know Cuba is a backwards country, but I didn't suspect the situation was so bad that the government couldn't monitor the internet.

        Remember that the US has a history of attempting assassination attempts against Fidel Castro and has organized (badly) at least one attempt to violently overthrow the government

        Considering how easily the US invaded two different countries at the same time at the other side of the world, they could take over Cuba in a weekend if they wanted to. The Bay of Pigs rebellion was performed by Cuban citizens, with some support from the CIA but no direct military intervention from the USA.

        This is very different from the Cuban invasion of Angola. The Bay of Pig

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          So Cuba has oil?

          Sure, 120 million barrels proved reserves at the moment and 51k barrels/day production; estimates of their offshore resources are much higher. CNN: How oil could bring Cuba and the U.S. back together - May. 25, 2010 [cnn.com]. That might provide a convenient casus belli, or lead to greater cooperation. Or maybe things will just waffle along the way they have for the last 50 years.

      • Can you imagine what would've happened if someone funded by the Soviet Union tried to set up communications networks in the US that the Government couldn't monitor?

        I hope many people groups, countries, individuals and organizations do this. Look what happens in places like Iran, Egypt and Libya when they shut down the internet. A lot of individuals, nonprofit organizations, businesses and eventually some governments stepped in to help the citizens get safe access to the internet. If the US ever cracks down too hard on a free internet, I certainly hope everyone else out there will pitch in to help us citizens out in our time of need too. And I won't give a damn abo

  • Bradley Manning (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:25AM (#35489090) Journal
    All counter-revolutionaries are given the harshest treatment. Remember: all their rights respected until [youtube.com] somebody we like gets elected. You can spread your opinion from the rooftops as loudly as you like, as long as it is either (i) pro-government; or (ii) of no consequence to the government. The US government is clever to realise that most speech comes under (ii).

    For an example closer to Western home, check out what's happening to Bradley Manning [guardian.co.uk].

    • Re:Bradley Manning (Score:4, Insightful)

      by darojasp (910720) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:35AM (#35489128) Homepage Journal
      I find funny that the US demands this guy to be released. By principle, if this guy is released so should be Manning
      • by ScentCone (795499)
        By principle, if this guy is released so should be Manning

        Manning acted out of a juvenile sense of drama, and indiscriminantly stole hundreds of thousands of documents in a fit of pique over "being in a bad place" emotionally. He betrayed his fellow service members and knew that his drama queen routine was going to put many people at great risk so that he could be seen stamping his feet and saddling up to that ego maniac, Assange. How is that the same as setting up communications channels for individuals
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by LordLucless (582312)

          Funny, I thought his fellow service members were busy betraying their principles by colluding in the organised rape of children [guardian.co.uk] that Manning helped expose.

          Yeah, finding out my country was funding that could quite possibly put me "in a bad place emotionally" and lead to a "fit of pique". Of course, I'd probably call it "righteous anger" and "exposing corruption", but spin it however you will. After all, it's easier to call people "drama queens" and "ego maniacs" than it is to actually believe that your saint

        • Manning acted out of a juvenile sense of drama, and indiscriminantly stole hundreds of thousands of documents in a fit of pique over "being in a bad place" emotionally. He betrayed his fellow service members and knew that his drama queen routine was going to put many people at great risk so that he could be seen stamping his feet...

          Kissinger said much the same of Danel Ellsberg: It’s treasonable! There’s no question it’s actionable. I’m absolutely certain that this violates all sorts of security laws.

          How is that the same as setting up communications channels for individuals living under an oppressive totalitarian regime like Cuba's? It's not.

          He set up a communication channel with the world because he believed that the information belonged "in the public domain". His actions have been credited [foreignpolicy.com] with helping fuel the revolutions in the middle east - helping individuals living under an oppressive totalitarian regime.

          • He set up a communication channel with the world because he believed that the information belonged "in the public domain". His actions have been credited [foreignpolicy.com] with helping fuel the revolutions in the middle east - helping individuals living under an oppressive totalitarian regime.
            If we're going to assign so much credit, then let's assign some blame as well. How many dead shall we heap upon PFC Manning's plate?
        • One could easily make the point that Manning was "setting up communications channels for individuals living under an oppressive totalitarian regime", because if you think we are still living in a democracy then you need to wake up.

  • yeah, right... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    http://inteldaily.com/2011/03/our-man-in-havana/

  • stupid americans (Score:2, Insightful)

    by petur (1833384)
    Stop trying to be hero's by trying to rebuild countries after destroying them with wars or business blocks.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ScentCone (795499)
      after destroying them

      The only people who have destroyed Cuba is the totalitarian communist family that runs it and who jail or kill people for trying to lead a free life or leave the island.
  • Shame, shame, shame (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Funny thing, this guy entered Cuba on a tourist visa, so I'm not sure what he was doing hooking up dissidents to the Internet and expecting to get away with it.

    If the American government had as much outrage against its own military torturing and jailing innocent civilians, or hero's who risked their own lives and well being to help people; like Bradly Manning did in the whistle-blowing case; then people would be more likely to believe the United States, and the integrity of their words.

    Shame, shame, shame.

  • by br00tus (528477) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:38AM (#35489138)
    Of course, Americans are thrown into prison [nytimes.com] for allowing people to see foreign satellite channels, but let's not discuss that. Let's have the NASDAQ listed US Geeknet corporation news website Slashdot bash Cuba. Of course, USAID and the CIA have been trying to foment revolution in Cuba for a long time, and the US government has supported the terrorist groups that have been bombing hotels in Cuba. Meanwhile, the US tortures prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, a military base Cuba has asked leave Cuba but the US in its imperialist hubris refuses. Terrorists who bomb civilian airlines like Luis Posada Carilles walk the streets of the US freely, with his only legal problems being minor asylum discrepancies.

    Also, how many cable stations in the US is English Al-Jazeera on? Talk about a corporate/government lockdown. Al-Jazeera is banned from the New York Stock Exchange floor as well for whatever reason.

    What rank hypocrisy. Five Cubans [freethefive.org] who were concerned with terrorists like Carilles are locked in US jails right now. I'm sure Cuba would be perfectly willing to do a prisoner exchange. The US should free its political and free spech prisoners and stop supporting terrorists like Carilles before its corporations like Geeknet/Slashdot complain about Cuba. How is this USAID spy a spy who should be free, but the Cuban Five should be in prison. Just the arrogant imperial hubris of the US.

    • Of course, USAID and the CIA have been trying to foment revolution in Cuba for a long time, and the US government has supported the terrorist groups that have been bombing hotels in Cuba

      Isn't it ironic that people who claim about US agents are trying to overthrow the Cuban government are the same people who idolize a Cuba government agent that was killed while conducting terrorist actions to overthrow other countries governments?

      • It's obvious, isn't it?
        "We are the good guys, everything we do is good. They are the bad guys, everything they do is wrong"
        It applies to both sides.
    • (fixing formatting)

      > foreign satellite channels
      I wonder why you felt you had to use that euphemism instead of just saying "Hezbollah TV". Maybe because Hezbollah is a world-wide famous terrorist organization? As such, distribution of its materials is prohibited by law, therefore what you support here is violation of law, and apparently you don't want to appear that way, am I correct?

      This is the usual hypocrisy of your type of rights activists. You are accusing state authorities of actions that ar
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Of course, Americans are thrown into prison for allowing people to see foreign satellite channels

      Oddly enough, your link only resolved to a full screen ad with no option to skip. Maybe if I trusted nytimes to run javascript or other crap, which I most certainly do not. Maybe you should provide a link to a site that isn't into ads and paywalls. Nytimes is part of the problem, linking there for an issue like that is ridiculous. At minimum they will move the article later to produce 404s (and they will NOT provide a new address.)

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:46AM (#35489172)
    I can't get upset about this. I feel it is bad enough that Americans with Cuban heritage have the right to visit Cuba while my government says that I am forbidden to do so. But this guy isn't Cuban (he's Jewish), yet somehow he get to go to Cuba on a tourist visa. He broke their laws (which really suck but he clearly knew their laws).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Cuba will give you a tourist visa. Go to Canada or Mexico, get a visa and then go. It will not even stamp your passport as not to get you in trouble.

    • by osgeek (239988)

      I know what you mean. I can't seem to muster much sympathy for dipshits that go to oppressive foreign countries, do illegal things, and get busted.

      That includes you stupid hikers who go looking for trouble on the "borders" of Iran or North Korea. You're fools and we waste far too much time giving a damn about how you fucked up your lives.

  • by dugeen (1224138)
    Doubtless the Cubans are merely following the shining example of the kangaroo courts that try 'terrorist' inmates in the concentration camp at Guantanamo. I can't quite recall which democratic power operates that camp though, perhaps it will come back to me...
    • by ScentCone (795499)

      the kangaroo courts that try 'terrorist' inmates

      You don't actually know what that phrase means, do you?

    • by corbettw (214229)

      Doubtless the Cubans are merely following the shining example of the kangaroo courts

      Wow, so you're a racist who thinks Cubans can't do anything on their own, and you throw out a groundless tu quoque argument from the get go. Impressive.

      • by osgeek (239988)

        The sad thing is that there are enough moderators to rate up illogical drivel to +5 instead of -1 flamebait.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Doubtless the Cubans are merely following the shining example of the kangaroo courts that try 'terrorist' inmates in the concentration camp at Guantanamo. I can't quite recall which democratic power operates that camp though, perhaps it will come back to me...

        Wow, so you're a racist who thinks Cubans can't do anything on their own, and you throw out a groundless tu quoque argument from the get go. Impressive.

        Wow, so someone makes a political statement about how Cuba is merely doing the same kind of shit we are all doing, and you have to discredit it by accusing him of racism? Not only are you an asshole, but you're a stupid, jingoistic asshole who has gotten defensive.

  • by Kilobug (213978) <[rf.atipe] [ta] [g_gim-el]> on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @06:11AM (#35489234)

    So, what ? A man employed by an hostile foreign power (a power imposing to a country an illegal blockade since 50 years, and sponsoring terrorism against that country) is arrested because he, secretly and without any permission, is corrupting local persons into subverting the local government. He would be arrested in any country for that.

    As for USAID, it's a not a charity, it's a CIA cover entity since long.

    If USA were really interested into spreading Internet in Cuba, they would lift the blockade restrictions that forbid Cuba to connecting to the trans-atlantic cable that runs not so long from it. If they were really interested into spreading Internet in Cuba, they would allow Cuba to purchase computers.

    But no. They don't want to spread Internet in Cuba. They want to reward the few cubans (and the wikileaks are clear that even the SINA (US "embassy" in Cuba) acknowledge the "opposition" in Cuba is very small and unpopular there) who betray their own country to support the agenda of the nearby imperialist power. That's it. It's plain corruption.

    Cuba system is not perfect. It has many flaws. It also have many positive things. We should encourage them to keep what's good and change what is not. But it's not by sending cover agents to corrupt people to oppose their government that it'll happen. And the cover agent who tried to do that is not a freedom-fighter.

    And I can understand Cuba being strict with those cover agents, when you see that the Cuban Five were sentenced to much harder penalty, while they weren't at all opposing the US government, but only infiltrating the Miami-based terror groups.

    • by NoSig (1919688)
      Providing internet access is corruption of locals?
    • by corbettw (214229)

      It does seem odd that the US government would sponsor a mission like this, which doubtless cost quite a bit of money and now this guy his freedom, and yet they won't do something simple like, oh, I dunno, lift the embargo and let Cubans buy all kinds of cheap communications equipment. Hell, we could flood their entire country with throwaway items from 10 years ago that would still be more advanced than what most people there use, and even provide free WiMax to the whole country for less than what this opera

    • by cjav (1331511)
      Just to be clear, you do know Obama lifted the ban on Cuba to connect to any cable and gave US companies the right to do business with Cuba with this respect several months ago, still Cuba didn't acted on it. If you watch this video, they say is because they don't have for sure the US wouldn't take the money and not provide the service:
      http://vimeo.com/19402730 [vimeo.com]

      They will always find a reason not to give people access to information!. That video is also a prove why there is a need for people like Alan Gro
  • The article linked to speaks of 'covert actions' to bring about 'democratic reforms', and the slashdot article speaks of a 'social worker'. Site's losing trustworthiness quickly this way. Sad.

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