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

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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  • 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].

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:26AM (#35489092)


  • Shame, shame, shame (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:32AM (#35489110)

    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 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"

  • 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?

  • Re:Bradley Manning (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @06:55AM (#35489388)

    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 saintly government could be involved in corruption.

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

    by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @08:25AM (#35489794) Journal

    You are talking as if betrayal is inherently wrong. I realise it's expected, in evolutionary terms, for humans to feel this way. It's the social primate inside you talking: my tribe/country, right or wrong; the death of one of my tribe is worse than the death of a thousand of anyone else.

    But there is nothing wrong with betraying something or someone you initially thought to be acting morally but then found to be acting immorally. For they have already betrayed you, and to continue is to betray yourself. Even civilian law mostly understands this: you're not excused because you did something illegal for a friend, nor does the law punish you for reporting your friend for murder. What is more, you're never just following orders, even when a substantial hierarchy is in place to make the order lawful from the point of view of that hierarchy. The extent of your willing participation measures the extent of your guilt.

    Lawyers have lawyered the Constitution with absurd interpretations to break its spirit. Constitutionalists sometimes even forget that the document represents a set of principles; it does not generate those principles. Manning was certainly acting morally. Maybe the right combination of judges at some future trial will conclude that he was acting legally (perhaps in terms of international law, or perhaps US Constitutional law).

    And, let's not forget that much of the material he would have to release would be diplomatic material that put in jeopardy Cuba's efforts to avoid going to war.

    "Diplomatic material" here is a weasel phrase for "secrets which we want to keep to maintain peace in a dishonest manner". There is diplomacy in the sense of everyone sitting down at a table and openly discussing their grievances and finding a peaceful solution. Then there is diplomacy in the Kissinger sense of tricking people with a myriad of under-the-table deals into thinking they've been offered more than nothing at all. Entangling alliances with none.

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @09:19AM (#35490340)

    The original conception was more similar to the Hindu/Buddhist conception of "balance" and "imbalance", than the Judaeo-Christian concept of good and evil.

    The dark side of the force (originally named "Bogan") was the imbalance. And the light side of the force was the natural balanced state of the force.

    This kind of got lost in the original trilogy because they changed the names so they would sound less stupid and confuse the (American) audience less.

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @10:37AM (#35491392) Homepage
    Guess what, when you commit a very serious crime, you have demonstrated that you can't play well with the rest of us, and we decided that you will lose certain civil rights. Such as: not being able to own a firearm, participation in the political process, and ineligibility for military service. Tough shit. Should have thought of that before hurting society. Payback's a bitch, ain't it?

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson