Help Plan Cuban Speaker's SoCal Tour, Miami 5 Defense
- Next meeting of the Los Angeles Coalition in Solidarity with Cuba:
Wednesday, January 16, 7:30pm/Peace Center Building/8124 W. 3rd Street, half a block west of Crescent Heights Boulevard
We will discuss the upcoming three-day Southern Californnia tour of Fernando Garcia, First Secretary of the Cuban Interests Section. The title of his speech is
"What Cuba Stands For."
We will make further plans to defend the five Cuban revolutionaries framed-up, convicted and sentenced on "espionage" and related charges in Miami.
We'll also discuss the significance of Washington's decision to dispatch 1,500 troops to its Guantanamo Naval Base on Cuba's eastern coast to build and patrol a maximum security prison for up to 1,000 Afghanistan war POWs.
This increases U.S. military presence in Cuba to nearly 3,000 troops.
Secretary Rumseld, according to the New York Times, has "not ruled out" using the base for U.S. military tribunals.
Two letters recently appeared in the Los Angeles Times on this development, the first by Cuba Coalition activist Jon Hillson.
"LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, LOS ANGELES TIMES, JANUARY 3, 2002"
"Guantanamo Base Shows U.S. Arrogance"
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, asked if the Cuban government will
protest the U.S.military's plan to transfer Afghan POWs to the U.S. base
at Guantánamo Bay, says, "We don't anticipate any trouble with Mr.
Castro." (Dec. 28).
Such haughtinessshould not be allowed to cloud the fact that, for nearly
a century, Washington has held this piece of Cuban soil--first as colonial
master of the puppet government that leased it "in perpetuity" in the
aftermath of U.S.military intervention in the Spanish-American War and,
since 1959, expressly against the stated wishes of the revolutionary
government and the clear and unambiguous sentiment of the Cuban people.
Washington's "rental" checks since then have remained uncashed.
Guantanamo, along with Vieques in Puerto Rico, is one of the few military
bases maintained by aforeign power in another country against the obvious
will of its people.It remains in place thanks to the standing threat of
the use of massive, brute force to secure its status as an occupying
military garrison.The U.S. should abandon Guantanamo, symbol of U.S.
Washington's movementof POWs there is nothing but a further insult
to--and provocative act against--a genuinely independent nation whose
people overwhelmingly oppose the war of its aggressive northern neighbor.
It is the continued U.S. bullying that will bring "trouble" to Washington's
doorstep, not "Mr. Castro," as Rumsfeld's coy remarks suggest.
Holding our POWs--or hostages--or whatever we want to call them at
Guantanamo Bay has only one purpose: to thumb our noses at Fidel Castro.
Patrick A. Mauer
For more information call 310.419.2983 or 213.383.9283
- Israel Destroy Homes in Gaza Refugee Camp
Israeli army bulldozers destroyed dozens of
buildings in a Gaza refugee camp early Thursday,
Palestinians said. Palestinian officials said
most of the buildings were inhabited, and some
residents said they fled for their lives into
heavy rain as their homes were being destroyed
by Occupation Forces. Once the Israeli Storm-
Troopers left the area the now homeless women
and children picked throughthe rubble, looking
The Palestinian guerrilla group Islamic Jihad said
Thursday it would no longer adhere to a halt in
anti-Israel attacks. A leaflet by the group's
military wing said that, ``starting from today,
we will not adhere to any understanding or cooperate
with the Palestinian Authority and its security
services in the lie of the cease-fire.''
Local officials said hundreds of people were made homeless
in the Gaza refugee camp, which was erected after Zionist
forced them from their homes and villages after the 1948
conquest of Palestine by the Israeli military. There was some
resistance to the demolition by Palestinians who threw
grenades and fired rifles toward Israeli Storm Troopers.
Also, hurling grenades and spraying rifle fire after first
climbing over a sophisticated security fence, Palestinian
resistance commandos entered Israel from the Gaza Strip
killing four Israeli Storm Troopers and wounding two
on a rain-soaked hillside.
The Bush administration venomously denounced the
Palestinian resistance by decrying the Hamas guerrilla
attack on the Israeli Storm Troopers, and demanded
that Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat make arrests and
dismantle Hamas. The Israeli military would not say
how many homes the Israeli Occupation forces destroyed
in the Rafah refugee camp, while Palestinian officials
said the number ranges from 52 to 73.
As residents picked through the rubble, one man shouted:
``The Israelis, the Americans, the Europeans, they're all
terrorists!'' He is of course correct - the Governments of
Israel, America, Britain, &c., are "all terrorists"! But,
the historical irony here is that the American, British,
French, &c., governments winked at the Nazi holocaust,
and not only refused to lift a finger to save German
and Polish Jewry in Germany and Warsaw, Poland,
but refused a ship of homeless Jews into Britain or
America, yet in Gaza and Palestine generally the U.S.
is providing military and political support for the
modern equivalent of the Warsaw Ghetto: Gaza
The US government also said that the Palestinian
Authority and the Fatah faction of the PLO were involved
in the abortive scheme to smuggle 50 tons of weapons
to the Palestinians last week. The judgment was based
on - here it comes again - "compelling evidence" presented
by Israeli intelligence, a senior U.S. official said.
Meantime, the US continues to supply tons of tons of
military equipment including jet-fighter planes and
tanks to Israel.
Yet, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer , said the
attack on the Israeli Storm-Troopers in the Occupied
territory was ``particularly disturbing'' and an open
assault on Arafat's authority.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in a telephone call
to Arafat, refused to accept his disavowal. Powell told
Arafat "that the indications of Palestinian involvement
were deeply troubling to us and that that's what we felt
required a full explanation," State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher said.
Khaled Mashal, a Hamas leader in Beirut, Lebanon, however,
suggested more attacks would follow. ``The resistance is
continuing,'' he said. However, Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas
leader in Gaza City, suggested that the assault on the outpost
was not a signal for a new wave of Hamas attacks.
In the past 15 months of fighting, Israel has destroyed hundreds
of homes in Rafah, which abuts the Israeli-Egyptian border.
Baha Abu Libdeh, 31, one of the camp residents made
homeless along with his wife and six children in Thursday's
demolitions, asked ``What danger does my house pose to the
Israeli security to be destroyed?'' Abu Libdeh said. ``I became
homeless today, and my children will remember one thing
about the state of Israel. It is the enemy.''
Israeli Army demolishes Palestinian homes
By Ross Dunn, Herald Correspondent in Jerusalem and agencies
Israeli army bulldozers demolished up to 30 buildings in Rafah in the southern
Gaza Strip yesterday in response to an attack that killed four Israeli
The escalation in violence came as the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell,
telephoned the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, to press him for an
explanation of the shipload of arms intercepted by Israeli forces last week in
the Red Sea.
US officials said Israel's claim that the vessel was taking the weapons from
Iran to the Palestinian Authority was "credible".
"Everything you have to say, you should say as soon as possible," Mr Powell
told Mr Arafat.
The State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, said the US had again stressed
it was Mr Arafat's responsibility to prevent arms shipments and dismantle the
The Palestinian leader repeated that neither he nor the Palestinian Authority
was involved, and he was committed to a full investigation of the shipment.
The Bush Administration, meanwhile, strongly condemned the attack early on
Wednesday by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on an Israeli army post near
the Gaza Strip, which killed four Israeli soldiers and left two Palestinian
It said the Hamas operation, though aimed at Israeli soldiers, was also a
direct attack on Mr Arafat's authority.
Hamas said Israel's seizure of the weapons vessel, the Karine A, had prompted
the attack. Hamas officials said they were still refraining from suicide
bombings inside Israel in line with a promise to Mr Arafat, but the raid
against the soldiers was legitimate because they were members of the
The Palestinian Authority condemned the raid, saying it would give Israel an
excuse to continue its "military escalation and siege against our people".
But the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, blamed Mr Arafat personally for
the attack, and said Israel would review is policy towards the Palestinian
Authority and consider "what steps to take".
Less than a day after the Hamas raid, a dozen Israeli bulldozers and armoured
vehicles drove into the Rafah refugee camp before dawn yesterday and began
flattening homes, witnesses said. Residents fled their homes in heavy rain, and
local officials said hundreds were made homeless. Weeping women and men and
children sifted through the rubble trying to recover their belongings.
Baha Abu Libdeh, 31, one of the camp residents made homeless, along with his
wife and six children, said Israel's retaliation would only create more hatred.
"What danger does my house pose to the Israeli security to be destroyed?" Abu
"I became homeless today, and my children will remember one thing about the
state of Israel, it is the enemy."
On Wednesday the Israeli Army destroyed two Palestinian security posts in
southern Gaza and closed three naval buildings on the Mediterranean coast.
The Hamas raid on Wednesday shattered a more than three-week lull in violence,
the longest period of calm since the uprising against Israeli occupation began
in September 2000.
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