Category Archives: Politics

Raul Castro redefines democracy at first national conference of the communist party


At the Communist Party’s first national conference in Havana, Cuba on Sunday, President Raul Castro delivered his discourse and defense of Cuba’s one-party political system. He also issued a strident warning to the 800 delegates attending the Communist Party’s first national conference to fight corruption that he said was the greatest threat to the revolution. Corruption, Castro said, was greater than anything the United States could dream up.

In an unyielding closing speech to the conference, Castro vowed to continue his pledge to institute 2, 5-year term-limits for Cuban officials. Castro explained that a constitutional amendment would be required, however, urged leaders to begin to adopt the practice even before its formalization.

The recurring theme in Castro’s speech at the conference was the U.S. threat to Cuba and the limits the threat placed on Cuba’s reform. “There has been no shortage of criticism and exhortations by those who have confused their intimate desires with reality, deluding themselves that this conference would consecrate the beginning of the dismantling of the political and social system the revolution has fought for for more than half a century,” Castro said. He further declared that Cubans that push for a multi-party system are forgetting that Cuba is under siege from their Goliath (the United States) neighbor to the north that would stop at nothing to destroy it. “To renounce the principle of a one-party system would be the equivalent of legalizing a party, or parties, of imperialism on our soil,” he said.

Using the United States’ democratic system as an example, Castro said the U.S. multi-party democratic system only concentrated power in the hands of the wealthy. He said that while Cuba had only one party, it sought the participation of all citizens through party and workplace meetings. “We must promote democracy in our society, starting with the [one] party, he said, urging rank-and-file members to speak up when they disagree with something.”

USAid, however, declares that Cuba “today remains one of the most politically repressed countries in the world. Current Cuban law and practice prevent the right to assemble without the permission of the state, criminalized dissemination of information contrary to the official line, and provide a state monopoly over mass media (the ACN, Cuba’s official news agency). Cuba is the only non-democratically-elected government in the Western Hemisphere.”

Read the full article at Allvoices.

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Homegrown violent extremists continue to plot within the homeland


A United States citizen, Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain, 22 of Baltimore, Maryland, plead guilty Thursday to attempted use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction against an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland. Martinez aka Hussain, was arrested on December 8, 2010, after he attempted to detonate explosives at the station.

U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the guilty plea and thereafter, Rosenstein made the following statement:

“We are catching dangerous suspects before they strike, and we are investigating them in a way that maximizes the liberty and security of law-abiding citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Rosenstein. “That is what the American people expect of the Justice Department, and that is what we aim to deliver.”

Special Agent in Charge McFeely stated that the threat from homegrown violent extremists remains high. McFeely further stated that the FBI and its police partners rely on a two way flow of information with the Muslim community at large. Together, he added, they are working to stop those that have perverted the Islamic faith into something it is not.

According to Martinez’ plea agreement, on Oct. 22, 2010, he raised the subject of attacking military targets with a confidential source of the FBI. During recorded conversations between Martinez, the confidential source and an FBI undercover agent, Martinez spoke about his anger toward America, his belief that Muslims were being unjustly targeted and killed by the American military and his desire to commit jihad to send a message that American soldiers would be killed unless the country stopped its “war” against Islam by targeting an armed forces recruiting center in Catonsville.

Martinez attempted recruiting numerous people for his operation, all declined, with one who went as far as attempting to change Martinez’ mind about committing jihad. According to a statement of facts, both before and during the investigation, Martinez was outspoken about his militant beliefs by posting said beliefs on his public Facebook page and in two Facebook chats with the confidential source of the FBI. Martinez actually attempted to detonate an explosive device at the armed forces recruiting station, and he admitted that the bomb was intended to kill military service members who worked in the building. Set forth in the court documents, however, agents investigating Martinez ensured that the bomb was inert and no danger was presented to the public.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. although if the court accepts the plea, Martinez should be sentenced to 25 years in prison. At present, the government and Martinez have agreed to the sentencing and disposition of the case.

For more information, please see the National Press Release of the Federal Bureau of Investigation entitled: Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center

Read the entire article at Allvoices.

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Egypt’s newly elected parliament dominated by Islamists


Two days before the assembly’s first meeting following the thwart of Hosni Mubarak close to 1 year ago, it is apparent that the Muslim Brotherhood Islamists led by the Freedom and Justice Party emerged as the largest group in Egypt’s new parliament winning 235 of the 498 elected seats in the lower house. . The new parliament, due to hold its first session on Jan. 23, “is the best celebration of the Egyptian revolution,” Freedom and Justice said in a statement according to a report in Bloomberg.

A breakdown of election results from party lists:

332 members of parliament

Freedom and Justice – 127

Nour party – 96

Wafd party – 36

Egyptian Bloc – 33

The assembly is to select a committee that will write a new constitution, though the exact powers of parliament remain unclear. Protesters that ousted Mubarak continue to call for mass rallies on January 25, the anniversary of the beginning of the Egyptian uprising against Mubarak. And although Egyptians have had seven weeks of democratic elections, it has failed to calm tensions between activists and the military council that took power from the ousted President. The military council has said it would cede power when a president is elected in a national vote by the end of June.

Read the full article at Allvoices.

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