By Frances Martel/ Courtesy of Breitbart News
This is Communism:
Twenty-one-year-old Yeonmi Park escaped the prison nation of North Korea by sneaking into China and walking with her mother across the Gobi Desert into South Korea. Her journey is laden with the bodies of old friends, relatives, and the thousands of victims of public executions she was forced to witness.
Park has now become a human rights activist, traveling the world to tell her story and demand that international attention go to the millions of victims of the North Korean communist dictatorship. In an extensive interview with the Irish Independent, she tells her story and expresses outrage at the global fascination with Kim Jong Un’s appearance, an attention denied to those he has killed.
In the interview, Park highlights a number of details in North Korean law previously unknown. The extreme secretive country kills three generations of family members in retaliation for any comment perceived as insubordinate to the communist regime, for example. Public executions, she explains, are “celebrations” of the defeat of enemies, and both not attending and expressing grief at the death of the person being killed are crimes.
“It’s unimaginable how difficult it is, really undescribable. They are not living there, they are surviving there,” she explains, noting that one of her friends’ mothers was publicly executed when she was 9 for “watching a James Bond movie.” When both her parents were sent to prison, she and her older, 11-year-old sister had to fend for themselves.
She understood why no one in her community tried to help the two girls. “People were dying there, they don’t care… I saw the bodies on the street and I didn’t care because I was going to die.” She noted that, with the exception of a few high-ranking communist officials, “Everyone is starving, most of the people are just hungry.”
Her trip out of North Korea led to even more misery. In China, a man who caught them threatened to report them to police– resulting in a return to North Korea– if he could not have sex with Park. Her mother refused to let this happen to her 13-year-old daughter, offering herself instead. “I saw my mother raped before my eyes,” she laments.
They finally decided to leave China as well, walking across the Gobi Desert to South Korea with no food or water and very little money. They survived, and Park has vowed to be a voice for her people while they remain imprisoned. “Every journey, every interview I do is risky, but it doesn’t matter how risky it is, or how dangerous it is,” she says. “It’s not about me.”
Park finds the outside world’s fascination with Kim Jong Un a particularly problematic hurdle to overcome as an activist. “He killed 80 people in one day for watching a South Korean movie or [sic] with the Bible,” she notes, “Crazily, we are talking about Kim Jong Un’s disappearance– nobody asks, where are the North Korean people who died? Millions of people died for ridiculous reasons.”
“It’s the same thing as the Holocaust,” she notes, a crime against humanity widely ignored while it went on. “We ignored it, and we said ‘never again,’ but now it’s happening again, and we are ignoring it.”
Park is in Ireland to speak at the nation’s One Young World summit at the National Convention Centre in Dublin. She told most of her story before a large audience in traditional North Korean garb. Watch her moving speech below:
The Achieve NJ Act is certainly doing its part to make a convoluted mess out of the art of teaching our children.
In this testimony, I will address the most readily apparent of its many problems: data collection, Student Growth Objectives, Student Growth Percentiles, PARCC tests, and the new observation system. The AchieveNJ Act, and all of its affiliated changes, is simultaneously stretching the education profession in two different directions, most likely to the point of snapping it in half. I am no longer certain about what my job description is these days; am I a teacher, one who attempts to engage students and help them understand subject matter and their world, or am I a data collector, one who keeps statistics on all manner of measurables in a theoretical attempt to improve the process of teaching in which I am often not engaged because I am busy collecting the data?
AchieveNJ seems to operate on the fallacious principle that there is an infinite amount of time. During my day, this humble English teacher will collect data, analyze data, send students out for standardized tests, be observed by an administrator, and, somewhere in and among all of that, plan lessons, grade papers, and teach students. When do all of these things happen? How do they get done? How do I prioritize if each of these items is now considered crucial?
Most days only allow for one to two hours of time not spent in front of a class. Allow me to recount a personal story of how I spent two weeks in October of 2013. Every moment I worked, excluding those during which I was contractually obligated to actually teach students, was spent doing something related to my Student Growth Objectives (SGOs). I had previously administered a benchmark assessment or pre-test (no staff member in my school is sure about what terminology to use, so we have alternately used both, to the point that the students are not sure whether they are being benchmarked, or pre-tested, or, to put in plainly, harassed into doing something they do not wish to do), so I had a stack of essays that needed scoring. To start work on my SGO, I graded the essays according to the soon-to-be obsolete NJ Holistic Scoring rubric. Then I created and organized a spreadsheet to sort and organize my data. Then I entered all of the scores into the spreadsheet. Then I read through all the emails sent by district administrators about how to create my SGO. Following that, I formally wrote my SGO and submitted it to my supervisor.
The next day, the SGO was rejected, and my supervisor told me that all SGOs had been done incorrectly and that our staff would need training. We held a department meeting to review SGO policies. We then held an after school training session to discuss the writing of SGOs. I attended both of these. After two weeks of writing and rewriting my SGO, complete with all of the Core Curriculum Content Standards pasted from the web site, I finally had an acceptable SGO. I managed to accomplish absolutely no lesson planning during this period of time. I graded no papers. I am a veteran teacher with nine years in the profession. I understand how to manage my workload, overcome setbacks, and complete my responsibilities. In short, I am a professional who maintains a diligent work ethic.
But nothing could prepare me for the amount of time I had just spent on a new part of my job that basically exists so that I can continue to prove that I should be entitled to do the other parts of my job. After I completed my SGO, my principal told our staff to make sure we save all of the data, paperwork, and student work relating to our SGO, just in case people from the State want to review the integrity of the data. Seriously? This is the most egregious assumption that there is an infinite amount of time.
When will State reviewers go back and reread mountains upon mountains of SGO data to make sure that my essay scores (which suffer from an inherent subjectivity anyway) are accurate? The real goal of the SGO process seems to be to take teachers so far out of their comfort zones, and so far from working directly with students, that they may begin to question what kind of work they are doing anyway. Wouldn’t this time spent collecting mountains of dust-collecting data be better spent planning more interesting lessons? Offering students more feedback on work they understand and view as necessary? Researching content to make myself more knowledgable and helpful to my students? I guess not.
I have to teach my students the content needed to improve on the SGO so I can keep my job, which apparently consists of collecting even more SGO data. Just in case the SGO process is not intimidating and distracting enough, many of us (myself included) now have the threat of Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs) looming as well. The fact that these SGPs only apply to certain disciplines is inequitable and unfair to begin with, but that does not even address the fact that the correlation between my SGP score and my actual effectiveness is non-existent. Every article that I have read on this issue shows that the data produced by SGPs is statistically insignificant in its ability to determine my actual teaching effectiveness. I might as well determine a sizable portion of my evaluation by rolling dice or, to draw upon history, releasing doves and watching which way they fly. I have no control over how hard the students will work on these tests. I have no control over how thoroughly they will prepare.
From what I have read, these PARCC tests do not even have any actual effect on student grades or promotion. They are only used to evaluate me. In that case, allow me to hand-select the students who will be used to determine my effectiveness. Or better yet, the most fair thing to do would be to allow me to take the test myself, so at least I can have complete control over my own evaluation. Beyond just potentially affecting me in a random (and possibly absurd) way, the PARCC tests further reinforce the current contradictory nature of education rhetoric. What do policymakers want for our children? I consistently hear, from the mouths of our politicians, that our students are falling behind (falling behind whom?) in their critical thinking skills. (May we at least ask, how are these critical thinking skills measured? By bubble tests?) If that is the case, then shouldn’t we, as professionals, seek to introduce more critical thinking tasks, like project-based learning, into our curricula? Aren’t multiple choice standardized tests anathema to critical thinking tasks? Why is anyone promoting them, then? Where is the emphasis? Do we want students to legitimately be able to assess and evaluate on their own? Or do we want illogical measures to make sure that our teachers are, well, doing what exactly? If (some) teachers’ jobs are contingent on whether or not they achieve a high SGP score, then those teachers will, for the sake of their own self-preservation, certainly spend a great deal of time and energy trying to prepare students for those very tests, even though they cannot do the one thing that will ensure satisfactory scores, which is make the students put forth their best effort.
No students dislike learning. But many dislike education, because education consists of misguided and needlessly enervating tasks like standardized tests. Instead of spending this time engaged in critical thinking, students will be responding to questions that will be used to make sure their teachers are doing their jobs. Ironically enough, teachers will again be doing less of their jobs, as I assume we will be called upon increasingly to babysit computer labs full of children clicking vapidly through PARCC assessments. (As a side note, I am sure international test production companies like Pearson stand to profit from this arrangement immeasurably, probably at the expense of my own paycheck, most of which would have been spent in the local New Jersey economy.)
The final issue I will address in the AchieveNJ Act is the inconsistent new observation system. For starters, the public school districts across the state use two different evaluation systems: Danielson or McRel. If we are striving for consistency, why can we not agree on a single, unified observation system, so that all teachers are theoretically evaluated in the same fashion? Still, even if we achieved such uniformity, all observations would continue to suffer from the same inherent bias as the grades on students’ essays: each observer (or teacher, as is the case with the essays) has a different viewpoint (yes, even using a rubric). The administrators who serve as observers in my school have wildly varying interpretations about what constitutes an effective lesson. Even worse, some administrators are offering critiques to teachers about “how the lesson should have been conducted,” and providing less than satisfactory ratings to teachers who choose to do something in a different way.
The biggest source of all of this uncertainty and inconsistency has been the use of technology. Some of our administrators have said that we are to use technology in every single lesson, no exceptions. Others have been more lax about this requirement. I make this point to further illuminate the backwards nature of many these evaluative changes. If we must use technology, then technology is the starting point for each and every lesson. Previously, student learning was my starting point. What tools will help my students learn? Am I there to teach them or to show off the latest and greatest tech toys in my classroom? Are observers looking for critical thinking? Are they looking at my rapport with students? Or are they there to make sure that I go through the motions (according to one person’s rubric of what constitutes effective teaching) of reaching all of my supposed requirements? The inherent subjectivity of trying to quantify the unquantifiable is of course the same issue with which I wrestle when trying to score the essays that will make up my SGO. We all now must worship at the altar of data, even though, at best, the data is fickle and, at worst, it is fraudulent.
In the end I am not quite sure how to proceed under the AchieveNJ system. To paraphrase Plato, a single part of one’s soul cannot be engaged in two contradictory actions at the same time. So the only thing I can do is to default back to the ways in which I have always taught. I will try to help my students learn. I will try to reinforce material that I think is of value. I will provide as many insights from my own experiences as I can. I will focus on the human side of teaching and learning, my AchieveNJ ratings be damned. If this system says that an intelligent and dedicated individual like me is not fit to teach the students of New Jersey, then it is even more broken than my testimony could ever hope to convey.
Huevos verdes con jamón: Edwin Marines reads Dr. Zeus teaching Spanish pronunciation and the significance of “acentos” in Spanish•October 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment
“Nadie Escuchaba” “Nobody Listened” (1987) a breakthrough documentary by the great Nestor Almendros and Jorge Ulla•October 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment
A Walker Evans.
Las ruedas rugen el peso del aire;
arrojemos los ojos al mar.
La ciudad se humedece y el silencio
-“Se admiten abonados”- el eco retumba
como una voz inquieta.
Siempre que nos paremos en las esquinas
estén alerta los balcones. Allí
se mezclan las nubes y el fango,
se afilan uniformes.
Persianas agitan los círculos del rojo tableteo:
De más de treinta crímenes hablarán
las páginas del panteón.
Será imposible cerrar la fortuna
aunque todas las fondas
envidien los pasos del pirulero
o las madres lleven sesenta años de luto.
La ciudad nos hala como un signo
en la frente del Karma.
Sabemos que el silencio llena las paredes de balas.
Estamos lejos de los estrenos,
la lotería sorteará su núcleo de sangre.
Ni la montura del veterano,
ni siquiera la estatua llena de sombreros
será capaz de prevenir la venganza.
Sesenta años continúa la rueda,
olvidemos los ojos, esta vez
arrojémonos al mar.
Rafael Román Martel (Cuando se acaban los pueblos, 1994)
Finaliza Septiembre. Es hora de decirte
lo difícil que ha sido no morir.
Por ejemplo, esta tarde
tengo en las manos grises
libros hermosos que no entiendo,
no podría cantar aunque ha cesado ya la lluvia
y me cae sin motivo el recuerdo
del primer perro a quien amé cuando niño.
Desde ayer que te fuiste
hay humedad y frío hasta en la música.
Cuando yo muera,
sólo recordarán mi júbilo matutino y palpable,
mi bandera sin derecho a cansarse,
la concreta verdad que repartí desde el fuego,
el puño que hice unánime
con el clamor de piedra que eligió la esperanza.
Hace frío sin ti. Cuando yo muera,
cuando yo muera
dirán con buenas intenciones
que no supe llorar.
Ahora llueve de nuevo.
Nunca ha sido tan tarde a las siete menos cuarto
Siento unas ganas locas de reír
o de matarme.
Lee todo en: HORA DE LA CENIZA – Poemas de Roque Dalton García http://www.poemas-del-alma.com/roque-dalton-garcia-hora-de-la-ceniza.htm#ixzz3FqGiX1a0
Estremecedoras revelaciones sobre el asesinato del diputado Robert Serra en el programa de Patricia Poleo•October 7, 2014 • 1 Comment
By a wide margin of more than 10%: 1,914,187 and s 1,539,234 the People of Scotland have spoken on September 19, 2014. The Kingdom Will Remain United.
NYT-EDINBURGH — Voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain in a referendum that had threatened to break up the 307-year union between them, according to projections by the BBC and Sky News early Friday.
Before dawn after a night of counting that showed a steady trend in favor of maintaining the union, Nicola Sturgeon, the deputy head of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, effectively conceded defeat for the “yes” campaign that had pressed for secession.
“Like thousands of others across the country I’ve put my heart and soul into this campaign and there is a real sense of disappointment that we’ve fallen narrowly short of securing a yes vote,” Ms. Sturgeon told BBC television.
With 26 of 32 voting districts reporting, there were 1,397,077 votes, or 54.2 percent, against independence, and 1,176,952, or 45.7 percent, in favor.
At that point the tally seemed wider than opinion surveys had suggested but it gave pro-independence campaigners a strong platform to press for greater powers and autonomy for Scotland promised by British political leaders during the campaign.
The outcome was a deep disappointment to the vocal, enthusiastic pro-independence movement led by the Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, who had seen an opportunity to turn a centuries-old nationalist dream into reality, and forced the three main British parties into panicked promises to grant substantial new power to the Scottish Parliament.
Rafael Román Martel
We will never forget September 11, 2001. The contrast of a cloudless day and the fire and smoke of the towers and the death occurring within them, visible from our homes, and the sense of frustration and incomprehension that plagued us.
The victims of 911 had not attacked anyone. Most were members of the so-called minorities, many Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims, etc. The murderers did not take that into account, those that were dragged by hate. And they provoked a united nation, the awakening of a movement that today is more alive than ever.
Perhaps they believed that fear would work here.
The city is replete with residents, tourists, more alive than ever at any time you visit. The respect towards firefighters, police, and public servants has been reinvigorated. Many gave their lives and today many are chronically affected by the chemical residue that scattered throughout the city after the collapse of the Twin Towers.
I will never forget the alarmed eyes of a good friend who traveled with me from Elizabeth, NJ, that day, Tony Pacheco, where we taught and a trip that we usually made in fifteen minutes cost us nine hours. The world had paralyzed around our homes. Standing in the middle of Routes 1 and 9- completely jammed for hours- people clearly saw the smoke and fire in the distance. “What happened? What could have happened? How did this happen?” they asked one another between large intervals of silence. Because even though the media had time and again warned of the possibility of a terrorist attack no one knew exactly what had provoked it. And much less was the suspicion of its infectious intention, the diseased machinery that had achieved such a disaster.
We didn’t suspect that that day was the beginning of a new era. It was the end of innocence in the freest country in the world. Nothing was ever the same again.
And it was the beginning of war.
We reflect over what the Israelis experience on a daily basis under the attacks of those godless fanatics without conscience.
We reflect on the free will and calm we employ in traveling, in feeling safe. However, the principal objective of the terrorists had failed. Shock and anguish we reflected on the faces of the residents of this country, but in New York, terror never worked. We united like never before. The world united and today New York is the Mecca of Freedom, a place to where men, women and children from all corners of the world make their pilgrimages. Yes, those that hate did much damage, they left 10,000 children orphaned as a result of their rage but awakened a sense of unity that had never been manifested in such a form, not even when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
Today New York is a true symbol of liberty. It is the city that everyone wants to go to, not one that everyone wants to flee from.
Those that fell in the Towers were not warriors, nor bloodthirsty imperialists; they were simple, hard-working people, family men, pregnant women, young adults that had a future open to them as a result of their work and effort, children that died in the arms of flames in a day care.
That cannot be forgotten.
Here we are crying for innocent people.
These victims had not gone anywhere to throw bombs or plant terror.
They will not be forgotten.
I am against wars. They are the plague of humanity, but to defend oneself is not a plan of war, it is an exercise of survival. Those that tear their clothing and strike themselves with chains in the name of their cause in the Middle East perhaps accompanied those that danced in the streets when innocents preferred to commit suicide, jumping from the highest floors before perishing in the flames that never got to understand. Here we suffered. And suffer.
The hate of the terrorists triggered a wave of love. From terror sprung courage, the spirit of sacrifice, unity.
This is also incomprehensible for the assassins.
For the majority of the world, 911 was a cold, unexpected hit. For those that hated this- the best country in the world- it was a party. For us, who live barely minutes away from Manhattan, 911 is a symbol of unity and support against all who confront terrorism on Earth. Terrorism works in godless societies without a sense of direction. In the United States, it has failed.
“Any day now they’ll return”, I have heard in infinite occassions, but the fear they intended to sow has manifested in a reverse manner. There are more people on the streets of New York that in any other stage of its history. There is more respect for authority. There exists a greater sense of unity, of humanity. Our sense of mission against terrorism is alive.
This is perhaps the most relevant homage that we can pay to the victims of 911.
AFP | Nation A man leaps to his death from fire and smoke-filled north tower of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001 in New York City after terrorists crashed two hijacked passenger planes into the Twin Towers. And. on facing page, four people jump out of the north tower.
AFP | Nation A man leaps to his death from fire and smoke-filled north tower of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001 in New York City after terrorists crashed two hijacked passenger planes into the Twin Towers. And. on facing page, four people jump out of the north tower.
By David James Smith/Sunday Nation
Many would rather believe that those who fell from the World Trade Centre were forced from their offices as saying they jumped connotes suicide; a few, however, see courage in their decision to take charge of the manner of their dying.
Eddie Torres had just started as a broker at the financial trading house Cantor Fitzgerald. September 11, 2001, was only his second day at work.
He had left his pregnant wife Alissa at home when he set off for his office above the 100th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center. They had argued the night before and only managed a cursory goodbye. Eddie left early, and that was the last Alissa ever saw of him.
AA11, the American Airlines’ morning flight from Boston to Los Angeles, had 81 people on board when the lead hijacker, Mohamed Atta, piloted the plane into the north tower. Alissa would later note that Atta, who had just turned 33, was close in age to Eddie, who was 31.
The time was 08:46:40. The point of impact was between the 93rd and 98th floors. Eddie was trapped above the resulting inferno.
The story of exactly how Eddie Torres met his death on 9/11 is lost. And with a handful of exceptions, that is pretty much the case for all 2,753 people who died at the World Trade Center.
Indeed, 10 years later, more than 1,000 of them have yet to be identified from remains. They have simply vaporised, their death certificates issued without them. And so, Eddie’s story exists only in the imagination of his widow. She has created her own legend.
They said the sound of all those bodies hitting the ground, like a thud or a dull explosion, was both terrible and unforgettable.
One afternoon, not long ago, Alissa and I sat on a bench in Central Park and talked. It was a difficult, painful conversation.
“Are we done yet?” Alissa asked. She told me I was “disgusting” because of my curiosity about the people who jumped or fell from the Twin Towers. I understood, but I knew too that Alissa herself, much as she tried not to be, was haunted by that subject, not least because she believes that Eddie jumped. Like a dirty or embarrassing secret, the people who jumped or fell from the Twin Towers have been all but erased from the history of 9/11.
Since the earliest days after the attacks, the American media have shown a collective reluctance to publish images of those who jumped or fell. And in official terms, the “jumpers” simply don’t exist.
Not use the words
At the New York office of the chief medical examiner — in charge of recording and investigating all the deaths on 9/11 — they will not even use the words “jump” or “jumper”. Nobody jumped, they say, they only fell or were forced from the towers.
“We’re pretty firm on that position,” said the medical examiner’s spokeswoman, Ellen Borakove. “People were forced or pushed out by the force of the heat and the flames.” To be a jumper, many people feel, implies the act of suicide, an act that some perceive as shameful.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum, which opens at Ground Zero in a year’s time, will include a small display devoted to those who died that way. The committee that set up the museum spent months agonising over how the story of the jumpers should be told. It was decided that visitors would need privacy to see the images — and should be given the choice of whether to view them at all — so the display will be hidden in an alcove.
I assumed it would not be hard to establish the facts about how many people jumped, who they were, how their deaths were recorded and so on. In fact, it proved nigh on impossible at first. Nobody would talk, and people had stopped asking.
There had never been an official count. Or so it appeared, until I discovered an account buried in a massive report devoted to how and why the towers fell, prepared by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). So hidden was the study that even NIST’s own press officer was initially unaware of it, and told me he thought no such account existed.
Fortunately, he double-checked and found that among the report’s numerous appendices was a clinical analysis of the precise time that people jumped and fell, noting the floor and even the window they came out of.
The report records 104 such deaths, although NIST says its tally is not definitive, and that the actual total is probably higher. Nevertheless, this is the first time any official figures on the subject have been published.
I certainly faced great resistance in the US when I began researching this article. But the story of the “jumpers” was haunting, and I had always known I would end up writing about them one day.
Nine years ago, I commemorated the first anniversary of 9/11 by spending some time with New York firefighters. They had spoken then of the “jumpers” who had fallen about them as they had entered the north tower — the first tower to be hit — on their rescue mission. The sound of those bodies landing, they said, like a thud or a dull explosion, was terrible and unforgettable, and I could not forget their affecting description of that noise.
In the days after 9/11, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) had conducted several hundred debriefing interviews with firefighters and emergency service workers.
These were made public much later following a freedom of information request by The New York Times. In one or two cases, the interviewees were so traumatised by what they had seen they could barely speak.
For many, it was the sight and sound of the falling bodies that had disturbed them more than anything else. They described moving through a surreal landscape in a cloud of smoke and dust, the sky full of fluttering paper and the ground littered with smouldering debris and body parts.
Above them it was — an often-repeated phrase — raining bodies. “They were jumping now, one, two, three, four, smashing like eggs on the ground,” recalled emergency service lieutenant Rene Davila. Someone near him suggested they should collect names, keep a record. “I was like, you’re out of your mind.”
Choosing to die
“I felt like I was intruding on a sacrament,” said one firefighter, Maureen McArdle-Schulman. “They were choosing to die and I was watching them and shouldn’t have been, so me and another guy turned away and looked at the wall, and we could still hear them hit.”
Did they choose to die that way? Was it a real choice? What would any one of us have done? The choice, to jump or not to jump, must have been so agonisingly real that the chief medical examiner Dr Charles Hirsch’s denial that the “jumpers” existed seemed insulting.
In his version of events, nobody “jumped”; they were all victims of homicide, and the vast majority of death certificates carry the same wording: “Blunt trauma …” Only 176 complete bodies were returned to their families.
Borakove said Hirsch was acting out of sensitivity for the bereaved families, and out of respect for those who died — “the families are our first priority” — but I know there are some people who take comfort from the idea that their lost partner or relative chose to jump and so actively took charge of the manner of their dying.
I suspect, too, that for some the decision itself was an act of immense courage — albeit born of desperation — and deserves to be remembered as such. I discovered from the NIST study that in about four cases, people got out of the windows, 100 or more floors up, and began trying to climb up or down the outside of the building to imagined safety. Of course, they soon lost their grip and fell.
Richard Pecorella had searched high and low for a trace of his beloved, Karen Juday, but it was not until Christmas Eve, 2001, that her jawbone was found. He had the remains cremated, and scattered them off the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Staten Island to Brooklyn — the first place in the city Karen had seen when they started their lives together.
Karen was a farm girl from Indiana, said Richard. And she had courage. Richard believed she had jumped. After the jawbone came another fragment, then another, and so Richard signed a waiver allowing the medical examiner’s office to dispose of any further remains. He couldn’t go on forever handling the pieces of her.
When they met in 1997, Karen and Richard had both been married before. Richard said he knew she was “the one”. He worked at the trading house Bear Stearns, whose office on the Brooklyn side of the East River had a clear view of the Twin Towers. He helped Karen to get a job as an administrator at Cantor Fitzgerald.
Sometimes she would call him to describe an amazing spectacle outside her window. “You can’t believe this, but a jet plane just flew by my window. It was so beautiful.”
On the morning of 9/11 Richard had a bird’s-eye view of the whole thing. He saw the second plane hit the south tower and tried to call Karen, but there was no answer. Soon, his building was on a lockdown. Frustrated, desperate and enraged, Richard picked up a chair and threw it at the window. The nurse was called. She wanted to take his blood pressure.
“I says, ‘Are you kiddin’ me?’ I said, ‘My fiancée probably just got killed and you wanna take my blood pressure? Of course it’ll be up!’” That was the Brooklyn in him coming out, he told me.
Alissa has written about Eddie’s death, describing little people falling “like fairies”. She told herself that Eddie had skydived without a parachute.
Richard used to look at the postings and the photographs on the internet and sometimes wondered if Karen had jumped. She was very vain and particular about her face, he knew; she used plenty of wrinkle cream, and he always figured if conditions were that bad she would jump rather than face the fires.
He eventually made contact with Richard Drew, the Associated Press photographer who recorded many images of those who jumped or fell on 9/11 — so many he has never counted them, he told me — including one much-published image of a man frozen in a head-first dive that came to be known as the Falling Man.
Pecorella went to Drew’s office and was shown a collection of photographs.
“Are you sure you want to do this? It’s very graphic,” Drew asked him, but he was sure — and there she was, in the first photograph he saw.
She was wearing the familiar bandana she always put on at work and stood in the window frame, holding on, with the flames behind her. There were a lot of other people in the photograph, but Richard was sure he recognised her cream trousers and blue cotton top.
There was a second photograph of a woman falling, hands over her face, legs raised as she came down, no bandana now, but the hair and body shape all too familiar. Drew was almost apologetic to Richard — his instincts had just taken over, he said, he had just recorded what was happening.
Richard reassured him that, in fact, it gave him some closure to know that, at the end, Karen had made a choice. She had jumped; she did not, as he said, burn up and become toast.
“She chose how she should die. It’s not a religious thing with me. A lot of people have problems because they consider it as suicide, which means you go to hell, but I don’t consider it like that, I think it’s more complicated.”
Richard had never met anyone else who believed they knew a victim who had jumped.
“Nobody talks about the jumpers,” he said. It made him feel like he was the only one who knew and had something to hold on to. In fact, as Richard later realised, there were others who were looking to claim ownership of the same images.
When his own health deteriorated after 2001 — he developed a condition similar to emphysema that has restricted his mobility — he began spending more and more time on the internet, and noticed that some people were saying the images he thought were of Karen were of another woman, Edna Cintron.
Cintron had worked on a different floor for a different company, Marsh & McLennan, and had also run a flower shop part time in Spanish Harlem with her husband, William. The shop was named Sweet William.
She has since come to wider internet attention as the unlikely subject of a bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theory. Cintron is seen, in a third image — in fact, a fleeting few seconds of footage — waving out from a deep gash in the north tower with smoke and flames behind her. The impact zone in WTC-1. Edna Cintron in the red square died during the pulverization of the building. Where is the plane? Remember that a plane is a hollow tube of aluminium, while the tower was built with solid and massive steel columns.
The impact zone in WTC-1. Edna Cintron in the red square died during the pulverization of the building. Where is the plane? Remember that a plane is a hollow tube of aluminium, while the tower was built with solid and massive steel columns.
Some people claim it would be impossible for anyone to stand so close to an inferno, and that the photograph must be a hoax, and part of the whole “lie” of 9/11, which they believe was staged by the American government.
Richard had been emailed by some of those people, who call themselves “truthers”, thanking him for confirming it was Karen and not Edna in the first two photographs, which in their view isolated the third image as a sure hoax.
The NIST report took 10,000 pages to consider in very fine detail just how and why the buildings collapsed.
The south tower was hit last but collapsed first, at 09:59. The north tower remained standing for just over 100 minutes before it fell at 10:28. Appendix M of that report, Observation of Falling Human Beings for WTC1, logged 101 falls from the north tower and the precise window and exact time at which each had fallen.
The appendix was compiled by one person reviewing video footage and still photographs. It is the only record in existence of those who jumped or fell, and is presented as a table — a graphic display of the building’s upper floors and windows.
The first fall occurred just over four minutes after the first plane hit, from the 149th window of the 93rd floor on the north face of the building.
The cascade began seven minutes later, with 13 falls in two minutes. One person had climbed out and got from the 93rd to the 92nd floor before falling, one second after someone else had fallen from the same window — window 215 on the east face of the tower.
At 10:06:59, two people had fallen together from the same window on the 95th floor; simultaneously, a third person fell from the next window, followed a second later by two more people falling together. Altogether, in six seconds nine people fell from five adjacent windows. The last person fell just as the building collapsed, at 10:28:09, from the 106th floor.
Richard Drew of AP must have photographed that person: he told me he discovered later that he had two frames that showed someone clinging to debris as they fell with the building. Eyewitnesses have described people hugging or holding hands as they fell in pairs.
An FDNY photographer with a long lens saw someone “nudged out” as he watched. He took half a dozen shots of people falling before saying to himself, “That’s enough of that.”
Time and again, the hardened firefighters and paramedics would say they had never seen anything like it. Many looked away, but others were transfixed.
The landings, of course, were the worst. The fall was said to have taken about 10 seconds, but would vary according to body position and the time taken to accelerate to terminal velocity, typically 120 miles per hour (193kph), but up to 200 mph (322kph) if the person fell with their body straight.
As Alice Greenwald of the 9/11 memorial museum said, in a sense we were all victims of 9/11. It was watched by billions around the world, and few of us were unaffected.
At the heart of it, most affected of all were the bereaved. Nancy had always known that Danny Suhr, her high-school sweetheart, wanted to be a firefighter. Nancy was Italian-American; Danny was Irish-American. Not long before 9/11, one of Danny’s oldest and closest colleagues, Harry Ford, had died and he had invited Nancy to attend the funeral, not least because a firefighter’s funeral was quite an event, he’d said. Danny was very moved by Harry’s death and gave Nancy instructions that, should he ever die in the line of duty, he wanted a closed coffin.
Nancy had said there wouldn’t be anywhere big enough to hold a funeral for Danny, because he was widely known and popular, but he specified the Marine Park Funeral Home, and she promised. Looking back, she wondered: did he know?
Danny was a strong man, not a bully, who made everything seem like it would be okay, especially for Nancy and for his daughter, Brianna, who was two years old and about to start nursery on the morning of 9/11, but never arrived there.
Engine 216 got the call — the run, as they would say — and set off to the scene, where they were directed to assemble at the command post inside the south tower. The captain, Paul Conlon, who was leading them, described how they had about 200 yards to cover.
Debris was falling and people were jumping as they surveyed the scene. Danny said something like, “Let’s make this quick,” so they set off together in a diagonal line, when Danny was hit. As Nancy recently told me, “She came out of the sky like a torpedo.”
A woman had jumped or fallen, and landed on Danny. It was a freak accident, made all the more unlikely by the fact that few victims jumped or fell from the south tower. The NIST study only observed three people falling from the south tower — one at 09:30, about the time Danny was hit.
His colleagues reacted quickly and carried him to the shelter of some nearby scaffolding. A photographer captured the moment they lifted him, which must have been seconds after he was struck.
He was taken by ambulance and treated by a doctor and paramedics who soon realised he was “not viable”. Two of Danny’s closest friends and colleagues travelled with him to Bellevue hospital. They kept yelling his name. The medic with them knew Danny’s neck was broken because of the way his head moved every time they hit a bump.
“Please stop staring at him,” he told Danny’s friends. “You’re going to burn this image into your head. I want you to remember a better image.”
Nancy got home that morning to find a voicemail message from Danny. “Hey babe, it’s me. Just want to tell you that everything’s okay. I’ll talk to you later. I love you.”Not long afterwards, she received a phone call from the fire department, telling her that Danny had been hurt and they were coming to take her to him. She knew then, in her heart, that he was dead.
At the hospital, the captain said: “I’m so sorry, Nancy.” It was like an out-of-body experience, she told me. Thinking of Brianna, she said: “Who’s going to walk her down the aisle?”
They tried to stop her seeing Danny, but she insisted, and so she was taken to him, and saw his forehead cracked in half and his cheek and nose broken. “He is going to be so mad that he broke his nose,” she kept thinking.
She was determined to keep her composure and not throw herself on the floor. She kissed him and whispered to him and walked out of the room. She had to go home now, she said, and do the laundry.
Later that night she learnt how Danny had died, and all she could remember thinking was: “How horrendous for that poor person.” What had been going through their mind before they jumped or fell? How horrific for those people up there to have to choose.
Danny did not choose, but they had to.
Richard Drew told me he liked to think of the Falling Man as the photographic equivalent of the tomb of the unknown soldier, representing all those who had died by jumping or falling.
The man in the picture has been identified by some as Jonathan Briley, a 43-year-old African American who worked at the Windows on the World restaurant on the top two floors of the north tower, right above the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald.
Briley came from a religious family who were also entertainers. His sister, Gwendolyn, was an actress and his brother, Alex, was one of the Village People — the GI.
Gwendolyn told me that Jonathan was a talented musician, working at the time of his death as a sound and video technician at the restaurant. The family had felt some relief when his body was found soon after 9/11. His younger brother, a police officer, had gone to identify him and had taken a shoe from Jonathan’s foot as a keepsake.
Perhaps because the Falling Man’s feet and shoes were visible in Drew’s photograph, a photographer had turned up once at the Briley family home in Mount Vernon, asking to photograph the shoe.
The family had a body that was intact, and so far as Gwendolyn was concerned that meant her brother could not be the Falling Man, even if the photograph had reminded her of him when she first saw it.
“The truth is, that can’t be him, but if some people find comfort in believing it is him, then, no, I am not going to challenge that,” she said.
She knew there were people who looked upon the act of jumping as suicide, and an unforgivable sin before God, but that was not the way she believed her God showed his love. Who were we to judge how anyone would react in that inferno? Nobody should feel any shame, she said.
Those people were getting out of that situation as best they could. “They were falling into the arms of God, they really were.”
On a especial meeting held by the members of the Union City Board of Education Mrs. Silvia Abbato was officially appointed UC Superintendent of Schools last Friday, September 5th, 2014. Mrs Abbato has 33 years of experience in education in the Union City district. She has performed duties as a teacher, supervisor, school vice principal, principal and assistant superintended of schools garnering the respect and admiration of the community as well as her peers for her long career as an outstanding educator, assisting the youth of Union City.
In a short, heartfelt speech, Superintendent Abbato thanked the members of the board as well as the numerous crowd of UC Board of Education employees who attended the especial meeting to show their support. She reminded everyone about her roots as a Cuban exile, thanking her parents for the work ethic they instilled in her with their example. She also thanked her family and her husband Chris Abbato for their support through the years of her illustrious career. Her words were concise and profound. She was visibly moved as she conveyed her feelings to the audience, whose heart she touched as many could identify with her experience.
The newly appointed UC Superintendent of Schools also thanked NJ State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack for his support to education and the improvements he has brought to Union City since becoming mayor. Brian Stack has invested much of his time improving education in Union City as well as supporting its hard working teachers and administrators, building new schools, always fighting in the senate floor to provide the Union City School District and its employees with the necessary tools to perform at their highest level, always keeping in mind that the real beneficiaries are the students. As a result Union City is recognized today as a national leader in public education. Here she proudly poses with her family minutes after her appointment as superintendent.
En un primer plano la Sra. Abbato posa con sus hijos en este día tan espacial, tan especial, tanto para ella como para todos los hispanos y u día de triunfo para las mujeres capaces y de verdaderos valores humanos e intelectuales. Los cubano-américanos debemos sentirnos muy orgullosos de esta mujer ejemplar que ha logrado sus sueños a base de duro trabajo y dedicación a través de una de las vocaciones más hermosas y productivas: la enseñanza. En la segunda foto posa con su esposo Chris Abbato, Maestro del Año en Union City. Uno de los seres humanos más auténticos, honestos y serviciales que he conocido en mi vida. Conozco a este maestro hace muchos años desde cuando los dos fuimos-o por lo menos yo-“exiliados” a Elizabeth, NJ en tiempos cuando otro gran cubano-américano, Rafael Fajardo;El León de Elizabeth luchaba por lograr grandes y positivos cambios en la educación de los estudiantes de esa ciudad . Chris Abbato es hombre ejemplar, acarrrea en su carácter el don de servir, de asistir a los emigrantes que diariamente y tradicionalmente han llegado y llegan a nuestra ciudad. Siempre cordial, siempre luchando por educar de la mejor manera a los estudiantes que acaban de arribar de sus países. Siempre leal a sus amigos y a sus principios y con una luz muy clara sobre las sombras que también gravitan alrededor de nuestra profesión, es querido y admirado por todos los que entendemos la verdadera misión del educador: el estudiante es lo primero. La media naranja de la Superintendente de Escuelas de Union City, Silvia Abbato, es el complimento perfecto para la frase popular: detrás de una gran mujer hay un gran hombre o viceversa.
Superintendent Silvia Abbato at the UCHS 50 Year Capsule Ceremony in the winter of 2013, speaks about the historical significance of the event and the educational improvements that have placed Union City as a leading district and an example of excellence in education.
Joan Rivers has been rushed to a New York City hospital in critical condition after an emergency call that she was in cardiac arrest, according to a law enforcement source.
The New York City Fire Department transported a woman matching her description to Mt. Sinai Hospital earlier this morning after receiving a call that the woman was in cardiac arrest at an Upper East Side clinic, Yorkville Endoscopy, an FDNY source said. The law enforcement source confirmed the woman was Joan Rivers.
TMZ earlier reported that Rivers was having surgery on her vocal chords at the clinic.
No other details were immediately available and her rep had no other information when contacted by ABC News.
Rivers, 81, had been hard at work of late, co-hosting her E! TV show, “Fashion Police” and doing stand-up comedy. According to Ticketmaster, she had seven shows planned across the U.S. for November.
“Ignore aging: Comedy is the one place it doesn’t matter. It matters in singing because the voice goes. It matters certainly in acting because you’re no longer the sexpot. But in comedy, if you can tell a joke, they will gather around your deathbed,” she wrote in the Hollywood Reporter in 2012. “If you’re funny, you’re funny. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Get real-time updates as this story unfolds. To start, just “star” this story in ABC News’ phone app. Download ABC News for iPhone here or ABC News for Android here. To be notified about our live weekend digital reports, tap here.
La dictadura comunista de Maduro Diosdado Cabello (God Given Hair) censuran a Nitu Pérez-Osuna: no hay libertad de prensa en Venezuela•August 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Conocí a Jorge Valls en 1986 gracias a mi hermano del 30 Tony Pons, a su vez hermano de celda en los 22 años que cumplió en las mazmorras castristas. Los dos para mi son verdaderos héroes, el arquetipo del patriota. Jorge participó en las tertulias literarias que fundó la inolvidable Dra. Onilda Jiménez en el entonces Jersey City State College. Jorge influyó a todos aquellos jóvenes de mi generación con su humanismo ecuménico sin cristianismo que reflejaba un inmenso amor por el prójimo. Esto causó que algunos en el exilio de entonces lo criticaran y como respuesta nació este poema. ¡Qué Dios bendiga a Jorge Valls Siempre!
A Jorge Valls Arango
“No me duelenlos dientes de los hombres: más triunfantemuestra el alma su luz por la hendidura”.
¿Cómo, os preguntáis,
ansiosos en la daga que él ignora
filtraremos sus mil libros,
al elevarse en el duelo
de las cruces que lo alzan?
¿Cómo entonces, su
cuando después de los abismos:
la corona del poema,
el pasaporte de las almas que lo aman,
en su diestra de alcanfor
como una mañana victoriosa
Es libre, os aseguro.
Calza los horizontes de la geografía.
Dibuja antiguas risas en la sangre.
Ha traspasado el hierro de las rejas.
Con agua de sol ha despeinado el odio
que circula,y más
de lo que no dice,
porque pasando todas las pruebas
se retiene de ofender.
New York City ,1987. De “Cuando se acaban los pueblos” (1994)
María Corina Machado celebra el Congreso Ciudadano amenazada por la atroz dictadura de Nicolás Maduro•August 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment
¡Qué mujer tan valiente! Entre esta señora y Leopoldo López está el futuro de Venezuela. Voluntad Popular es el partido más fuerte de este hermano pueblo. Primero Justicia ha quedado relegado a un partido colaboracionista y Henrique Capriles, un líder conveniente a los poderes actuales. Ni hablar de Julio Borges, una verdadera serpiente. Voluntad Popular el partido donde sus líderes han dado el frente ante la más cruel dictadura que haya azotado a la gran Venezuela. María Corina Machado y Leopoldo López escribirán las páginas azules de la historia. La juventud venezolana y ellos ya lo están haciendo. Como bien dijo Winston Churchill: “Esta humanidad ha dicho BASTA y ha echado a andar”. A andar por encima del comunismo desde 1989, a andar por la senda de la libertad, del progreso, del desarrollo. ¡Venezuela será Libre! ¡Cuba será Libre de las botas de la familia Castro y sus asquerosos secuaces! No hay comunismo que destruya los ideales de la libertad. Pueden estar en el poder 74 años, como lo hicieron en Rusia o medio siglo como se liberaron los países de “La Cortina de Hierro” para ser, como Alemania, países unidos y prósperos. La triste realidad del comunismo ya golpea a los que siempre apoyaron al hipócrita de Hugo Chávez. De Cuba, el “paraíso utópico”, los comunistas escapan todos los días hacia Miami, esta ciudad que han llamado siempre “el nido de los gusanos”. Y los muñecos televisivos los ponen en pantalla como primicia. Estos también son una mierda. Este excremento ha sido el resultado de 56 años de materialismo de extrema izquierda: corrupción y maldad. Llegan a la misma ciudad miles de venezolanos al mes, quienes escapan de las garras de Maduro y sus oportunistas secuaces, las sabandijas que hacen vida de la miseria a la que han llevado al pueblo venezolano. La democracia vencerá a los comunistas en Venezuela.
Legendary film star Lauren Bacall has died, the Humphrey Bogart Estate has confirmed . She was 89.
“With deep sorrow for the magnitude of our loss, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall,” the Estate posted on Facebook.
The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported she died of a suspected stroke Tuesday morning at her New York home.
Known for her husky voice and sizzling looks, Bacall started out as a model and then broke out as a leading lady opposite Humphrey Bogart in her first film, 1944’s To Have and To Have Not. The two had a whirlwind romance and wed the following year, but it wasn’t without scandal. When they met, she was 19 and he was 44 — and an unhappily married man.
The couple went on to star together in more films: The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948). They had a son and daughter together and remained married until Bogart’s death from throat cancer in 1957.
Bacall’s other notable films include 1950’s Young Man With a Horn and 1953’s How To
Marry A Millionaire, in which she starred alongside Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe.
She also experienced success on stage, starring on Broadway in Goodbye, Charlie (1959) and Cactus Flower (1965), and won Tony Awards for her performances in Applause (1970) and Woman of the Year (1981).
In 1997, the same year she received the Kennedy Center Honors, Bacall was nominated for a best supporting actress Academy Award for her role in The Mirror Has Two Faces opposite Barbra Streisand. She did not win, but was awarded an Honorary Academy Award in 2010.
Source: Cindy Clark, USA TODAY, August 12, 2014
Comedian Robin Williams was found dead this afternoon in his home in Tiburon, Calif., where he lived with his wife, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s department. The cause of death is suspected to be suicide by asphyxia. His press representatives have said that Williams, who was 63, was battling depression.
Williams’ most recent TV project was The Crazy Ones on CBS CBS +1.6% where he starred as an eccentric ad exec opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar. The show was canceled after one season.
Williams was a beloved stand-up comedian who got his big break with 1978′s Mork and Mindy. Playing an alien trying to understand life on Earth, Williams unleashed his manic improve style on network TV and created a phenomenon that lasted four seasons. Rainbow suspenders and the term “nanoo nanoo” because part of the culture thanks to Williams (who played it a bit dirtier in his stand-up routines). The Crazy Ones was the first time Williams had returned to TV in a starring role since Mork and Mindy.
He went on to a lucrative movie career that mixed serious turns in films like Good Morning Vietnam and Good Will Hunting with comedies like Mrs. Doubtfire and The Birdcage. Williams won an Oscar for Good Will Hunting and earned three other acting nominations over the course of his life. His films earned more than $5 billion at the global box office.
Most recently, Williams appeared as Dwight D. Eisenhower in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. At the time of his death, the actor was working on the third Night at the Museum movie where he played another famous president, Teddy Roosevelt.
Williams was also a star who put all of himself into his charity work. Along with Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg he was instrumental in turning Comic Relief into a thriving organization that has raised more than $50 million to help the homeless.
Williams dealt with his share of struggles when it came to drugs. He did several stints in rehab for cocaine and alcohol but had reportedly cleaned himself up. He recently checked in to Hazelden rehab to “fine-tune” his sobriety. Williams leaves behind his wife and three children.
8 11 2014 – Nicolas Maduro es considerado “un títere de Diosdado Cabello” por los obreros venezolanos.•August 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment
The United States should lead an international effort with a strong military intervention to stop the first genocide in the XXI century. The Western powers have a responsibility, the UN has a responsibility to stop 200,000 people from being butchered by these barbaric hordes that decapitate children, women and torture and rape at will just because their victims are Christians and ethnic minorities. It’s a matter of a day or two, maybe hours before the mass killing expands to genocide. As Christians we must pray together for our brothers and sisters who are being killed by these beasts just for believing that Christ is our Salvation.
Nos acabamos de enterar por la cuenta de FB del cantante cubano Willie Chirino que falleció hoy el compositor cubano Chein García Alonso. Lo conocí al principio de su carrera. Era un hombre sumamente modesto y amable, muy talentoso. Para sus familiares y amigos mi más sentido pésame. Qué descanse en paz.
Miles de ecuatorianos celebraron el día de su independencia por todo lo alto, con patriotismo, alegría, entusiasmo y orgullo y mucho civismo y cordialidad con los miles de latinoamericanos que salieron este dominogo 10 de agosto del 2014 a apoyarlos en éste su día especial en la ciudad de Union City, NJ., donde prospera una gran comunidad ecuatoriana. Felicidades! Aquí algunas imágenes del desfile:
Isis beheading Christian Children, torturing and killing, raping women and murdering in the most brutal way all who they consider “Infidels”!•August 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Courtesy of The Richard Nixon Foundation.
Christians Around The World are being persecuted and threatened by the Barbaric Hordes. Christians: Unite in Prayer † In Hoc Signo Vinces•August 8, 2014 • 1 Comment
Christians are being persecuted and murdered in more than 50 countries. They are decapitated, tortured, burned to death, buried alive by islamic hordes driven by hate. Unite in Prayer for those who are tortured and killed in the Name of Christ, for them is the Kingdom of The Lord. It’s the world upside down. At the time we post this 200,000 Christians take refuge in the mountains of North of Iraq, surrounded by the Isis satanic Tribes. Many of them will die or are dying of hunger and thirst now, many will be massacred by Isis if the United States wouldn’t have intervened today. In more than 50 countries Christians are persecuted and killed in the Name of The Lord. Let’s raise our Prayers as Christians for the ones that, like ourselves, placed their salvation on The Son of God. May God Bless them and save them from the hate of the extremist muslim hordes. Aut Christus Aut Nihil!
que estás en los cielos.
Santificado sea tu nombre.
Venga a nosotros tu reino.
Hágase tu voluntad así en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día.
Perdona nuestras deudas,
como también nosotros perdonamos a nuestros deudores.
No nos dejes caer en tentación mas líbranos del mal.
Forty years ago I was fifteen years old and I saw this speech live. It is a classic, the most revealing speech of one of America’s greatest presidents. His words reflect the essence of a man who changed international politics in favor of our foreign policy. He, along with Henry Kissinger were the architects of international “Triangular politics” which divided China and the former USSR, and planted the seeds for the fall of Communism in 1989. Barack Obama is a good man but if men like Nixon and Reagan would be in power today the world would be a safer place, and America would be respected and feared by the barbaric hordes that plague the East and the ruthless dictators that rule most of Latin America, and KGV Chief Putin would be easily handled, after all these guys dealt with Nikita Kruschev, “The Butcher of the Ukraine” who murdered, under Stalin’s orders, 5 million Ukranians, and Leonid Brezhnev, another mass murderer hit man for Stalin since 1923. Next to these guys Putin is a marriage counselor.
Nixon’s enemies would not forgive his daring, his unfathomable mind, his persuasive capacity, and most of all his anti-communism. At the end he didn’t hate. He dug deep into his soul to find forgiveness, and he would come back to be a valuable advisor to following presidents, and one of the greatest political writers in history. May God Bless his soul. Here’s is a link to his Presidential Library: http://nixonfoundation.org.
Aboard the New and Improved Gambler!
Great fishing and the best crew in the East!
Take it from us, once you fish with
Captain Bob Bogan
You’ll always go back to the Gambler!
Located on 59 Inlet Drive, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Contact Captain Bob Bogan for details at
rafaelmartel.com Celebrating the best in New Jersey!
1/2 Day Fluke, Leaving at 8AM and Returning by 12:30 and from 2PM till 6:30. Fare is $45. Senior Fare is $40 and Child Fare is $25.
Night Blues 7:30 till 12:30, Saturday nights. Fare is $60. Senior Fare is $55 and Child Fare is $35
Nite Wreckin’ Trips –for Ling, Cod, Flounder and Squid, Leaving at 7:30 and Returning by 12:30, *Thursday and Friday Nights. Fare $60. Senior Fare is $55 and Child Fare is $35
*please note: our night trip for Aug 7th is sold out.
Rod and Reel Rental are Available on board. Tackle, Ice, Food and Drink are Available on board.
2014 Fall Offshore Tuna Schedule
Sails from Inlet Basin, 59 Inlet Drive, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Yellowfin • Longfin • Swordfish • Mahi • Bigeye Tuna • Other Exotic Species
For availability visit The Gamblerfishing.com
This Trip Sails from Inlet Basin, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (Across from the Coast Guard Station)
The NEW 90′ GAMBLER will be sailing to the 80 – 100 miles offshore this fall for tuna, swordfish, mahi and more!
YOU WILL NEED: 80lb Tackle Equipment, extra clothing, food. Rod and reel can be rented for $25. Initial rig comes with rental rod. Additional rigs, hooks, sinkers, jigs and snacks may be purchased on board. Sleeping accomodations are included. Bring a sleeping bag or blanket. Rain gear and camera suggested.
BRAIDED LINE NOT PERMISSABLE DUE TO LIABILITY DANGERS
Space is limited and passengers are boarded in order of their reservation number.
All trips are by reservation. Tickets non-refundable unless your spot can be filled. Full payment must be received in advance. No hard liquor or drugs permitted. Beer limited to one 6-pack per person. If captain cancels trip, you will get a full refund or you may re-book.
The Gambler is also available for charters.
For further information please call: 732-295-7569.
Sgt. A. Cuellar, Edison School Principal Eliseo Alemán, UCPD Chief Richard Molinari, Captain Nichelle Luster who made history being the first woman who is a Captain of the UCPD in Union City, PO Lugo and Lt. Walter Laurencio at Union City’s 2014 Night Out Against Crime when thousands of Union City residents come out in appreciation and support of our police department and the great job they do keeping Union City residents safe, considering that our small city is the most densely populated in the United States with 70,000 residents in 1.2 square miles. These are the public servants who hardly get positive press in spite of the fact that every day they get out there 24/7 to deal with all sorts of problematic people, putting their lives on the line to protect our families. They do not seek publicity and to take their picture is a privilege because posing for a camera is not their favorite activity. They simply do their job out of commitment and integrity. May God Bless and protect them.
Union City Mayor, Brian P. Stack, the best mayor Union City ever had. An honest man, a populist who has changed this city forever. Always cordial, a true civil servant, an exceptional political mind, a dedicated public official who could also be a fierce political rival. A true democrat. I’ll always be very proud of serving as one go his first Co-campaign managers in 1998, when even Cuban-Americans turned against us to favor the old political machine. Brian lost that election for 427 votes (?). He would come back to become the most powerful politician in Hudson County. He never forgets his friends. He never forgets those who fought the political battles with him from the beginning. He is gifted with a rare quality in politics: loyalty. He never turns anyone away without an effort, a word of hope, and most of the time a positive result. Here he poses with the first woman Superintendent of Schools in the history of Union City, Mrs. Silvia Abbato, a proud Cuban-American whose achievements in her outstanding career of more than thirty years as a teacher and administrator in Union City is now rewarded and recognized by her peers, the community, and elected officials as the educational leader of Union City. Her hard work and commitment to the students of Union City is an testament to excellence in education. Mrs. Abbato’s husband, Chris Abbato is a lead teacher in UCHS as well as 2012 Union City Teacher of The Year. I wrote years ago that you couldn’t meet better people. I was right, as it is right to celebrate the dedication of these educators and their careers, thousands of students and parents they reached and helped through their lifetime in the Union City public schools. And they go on, as education is their calling; an unbreakable compromise. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Abatto! In the photo Edison School Principal, Eliseo Alemán, another successful and hard working Cuban-American who I am proud to be considered his friend and who is doing an excellent job in Edison School. You couldn’t find a harder worker and a better man to lead your school. I know, I worked six years with this outstanding administrator. Union City Commissioner Celin Valdivia, another great Cuban-American who is the most recent addition to Brian Stack’s administration. He has been a loyal political ally and friend of Brian since 1997. His aunt is Julia Valdivia, an exemplary Cuban-American who, along with her husband, helped thousands of Union City residents in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The Cuban community has much to thank her for. She is very proud of Celin as she should be. I had the opportunity to serve in the Planning Commission with him, and I can attest for his honesty, his integrity, and his loyalty to Brian Stack’s mission in Union City. Next to Commissioner Valdivia Union City resident and Harvard and Fordham Law graduate Frances Martel, who is now a writer and editor for Breitbart News Network, Glenn Davis, writer for USA Today, and next to Glenn a good friend, Khaledmukhtar M. Najjar, who does a great job at UCHS and is also a driver for mayor Stack.
Residents enjoying the night of August 5, 2014 in Union City’s Night Out. It is now a tradition that kids enjoy most with hot dogs, refreshments, exotic animals, games, live music, and many more amenities to make this a special night for our residents.
Superintendent of Schools Silvia Abbato and UCPO Lugo: great people. I have the privilege to work with PO Lugo and PO Mendez at Union City High School. I can attest for their total commitment and their effectiveness to deal with and help our students, the young people of Union City.
Glenn Davis and Frances Martel with Papo Ortega, the leader of Cubanoson, which performed live at the Night Out in Union City. Ortega is a former UCPD detective himself. A great musician and a very affable man who’s loved and highly respected by our community. Frances Martel is long time fan of Cubanoson’s music. A proud Cuban-American, Papo is another success story of our exile community.
EL CÍRCULO DE LA MEMORIA
Aquel era el círculo de la abundancia, preñado por un cielo
de total escasez.
El guisaso brillaba en la camisa: la única estrella
que prefirió llevar mi nombre.
Descalzos, bajo la lluvia, el vidrio del paraíso nos cortaba
para sangrar la alegría de esta única fiesta.
Qué hubiera sido de mí sin el tirapiedras que un día Alejandro Magno
añoró, cuando sólo conquistaba el vacío de innumerables hazañas.
Ah, y qué hubiera sido de mí sin aquella húmeda revelación,
por el naciente pubis de Venus, regresando al cetro
de mi última desnudez.
Entonces una ciruela me otorgaba su sabor de exquisita sinfonía
para que encontrara la gloria del barrio en el chucho escondido.
Había una vez un alma que fue el cundiamor de sinsontes,
que volaron más libres en la trampa.
Yo fui el pistolero invisible, el vikingo tropical, uno de los mosqueteros,
con mi edad repleta de oro.
En aquel cinecito mi corazón fue mi primer, y definitivo, premio Oscar.
Y pensar que a mi lado se rodaba otro episodio del infierno;
mas mis ojos eran una muralla de soberana inocencia
y no los nublaban las manidas imágenes del espanto.
UN HIJO BASTARDO DE NORTEAMÉRICA
Yo soy un hijo bastardo de Norteamérica,
un exiliado cubano que fue obligado a partir
hacia esta tierra.
Yo nunca asimilaré, como es debido, esta cultura extranjera;
mas he vivido en Nueva York, y mi puerta se ha abierto
al arcoiris de otras etnias.
Yo soy un hijo bastardo de Norteamérica,
uno de tantos que fue echado a patadas, por un dictador,
de su tierra.
Y ahora soy Sísifo llevando a cuestas la turbia roca de mi pasado.
Yo siempre hablaré el idioma inglés
con este desamparado acento habanero. No olviden:
no fue mi libre albedrío el que eligió vivir en esta tierra.
Yo soy un hijo bastardo de Norteamérica,
la oveja negra que profana el sueño americano,
un pésimo heredero de los puritanos del Mayflower,
por eso este país nunca será mi casa.
Pero, como poeta, pertenezco al mismo linaje de Whitman;
he aprendido a cantarme a mí mismo,
y, por lo tanto, soy un discípulo de Emerson,
que se ha ganado la confianza en sí mismo.
Yo soy un hijo bastardo de Norteamérica.
Mi paladar jamás perderá su preferencia
por el arroz blanco con frijoles negros;
sin embargo, hay en mi mesa un sushi japonés,
un pan judío, una pasta italiana, una hamburguesa de Norteamérica…
Yo soy un hijo bastardo de Norteamérica;
mejor dicho, un hijo legítimo de este mundo.
JOAQUÍN GÁLVEZ (La Habana, Cuba, 1965). Reside en Estados Unidos desde 1989. Ha publicado los poemarios: Alguien canta en la resaca (Cincinnati, 2000), El viaje de los elegidos (Madrid, 2005), Trilogía del paria (Editorial Silueta, 2007) y Habitat (Neo Club Press (Miami, 2014). Ha sido antologado en Reunión de ausentes: antología de poetas cubanos (Cincinnati, 1998) y en Arcanos de la espera: veinte poetas cubanos en Miami (revista digital de poesía Decir del agua, Miami, 2005). Uno de sus poemas fue incluido en Reinaldo Arenas, aunque anochezca: recopilación de textos y documentos (Miami, 2001).
Union City, Julio 16, 2010-Murió esta madrugada mi padre. Tenía 87 años y hasta el último día de su vida dio una de sus largas caminatas.
No era alto y jamás pesó más de 127 libras pero fue un gigante. Uno de esos hombres que le dio el frente siempre a la vida, la cual no le fue a menudo fácil.
A los ocho años de edad comenzó a trabajar de ayudante a carnicero. Por la noche cuando llegaba a casa mi abuela le preparaba cucuruchos de maní que vendía frente al cine. Logró construir una bicicleta pieza a pieza. No tenía el dinero para comprarse una entera. Pero el hecho de construir su primera bicicleta lo hizo interesarse en la mecánica. Tendría unos 15 años cuando llevó la bicicleta a Varadero para alquilarla los domingos. En aquellos tiempos-final de los años 30- se alquilaban las bicicletas sin el que las rentaba adelantara un centavo, se pagaba cuando se devolvía. A mi padre jamás le robaron una bicicleta. Compró otra y llevaba una de una mano y montado en la otra iba los sábados y domingos a Varadero a rentarlas.
Pronto comenzó a arreglar las bicicletas de sus vecinos y al principio de los años 40 montó su primer taller en La Marina de Cárdenas, su ciudad natal. Prosperó. Trabajaba sábados y domingos. La familia y el trabajo siempre fueron sus prioridades. Llegó a tener 40 bicicletas para vender o alquilar en su taller.
Se había abierto trecho desde la pobreza a fuerza de trabajo y movió la localidad de su taller a la Calle Calzada, llegando a tener 40 bicicletas para alquilar y una considerable clientela.
Siempre fue serio en su trabajo, al que adoptó como una religión. Hacía los años 50 estaba a punto de comprar su casa, cuya parte frontal usaba de taller. Era un inmenso caserón español donde por las tardes corría la brisa de la bahía de Cárdenas borrando el calor sofocante de las mañanas de verano.
Desde muy pequeño me enseñaba a montar los rayos de las bicicletas, lo cual hacía bajo su supervisión en mis vacaciones de verano y cuando llegaba de la escuela. Al final del día me pagaba para enseñarme los valores del trabajo y el dinero. Su taller estaba casi siempre lleno de clientes en una ciudad caracterizada por la cantidad de bicicletas y coches que circulaban por sus calles. Estaba extremadamente orgulloso de sus “ponches” y su lema era “si yo te arreglo un ponche en ese lugar de la rueda no se te poncha más”. Mi padre fue siempre un hombre de paz. Dos veces lo vi al punto de irse a las manos, una fue un señor que reclamaba sus 40 centavos del ponche que decía se le había roto por el mismo lugar en que Martel lo había cojido. Mi padre se sintió engañado e insultado y tuvieron que intervenir varios clientes para calmarlo. La otra fue simplemente “El asunto de la chancleta”, del que siempre nos reíamos con él.
Era difícil sacarlo de quisio pero era también peligroso hacerlo. Evitaba al máximo estar en una situación de violencia pero cuando tomaba una decisión no cedía. Tenía una filosofía muy sencilla: Cuando hay que pelear hay que echarlo todo hacia adelante, en ese momento estás solo y tienes que darlo todo, decía. Esto lo había aprendido en las calles de Cárdenas, donde se inició en la pelea callejera desde niño para que los abusadores no le quitaran el maní que vendía frente al Cine Cárdenas, o el puesto de limpiar zapatos que se disputaban los muchachos duros de la calle. Tenía un sentido extraordinario del peligro de la calle, de las situaciones, de los “personajes estrátegicos”, Estos instintos y valores tanto familiares como de hombría implantó en mí. Le estaré siempre agradecido.
Pasaron muchos años para entender lo claro que estaba el viejo. En mi experiencia en mis años jóvenes en las noches del New York de la década del 70 y 80 no me sorprendieron ni jamás me amendrentaron los que intentaron faltarme el respeto. También me había curtido en las calles de Cárdenas y Madrid y después a la disciplina de Karate había añadido uno cuantos rounds en rings locales. El boxeo es el mejor mata guapos que he conocido. Mi viejo me había preparado para enfrentar la vida. Más tarde leyendo “La conjuración de Catilina” de Salustio grabé una frase del general romano que intentó usurpar la república y cayó entre sus primeras líneas. Cuando ante la superioridad numérica algunos de sus generales le sugirieron que se rindiera Catilina, entre muchas célebres frases, les contestó que sólo los locos dejan las armas. Lo que reafirmaba los consejos de mi padre. Jamás buscó una pelea pero jamás dejó sus armas, entre éstas la más valiosa que tenía: su disponibilidad ante situaciones difíciles, su disciplina y dedicación a la familia y en el momento necesario su absoluta resolución a darlo todo en cualquier batalla.
Aunque fue dura su vida mantuvo su manera afable y su personalidad conversadora y amigable hasta su último día. Si bien la experiencia de su niñez tronchada y los daños que le causó la infrahumanidad de los comunistas lo afectó profundamente, no así su sentido del humor y su autenticidad como ser humano. Los que lo trataron dan firme testimonio de un hombre amable, sincero y honrado.
No creía en curas ni en dogmas ni partidos políticos y jamás lo vi seguir a otro hombre, aunque llegó a admirar al presidente Ronald Reagan hasta el punto de llegar a tener por un tiempo una foto del presidentel en la sala de su casa, pero amaba y estaba orgulloso de su isla, su taller y su familia hasta su último día. Fue cubano hasta la cepa.
Fue, sin embargo un hombre de paz. No abrigaba el odio. Muchas veces cuando hablaba de su taller con nostalgia no maldecía a los castristas que se lo robaron ni en su ferviente anticomunismo se expresaba con resentimiento hacia la plaga. Agradecía a Dios que lo hubiera elegido para ser uno de los millones de cubanos que pudimos escapar de las garras del lenilismo delirante. Siempre vio el final del comunsimo en Cuba como una gran tragedia por los abusos a derechos humanos y el fanatismo de los oligarcas castristas.
Fue al final de los 50 que la plaga comenzó a dejarse sentir en Cuba. Mi padre, como tantos otros miles de cubanos honestos y trabajadores, fue acusado de “pequeño burgués” por Castro y la tralla. Una tarde que jamás olvidaré vinieron los esbirros y le “intervinieron” su taller. El taller era parte esencial de su vida. Lo tuvo por 28 años hasta que los comunistas se lo robaron. Nunca comprendió ni se recuperó del robo de los podridos marxistas. Aunque fue anticomunista hasta el final, no llegó completamente a comprender el odio y la semilla diábolica de los comunistas de manera total. No escuché una frase de odio ni siquiera sobre la carroña comunista ni de La Pitralfa Humana y su familia. El viejo no estaba en el negocio del odio, su misión fue construir.
Minutos después de la intervención el esbirro le dijo a Martel: “Bueno esto es ahora del pueblo, de la revolución pero te damos la oportunidad de trabajar para la revolución ahora.” Mi padre se negó. Explicaba que cómo iba a trabajar para los que le habían robado lo suyo, construido a base de sudor y trabajo.
Entonces comenzó a tener problemas con los comunistas que llegaron a enviarlo a uno de sus campos de concentración por dos años y a cortar henequén. Había decidido salir de la isla cárcel para traer a su familia a tierras de libertad. Pagó el precio de todo cubano que salió de Cuba en la década de los 60 y 70: el acoso institucional, el desprecio de vecinos y personas que habíamos conocido toda una vida pero que ahora eran más revolucionarios que Fidel.
Ocho años después de salir de Cuba volvió con mi madre, en aquellos primeros viajes llamados “de la comunidad” en los cuales me negué a participar. Regresó sorprendido, no sólo por el deterioro de aquella sociedad sin futuro, sino porque los mismos comunistas del pueblo que le habían hecho daño habían venido a saludarlo y a pedirle cuchillas de afeitar y medias, que mis padres habían llevado en docenas en anticipación a la miseria que enfrentarían. Mi padre les dio las cuchillas, los chicles y las medias que le quedaban sin ningún reparo. Lo único que sintió por aquellos esclavos del comunismo fue lástima y llegó narrando sorprendido como los comecandelas más castristas estaban hechos añicos, desengañados y hambrientos sin poder dar marcha atrás.
En puro invierno del año 70 llegamos a España. El trabajo para los emigrantes era escaso pero no había comunismo. Mi padre comenzó a repartir guías telefónicas por todo Madrid. Era un trabajo que muy pocos hacían. Había que subir la guías telefónicas, auténticos ladrillos, cinco y hasta siete pisos sin elevador. Pero el trabajo, lejos de ser un obstáculo, era una especie de misión para José Martel.
Hijo de españoles, se sintió en casa en la madre patria. La vida era dura en España pero el viejo se sentía libre. Aunque muchos españoles rojos veían la dictadura de Franco como algo insoportable, mi padre sabía que aquello no era el comunismo, del que solía decir: “Si los comunistas pudieran controlar el aire y el sol lo harían sin pensarlo un instante”.
Conoció a mi madre de muy joven y solía decir: “Cuando yo vi a Panchita yo sabía que ella era la mujer de mi vida”. Se casaron y mantenían un matrimonio de 60 años.
Toda la vida mostró una actitud ejemplar hacia el trabajo y la familia, algo que dejó sus huellas en mi y de lo que le estoy eternamente agradecido.
Después de tres largos años en España arribó a Los Estados Unidos el 15 de mayo de 1973. Trabajó en K-Mart otros 28 años. No llegó tarde ni un día. Estuvo ausente 3 días en 28 años. Antes de retirarse la compañía lo homenajeó sacando un reportaje en su boletín nacional. Era muy querido por sus compañeros de trabajo, con los cuales se mantuvo en comunicación hasta el último día.
Como todos los cubanos que aman a su patria siempre estuvo atento del acontecer cubano. Siempre soñando con la libertad de su país. No fue un actvista político pero fue un repúblicano de Ronald Reagan, el presidente que más admiraba.
El boxeo era su deporte favorito, del que llegó a ser un experto. Me trasmitió también esa afición y admiración por este deporte duro que era compatible con su vida y su carácter. La primera pelea de boxeo que vi en mi vida fue a su lado, en un pequeño televisor en el piso que compartíamos con otros cubanos en Madrid. Me despertó en la madrugada para ver la pelea de Mohamed Ali y el argentino Ringo Bonavena, trasmitida en directo por Televisión Española desde el Madison Square Garden. Mi padre reconoció inmediatamente el talento de Ali. Repetía que el boxeo “es el deporte más duro”, algo que pude experimentar años más tarde. Tengo la dicha de haber compartido muchas peleas de boxeo con él y su nieta comenzó a escribir sobre este deporte profesionalmente a la edad de 18 años. Frances le dio muchas alegrías y sus personalidades son sorprendentemente similares. No escondía el orgullo que sentía por ella ni ella el amor y agradecimiento hacia su abuelo. Hasta su último día con nosotros comentó lo orgulloso que sentía de Fran. Ella le dio el superlativo orgullo de graduarse con honores de la Universidad de Harvard a la edad de 21 años e ingresar en la Universidad de Fordham para estudiar leyes.
En sus últimos años disfrutó de su casa y de sus paseos por Nueva York con su nieta. Le encantaba salir a Nueva York y pasear en carros por las amplias avenidas. Le fascinaba tirarse fotos con su nieta en la gran ciudad. José Martel (centro), reunido de buenos amigos en una tarde inolvidable, entre éstos Alberto Menéndez, su esposa Juanita y Evelio Madariaga, en una fiesta informal de graduación de su nieta Frances cuando regresó de Harvard University en junio del 2009, después de graduarse con honores.
José Martel (centro), reunido de buenos amigos en una tarde inolvidable, entre éstos Alberto Menéndez, su esposa Juanita y Evelio Madariaga, en una fiesta informal de graduación de su nieta Frances cuando regresó de Harvard University en junio del 2009, después de graduarse con honores.
Sentía un gran amor por España y siempre le estuvo agradecido tanto a España como a Los Estados Unidos por las oportunidades que este país le brindó.
Dejó huellas de luz en nosotros. Era un hombre directo, medido y humilde en su forma. Firme en sus convicciones democráticas, en su ferviente anticomunismo.
A través de su ejemplo me enseñó muchas cosas que son parte de mi por el resto de mi vida.
Deja un gran vacío en nosotros. Le damos gracias a Dios de tenerlo siempre cerca por tantos años. Su sentido del humor, su inconfundible risa y sobre todo su sentido humano y su dedicación a la familia estará siempre en nosotros como una llama de azul inextinguible y presente a través de la vida.
Descansa viejo, has cumplido. Una de las últimas fotos de mi padre con su esposa Francisca el 4 de julio del 2010. José Martel (centro) en la Plaza de Cárdenas, Cuba, con dos empleados de su taller con las famosas bicicletas Niágara en una foto tomada el 2 de noviembre de 1947.
Una de las últimas fotos de mi padre con su esposa Francisca el 4 de julio del 2010.
José Martel (centro) en la Plaza de Cárdenas, Cuba, con dos empleados de su taller con las famosas bicicletas Niágara en una foto tomada el 2 de noviembre de 1947.
* Velamos y enterramos al viejo el 18 y 19 de julio del 2010 con la dignidad que merecía. Desde lo profundo de mi corazón gracias a todas las personas que estuvieron conmigo y mi familia en estos difíciles momentos, especialmente a todos los amigos que mostraron su calibre cuando hay que mostrarlo aún no pudiendo estar físicamente presentes. Gracias a los oficiales electos que se presentaron y que tan bien se portaron. Gracias, no lo olvidaré.
El Nuevo Herald-El disidente cubano Jorge Luis García Pérez, conocido como Antúnez, denunció el viernes que había sido golpeado, asfixiado hasta perder el conocimiento e inyectado con una sustancia desconocida por agentes de la Seguridad del Estado que le advirtieron que dejara de trabajar en contra de mejorar las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba.
El Departamento de Estado, mientras tanto, condenó el uso “sistemático” de violencia de parte del gobierno cubano y la detención de los disidentes luego de una ola de represión el miércoles en que unos 45 activistas de oposición fueron arrestados brevemente y un periodista independiente reportó que recibió una paliza.
“Condenamos firmemente el uso sistemático por parte del gobierno cubano de violencia física y detención arbitraria para silenciar a sus críticos (y) perturbar las reuniones pacíficas”, dijo la portavoz adjunta del Departamento de Estado, Marie Harf.
“Urgimos al gobierno de Cuba a terminar con estas prácticas y a respetar los derechos humanos universales de los ciudadanos cubanos”, agregó Harf el jueves por la noche en un comunicado, en el cual se refirió a la ola represiva del día anterior.
García, arrestado el miércoles con su esposa, Yris Pérez Aguilera, y puesto en libertad el viernes, dijo que nunca había sido maltratado de tal manera durante sus muchas detenciones anteriores. “No pensé que en esta época pudieran hacer cosas así”, dijo.
Cuatro hombres musculosos le dieron puñetazos y empujones en una oficina de una estación de policía en Santa Clara, la capital provincial cerca de su hogar en el pueblo de Placetas, a 180 millas al este de La Habana, dijo a el Nuevo Herald por teléfono.
Un agente de la seguridad con una bata blanca de laboratorio le administró una llave de estrangulamiento y le hizo perder el conocimiento dos veces, dijo. Cuando recobró el conocimiento, el hombre acababa de inyectarle algo en el brazo, afirmó. No hubo manera independiente de confirmar sus alegaciones.
Agentes de la Seguridad del Estado le dijeron que lo habían detenido para advertirle que dejara de reunir firmas para un documento en contra de mejorar las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba, dijo el disidente. Más de 830 cubanos han firmado el documento.
García dijo que las autoridades también le dijeron que sabían que él estaba detrás de una serie de grafitis anticastristas que han aparecido en Placetas, y que él ha estado en contacto con exiliados de Miami tales como el médico Manuel Alzugaray.
El Ministerio del Interior de Cuba ha vinculado a Alzugaray, director del Equipo Médico de Miami (Miami Medical Team), y otros a cuatro cubanos de Miami arrestados en la isla, supuestamente por conspirar para atacar blancos militares. Alzugaray ha negado tener nada que ver en la supuesta conspiración.
García dijo que su esposa también fue abofeteada y empujada durante su detención, y que le dieron el mismo mensaje que él recibió de parte de sus captores: “Te callas o te vas”. Su eslogan ha sido por mucho tiempo “Ni me callo ni me voy”.
García, de 49 años, quien estuvo en la cárcel de 1990 al 2007, y su esposa están entre los disidentes más osados en la Cuba comunista. Ellos encabezan el Frente Nacional de Resistencia Cívica Orlando Zapata Tamayo, que lleva el nombre de un disidente que murió en el 2010 tras una huelga de hambre.
La disidente de La Habana Martha Beatriz Roque, de 69 años, alegó mientras tanto que había recibido un puñetazo de parte de una agente de la Seguridad del Estado, cuando trató de salir de su casa el miércoles. Ella se cayó a consecuencia del puñetazo y se lesionó la espalda, agregó.
Agentes de la Seguridad han impedido a todo el mundo entrar o salir de la vivienda de Roque los miércoles desde noviembre, para impedir las reuniones semanales de un pequeño grupo de periodistas independientes que ella dirige, la Red Cubana de Comunicadores Comunitarios.
La agente de la Seguridad del Estado se negó a identificarse, y dijo a un supervisor suyo después del incidente que Roque había resbalado y se había caído sola, dijo. Los agentes de la Seguridad del Estado cubana rara vez se identifican, y cuando lo hacen, lo hacen mayormente con seudónimos.
Durante la ola represiva del miércoles, el periodista independiente Roberto de Jesús Guerra denunció que un agente de la Seguridad del Estado vestido de civil lo atacó sin provocación alguna mientras caminaba por una calle de La Habana. Guerra sufrió la rotura de la nariz durante el incidente.
Agentes de la Policía y la Seguridad del Estado detuvieron asimismo a más de 30 miembros de la organización disidente Damas de Blanco y hasta 20 hombres que las apoyaban durante el día, pero los habían soltado a todos hacia el final del miércoles.
El activista de derechos humanos de La Habana Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz ha reportado un constante aumento en “detenciones arbitrarias a corto plazo por motivos políticos” bajo el gobierno de Raúl Castro. Esas detenciones están diseñadas por lo general para intimidar a los disidentes y mantenerlos alejados de las reuniones de oposición.
Su Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional ha contado un número récord de 3,821 arrestos de este tipo durante los primeros cuatro meses del presente año, en comparación con el récord anterior de 2,795 durante los primeros cuatro meses del 2012.
Infobae-El actual presidente de Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, ganó el ballottage con el 50,91 por ciento de los votos. El delfín del ex mandatario Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010), Óscar Iván Zuluaga, obtuvo el 45,03%. El dato ya está consolidado, con el 99,55% de las mesas escrutadas.
El triunfo de Santos marca el destino del proceso de paz con las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), en un conflicto que ya lleva más de medio siglo.
“Quiero felicitar a Santos por su triunfo. La democracia consiste en eso. Hemos dado una batalla llena de ideas, de propuestas y de ilusión por Colombia. Tuvimos la fuerza, el cariño y la convicción de cada de ustedes”, sostuvo Zuluaga, tras reconocer la derrota.
Más de 32 millones de colombianos estaban convocados de forma voluntaria para la elección que comenzó este domingo.
El triunfo que Colombia cosechó ante Grecia por 3 a 0, en lo que resultó la vuelta de la Selección cafetera tras 16 años sin participaciones en Mundiales, tiñó de color la previa del ballottage. De hecho, se vio a ambos candidatos festejando la victoria.
El principal tema de campaña giró en torno al modo de enfrentar a las FARC, uno de los asuntos en que los candidatos exhiben mayores diferencias. Mientras que Santos busca profundizar el proceso de diálogo por la paz que entabló su Gobierno desde noviembre de 2012, en La Habana, Zuluaga criticó que el presidente se sentara a negociar con la guerrilla, ya que considera que no se trata de un conflicto armado, sino de acciones terroristas de las FARC.
“Si hubiera un conflicto, las FARC estarían en una posición completamente distinta”, comentó el opositor días atrás en una entrevista con la emisora RCN La Radio. “Las FARC siguen cometiendo actos terroristas y están actuando como tal”, añadió.
Por su parte, Santos consideró que las negociaciones produjeron avances importante en temas como la reforma rural, la participación política de los guerrilleros, la lucha contra el narcotráfico y el reconocimiento a las víctimas.
Más aún, el mandatario, que al igual que su contrincante fue ministro del gobierno de Uribe, reveló esta semana el inicio de conversaciones con el Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), la segunda guerrilla más importante del país. El anuncio fue catalogado por su rival como “electoralista”.
En la primera vuelta, Zuluaga había vencido con el 29,3% de los votos a Santos, que logró el 25,7%.