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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


Neno

I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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U.S. to start talks with Cuba to normalize ties

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Post by Neno Wed 17 Dec 2014, 11:31 am

U.S. to start talks with Cuba to normalize ties

U.S. to start talks with Cuba to normalize ties 04043607
Moves to close the rifts with Cuba would mark a significant moment in Western Hemisphere politics. (Alejandro Ernesto/EPA)
By Karen DeYoung December 17 at 12:08 PM
 
President Obama moved Wednesday to normalize relations with Cuba, tearing down the last remaining pillar of the Cold War after after more than 60 years.

Under measures announced by the administration, the United States plans to re-open its embassy in Havana and significantly ease restrictions on travel and commerce within the next several weeks and months.

The result of more than a year and a half of secret negotiations with the Cuban government of President Raul Castro, the changes followed Cuba’s agreement to release Alan Gross, a U.S. Agency for International Development contractor imprisoned for five years, and to exchange an unnamed U.S. intelligence asset, held for two decades, for three Cuban nationals convicted of spying in this country in 2001.

Gross, a Maryland resident, left Cuba aboard a U.S. military aircraft Wednesday morning, accompanied by his wife and several members of Congress, and arrived at Joint Base Andrews. The Cubans have landed in Havana.

[Read our live blog: Restoring U.S.-Cuba ties]
U.S. to start talks with Cuba to normalize ties Gross_Released-02896
American Alan Gross poses for a photo during a visit by Rabbi Elie Abadie and U.S. lawyer James L. Berenthal at Finlay military hospital. (James L. Berenthal/AP)


Although Obama has the power to establish diplomatic relations, the move was the latest in a series of steps he has taken to use executive powers to circumvent legislative
While those laws remain standing, the administration made clear that the measures announced Wednesday are designed to undermine them as much as possible.

“We are confident in our ability to take these steps,” said a senior administration officials who briefed reporters prior to a statement Obama will make at noon.

Normalization fulfills a goal set by the President early in his administration, which officials only saw as possible during his last two years in office, following November’s midterm elections.
“When we came into office we were committed to changing a policy that we felt had failed...for the last several decades,” the official said.

“This is a better way, in our view, of advancing our interests and our values,” the official said. “Engagement is a better tool than isolation.”

The final elements of the deal were cemented in a telephone conversation Tuesday between Obama and Castro--the first direct communication between a U.S. and Cuban leader since relations were severed in January 1961.

Officials said the call followed secret channel talks begun in June last year between White House and Cuban officials in a series of meetings held in Canada. The final planning meeting was held in November at the Vatican; where officials said Pope Francis had been instrumental in facilitating agreement.

The issue of Cuban relations, and particularly Gross’s imprisonment, was discussed during Obama’s meeting with the Pope in March. Francis subsequently made a personal appeal to both Obama and Castro in letters sent early this summer.

The Vatican “has been deeply involved in this whole negotiation with the prisoners and played a key role,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who said he would be among a number of lawmakers meeting Gross on arrival at Andrews.

Administration officials said that they did not expect a strongly negative public reaction to the moves, citing changes in the political sentiments of a new generation of Cuban Americans. Virtually all Latin American governments, including close U.S. allies, have long denounced the embargo and called for normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba.

But Cuban-American lawmakers were quick to denounce the move. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Obama’s actions “will invite further belligerence toward Cuba’s opposition movement and the hardening of the government’s dictatorial hold on its people.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the announcement “just the latest in a long line of failed attempts by President obama to appease rogue regimes at all cost.”





Adam Goldman and Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/report-cuba-frees-american-alan-gross-after-5-years-detention-on-spy-charges/2014/12/17/a2840518-85f5-11e4-a702-fa31ff4ae98e_story.html
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Post by Bama Diva Wed 17 Dec 2014, 3:59 pm

All without Congress' input !! He may think he is going to get the Cuban vote for the Democrats but a lot of American Cubans don't want this or that is what I've read in the past.
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Post by wciappetta Wed 17 Dec 2014, 4:31 pm

I wonder if this has anything to do with it or the fact that Russia was planning on drilling oil in Cuba's...you can bet their is a Russian connection to this  move.... scroll the sight this report came from, interesting read, you'll have to translate it though.


July 22, 2014

Everything We Know About The Huge Spy Base In Cuba That Russia Is Reopening  4

Tags: Lourdes Signals Intelligence BaseRussiaSignals Intelligence (SIGINT)

U.S. to start talks with Cuba to normalize ties New-lourdes


By Corey Adwar & Michael B. Kelley, Business Insider


Moscow and Havana have agreed to reopen a Cold War-era signals intelligence (SIGINT) base in Lourdes, Cuba.

An agreement was reached during Putin’s visit to Cuba last week to reopen the base, Russia business daily Kommersant reported  last week. That was confirmed by a Russian security source who told Reuters : ”A framework agreement has been agreed.”

The base was set up in 1964 after the Cuban missile crisis had brought the U.S. and Soviet Union close to confrontation over Moscow’s proposal to place nuclear weapons on Cuban soil.

Havana shut it down in 2001 because of financial issues and American pressure.(Editor’s Note: This statement is incorrect. Russia’s shut down of Lourdes infuriated Fidel Castro).


Located south of Cuba’s capital Havana and just 150 miles from the U.S. coast, the base left many parts of the U.S. vulnerable to Soviet communication intercepts, including exchanges between Florida space centers and U.S. spacecraft. (Editor’s Note: The first statement is partially incorrect — Lourdes is roughly 100 miles from the U.S. coast).


Here’s what a Congressional report from 2000  said about the facility:
• The Secretary of Defense formally expressed concerns to Congress regarding the espionage complex at Lourdes, Cuba, and its use as a base for intelligence directed against the United States.

• The Secretary of Defense, referring to a 1998 Defense Intelligence Agency assessment, reported that the Russian Federation leased the Lourdes facility for an estimated $100 million to $300 million a year.

• It has been reported that the Lourdes facility was the largest such complex operated by the Russian Federation and its intelligence service outside the region of the former Soviet Union.

• The Lourdes facility was reported to cover a 28 square-mile area with over 1,500 Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel working at the base.

• Experts familiar with the Lourdes facility have reportedly confirmed that the base had multiple groups of tracking dishes and its own satellite system, with some groups used to intercept telephone calls, faxes, and computer communications, in general, and with other groups used to cover targeted telephones and devices.

• News sources have reported that the Lourdes facility obtained sensitive information about United States military operations during Operation Desert Storm.

• Academic studies cite official U.S. sources affirming that the Lourdes facility was used to collect personal information about United States citizens in the private and government sectors, and offered the means to engage in cyberwarfare against the U.S.

• The operational significance of the Lourdes facility reportedly grew dramatically after Russian President Boris Yeltsin issued a 1996 order demanding the Russian intelligence community increase its gathering of U.S. and other Western economic and trade secrets.

Read more here:  The Lourdes SIGINT Base   


Editor’s Note:  The caption under the lead photo in the Business Insider posting of this article is highly misleading. During the Cold War, Moscow provided Havana with subsidies exceeding three billion dollars annually. Given this massive foreign aid influx, it is grossly disingenuous to claim that Cuba allowed the Russians to stay there “rent-free” through 1992.
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Post by CITEX Wed 17 Dec 2014, 4:34 pm

Obama is letting  Puttin do what ever he wants... why wouldn't he invite him into the country as well, and open flights... what's the worse that could happen...
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Post by wciappetta Wed 17 Dec 2014, 5:12 pm

I think they are punching oil down and creating the drain on the Russian economy. Cuba is an export market for Russia highly dependent. Another facet to an unfolding plan or is it a crisis not being let go to waste? Plus who wants that base operational? I understand the political issues in relationship to Cuba and the US, perhaps he seizing the opportunity, from what I read Obama has been playing this card  since at least June...


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Post by wciappetta Wed 17 Dec 2014, 5:15 pm

@Bama Diva wrote:All without Congress' input !! He may think he is going to get the Cuban vote for the Democrats but a lot of American Cubans don't want this or that is what I've read in the past.

In this circumstance he is within his right as president, I'm not sure it's a wise move or not....You're right though many Cubans don't like this.

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