Saturday, May 17, 2003


Like the other survivors, she spent 19 hours in the water before being rescued by a fishing vessel. She says of her rescue: "I am not happy for it. I hurt about my child. I feel now empty. I have lost everything."

"It is quite shocking to meet people who have lost everything," says Richard Grove-Hills

I have lost everything. Everything. Now what?

Advice from those who have lost everything


Poverty pushes Cuban women into sex tourism
by Jennifer Karsseboom, Digital Freedom Network

"Even if you work 24 hours a day, you do not get enough to eat. One can endure anything except hunger. If I were a man, maybe I would have committed murder to fill my stomach. But as a woman, I became a prostitute."
— Manju, Farmer/Prostitute

(March 26, 2003) From north to south, Havana to Santiago de Cuba, amidst the decaying buildings, propagandizing billboards and food stores with empty shelves there are two things in Cuba which are always in full supply: prostitutes and sex tourists.

"In Cuba, foreign men can command Cuban women and girls with the same ease used to order cocktails."

In a country with few employment options that offer enough upon which to subsist and an embargo that contributes to substandard living conditions for the majority of the population, women and girls flock to densely populated Havana in search of sexual employment in hotels, bars, restaurants and on the streets. Sex tourists flock to Havana and other cities in search of a form of escapism that is cheap, safe and exotic. In Cuba, foreign men can command Cuban women and girls with the same ease used to order cocktails.

Cuba's current tourism boom is one not seen since the 1950s, when under former dictator Fulgencio Batista, the island lured tourists with promises of cheap cigars, rum, casinos and prostitutes. Cuba's current leader, Fidel Castro, led the Cuban Revolution in 1959, promising to free Cuba of its servitude to the rich and famous Americans and Europeans. The post-1959 Cuban state tried to outlaw prostitution and attempted to remedy the conditions, which create a supply of sex workers. Objectives of Castro's revolution included initiatives aimed at opening doors to women's reintegration into the country's socioeconomic life in terms of education, healthcare, employment and attaining overall full gender equality. His attempts in achieving these goals had been somewhat successful until the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

With the demise of the Soviet Union, Cuba lost much of its aid and investment as well as its ability to survive without compromising some of its revolutionary ideals. Trade relationships with the USSR and Eastern Europe had accounted for over two-thirds of Cuba's foreign commerce. The country was forced to develop a new economic strategy and as a result adopted tourism as a basic pillar.

In the meantime, the U.S. placed an embargo on Cuba aimed at bringing down its political structure. The embargo greatly weakened, and continues to weaken, the Cuban economy by banning trade and investment in Cuba. Consequently, the Cuban government strengthened its attempts to lure tourists to Cuba in order to promote revenue. As a result of its dependence on tourism, Cuba has once again turned into a playground for those in search of cheap cigars, rum and prostitutes.

Economic enablers for sex tourism

Aside from the tasty mojitos and astounding music scene, one of Cuba's greatest lures to the male tourist is its booming sex tourism industry. Sex tourism, a sub-sector of Cuba's prosperous tourist economy, is a significant industry and a major employer for many Cuban women and girls. This is obvious by the number of women seen in the streets, bars and hotels openly soliciting foreign men. It is difficult to obtain statistics on the number of sex tourists and sex workers since it is considered illegal but what is known is that one-fourth of the investments in Cuba have been made in the tourist industry, making it one of the country's most dynamic economic sectors.

Cuban tourist agencies do a great deal of business with other tourist agencies in places like the Bahamas. Tourists from all over the world pre-book, and in some cases booking on the spot, tours that are thinly disguised weekend sex tours to Havana. In addition to Mexico, the Bahamas serves as a conduit for those tourists, particularly Americans, who are unable to legally travel to Cuba.

Nobody is prohibiting the business and although it is illegal, the Cuban government does nothing to stop it. Sex tourists bring money into the Cuban economy by drawing money to hotels, restaurants and other state-run businesses. Castro has declared, "Sex tourism will never be permitted, nor drugs nor anything of that sort. This is healthy tourism, and that is what we want; it is what we promote because we know that today tourists are worried about their safety and we have conditions to offer them that security."

Despite the fact that the government does not "permit", promote or legalize sex tourism, a handful of underground tour operators are catering to American and European travelers by promoting trips through advertisements in adult magazines, direct-mail solicitations and referrals from satisfied clients. To help the industry thrive, Cuban authorities and government officials look the other way so that the local economy can receive the foreign currency and foreign men that sexualized travel attracts.

Sex tourism has bloomed in part as a result of "dollarization," which is the legalized use of the U.S. dollar in Cuba in addition to pesos, the national currency. The U.S. dollar was legalized in Cuba as an attempt to boost the stagnant economy but instead has created a two-tiered society in Cuba: the privileged foreigners and the underprivileged locals.

In an effort to get more tourist dollars, the government created tourist stores, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and even taxis that are accessible to foreigners with hard currency. Dollarization, in conjunction with the embargo, has opened the door to a proliferation of prostitution called "jineterismo" (a derogatory word translated literally to "horseback riding", in colloquial form translating to "gold-digger"). sex worker, Lucy, pointed out that in some cases it is not necessarily much of a choice. Lucy had a simple response to the general male response to "jineterismo". She asked, "But do they bring money home to feed us?" Lucy candidly explained in perfect English, "They would do it too if they could, if women were always looking for sex and not able to always get it for free." In Cuba, one does not see women seeking the sexual services of men in public and therefore, the sex industry is not much of an option for men as a means of survival.

Not only does Lucy speak perfect English, she also speaks German, French, Russian and is learning Turkish so she can have an edge on the "Turkish market," as there has been an influx on Turkish men seeking Cuban women. When asked what she did before sex work she smiled, ignored the question, and mumbled that all this talk was ruining her business. Lucy said she was working that day for a $10 phone card to call her mother in southern Cuba.

Poverty pushes Cuban women into sex tourism
by Jennifer Karsseboom, Digital Freedom Network

"Even if you work 24 hours a day, you do not get enough to eat. One can endure anything except hunger. If I were a man, maybe I would have committed murder to fill my stomach. But as a woman, I became a prostitute."
— Manju, Farmer/Prostitute

Leaders of the Cuban Ten Years' War (1868-1878) sentenced to death.
New York Times, November 19, 1870, page 1. Havana dispatch. "SENTENCES OF DEATH. Shortly after the outbreak of the revolution here a Court-martial was convened to try those considered as leaders of the rebellion, either as fighting, talking, or contributing members. The Court-martial closed its session on Monday. The following persons, all of them absent from Havana, being sentenced to death and their properties ordered confiscated for the benefit of the State, namely: Carlos Manuel Cespedes, Francisco Vicente Aguilera, Cristobal Mendoza, Eligio Izaguirre, Eduardo Agramonte, Pedro Maria Aguero y Gonzalez, Salvador Cisneros Betancour, Francisco Sanchez Betancour, Pio Rosado, Fernando Fornaris, Miguel Betancour Guerra, Jesus Rodriguez, Jose Izaguirre, Miguel Geronimo Gutierrez, Arcadio Garcia, Tranquilino Valdes, Antonio Lorda, Eduardo Machado, Antonio Zambrana, Ignacio Agramonte, Rafael Morales, Lucas del Castillo, Diego Machado, Ramon Perez Trujillo, Manuel Quesada, Thomas Jordan, Francisco Ruz, Jose Valiente, Jose Maria Mora, Antonio Fernandez Bramosio, Jose Maria Bassora, Francisco Izquierdo, Plutarco Gonzalez, Ramon Fernandez Criado, Francisco Javier Cisneros, Joaquin Delgado, Ramon Aguirre, Francisco Fesser, Ignacio Alfaro, Miguel Aldama, Carlos del Castillo, Jose Manuel Mestre, Hilario Cisneros, Leonardo Del Monte, Jose Maria Cespedes, Francisco Valdes Mendoza, Nestor Ponce de Leon, Federico Galvez, Francisco Javier Balmaseda, Manuel Casanova, Antonio Mora, Luis Felipe Mantilla, Manuel Marques, Jose Peña, Joaquin Anid.
The properties of Morales Lemus, Honorato del Castillo, Luis Ayesteran, and Pedro Figueredo were also ordered to be confiscated, the gentlemen themselves having died or been killed since the war. Three others also implicated and tried by Court-martial, Messrs. Mariano Alvarez, Jose Trujillo and Antonio Alcala were absolved from all punishment and their properties returned."

TALLAHASSEE, June 7, 1850.

Editor Tallahassee Sentinel:

Sir--On leaving Key West some eight days ago, to return home, I was authorized by Col. O'Hara, Lt. Col. Picket, and other officers of the Kentucky regiment engaged in the late Cuban expedition, to correct, on their behalf, any misrepresentations that might appear relative to our embarking in the affair; and to give the unvarnished facts touching the conduct of the American soldiers engaged in it. Through your kind indulgence, I hasten to do so, as I have already noticed in different accounts many great mistakes, and some gross misrepresentations. The latter particularly in the Savannah Georgian, the editor of which says he obtained his information in an interview with General Lopez.

I will first briefly state the reasons why we engaged in the expedition, and why we abandoned it after so signal a victory at Cardenas.

We wish our motives and conduct to be fully understood, that our countrymen may appreciate the one and justify the other; our deeds are before them, and, with a proper commentary, we are willing to submit the decision of those from whom we inherited the spirit which impelled us in the adventure that now brings us before them. We feel sure that intelligent, chivalrous and patriotic Americans will not censure us for what we have done, nor condemn the high motives and bright hopes that urged us on in this desperate undertaking. Nor will they fail to justify our return to "freedom's soil," after seeing the indifference and abject timidity of the people of Cuba, which seems to have restrained them from rallying around their chosen leader, and his little band, who had come thousands of miles to unfurl the banner of independence. If more is need, I will also state the insurmountable difficulties which surround us on every side. We ask not that the mantel of charity may be thrown over our acts, for we are proud of the impulses that led us from our homes and friends to a foreign land, to aid an iron-ruled people, who, we were told, and believed, sighed for aid to sunder the chain that Spanish tyranny had riveted on them. Our appeal is to those who have been taught to value liberty dearer than life, to those who would rejoice to see freedom--the offspring of our beloved country--given to the oppressed of every land.

It is well known that Gen. Narciso Lopez has been for nearly two years engaged in organizing an expedition to aid the Creoles of Cuba, whom he stated were ripe for revolt and determined to be free; and that all they required was to have him at their head. His landing on the Island was to be the signal for a general rising of the people. He wanted but a small force to accompany him from the United States, as a nucleus around which the people could readily rally. He exhibited correspondence with some of the leading citizens of Cuba, urging him to come to their assistance as soon as possible--alone, if needs be. We were to land at a point on the Island where a large number of people were already organized and armed, in readiness to receive us, and join in a glorious struggle for their liberty. Much evidence was adduced going to show that the Cubans were content to achieve their independence, that they only wanted the banner to be raised and the first blow to be struck. He was represented to be the Washington of Cuba, and we would appear as the little band of Lafayettes, Dekalbs, and Kosciuskos, fighting with him, that our own proud eagle might ultimately spread her free pinions over the "coral-bound Queen of the Antilles!!"

Those who enlisted us in the enterprize--men of the highest character and station--were perfectly convinced by the representation of Gen. Lopez and others, that a speedy revolution in the Government of Cuba was certain. And being animated by that noble ambition hich warms the hearts of the truly brave and generous, they were willing to offer themselves on the altar of freedom, and were anxious that their friends might have an opportunity to wreath their brows with victorious laurels in so noble a cause. Many distinguished men in our country encouraged those engaged in it, vouching for the statements of Gen. Lopez, and thus leaving in our minds no cause for doubt. That we did not intend a mercenary invasion of Cuba, our numbers will show; nor injury to the property of the people, as our conduct at Cardenas, attested by the Governor whom we took prisoner and afterwards released, fully establishes.

We these facts before our countrymen, we leave them censure or admire the spirit that prompted us to make the sacrifices we did, to endure the privations we have, and brave the dangers that were sure to surround us even in the realization of our most sanguine hopes.

I will now turn to the active operations of the "Army of Liberation." the Kentucy regiment, 245 in numbers, left New Orleans on the 25th of April, on the bark Georgianna, to rendezvous on the island of Mugeres, or Women's Island, near the coast of Yucatan, and there await the arrival of General Lopez with the other regiments. The Georgianna anchored off Contoy Island, twenty miles North of Mugeres, on the 6th of May; being unable to reach Mugeres in consequence of adverse winds. On the 13th, the steamer Creole arrived at Contoy with General Lopez and the Mississippi and Louisiana regiments, numbering about 175 men each. After a consultation, the steamer proceeded to Mugeres for a supply of water. On the 15th she returned, when the Kentucky regiment was take on board the Creole, and early on the morning of the 16th, we were under way, with light hearts and bright hopes, for the coast of Cuba.

It was generally understood up to this time, that we would land on the South Western coast of the Island, at point where, to use the very words of Gen. Gonzales, they "had 4,000 troops in commission." But General Lopez thought proper to change the design of the landing at the point alluded to, and determined to proceed to Cardenas, on the North East coast. Accordingly, the army arrived at that place about 3 o'clock on the morning of Sunday, the 19th May. Shortly previous to landing, Gen. Lopez called a council and stated to the field officers his plan of operations. We were not to fight at Cardenas, as it was expected that the garrison there would surrender immediately they were called upon by Gen. Lopez, who would surround them with two regiments. The other regiment would march quickly through the city to the Railroad depot, seize the cars, , and cut off communication with Matanzas and Havana, the first 30 and the last 90 miles from Cardenas. By day light our army was to take the cars, proceed to Matanzas, a city of 18 or 20,000 inhabitants, and there make the first demonstration. A detachment of 50 men from the Kentucky regiment, under Lieut. Col. Picket, did take possession of the Railroad. As the remaining force was moving on, by column of companies, they were received with vollies from the garrison and Governor's palace, and a general engagement soon ensued. Brisk firing continued for nearly three hours, through the windows of the garrison and the Governor's house, and from the tops of houses. The doors of the garrison were finally battered down when thirty-odd of the Spanish soldiers came out, threw off their uniforms and shouted "viva Lopez!" A destructive fire being still kept up from the Governor's palace, General Lopez at length set fire to it, and the house was soon reduced to ashes. The Governor then surrendered the city, and the fighting ceased.

During the day, preparations were making for our march on Matanzas; but towards the evening, General Lopez received intelligence that a large force was already coming against us from Matanzas and Havana. Orders were then given to re-embark. Several companies were sent down to the steamer, and were engaged in re-shipping the baggage and provisions, which had been placed on the cars.--About sun down, the troops who remained up in the city, numbering probably 200 effective men, were attacked by a body of infantry and some lancers, their number being, from the general account, 200 of the former, and nearly 100 of the latter. The infantry were quickly repulsed and scattered off. The lancers made some gallant, but very rash charges, as our men were so posted along the streets, that scarcely a man or horse escaped--nor could many have escaped, had there been twice the number of lancers, for our men "shot to kill." Our loss, as near as it can be ascertained in the absence of an official report, was, in all, from 10 to 15 killed, and from 15 to 20 wounded.

In going out of the bay of Cardenas, after night, the Creole got fast aground about five miles from the city, where she remained until day light next morning. All the ammunition but eight boxes, some arms, and a large quantity of provisions, were thrown overboard, and the steamer was finally got off, by putting a great many of the men on a small island, who were taken aboard again when she floated.

As soon as we got out of the bay, the officers and men began to discuss affairs among themselves. Gen. Lopez was asked where he proposed to go? He stated to Mantua.--It was then submitted by the officers of companies to their men, whether they would return to Cuba, and a great many objected to doing so, having lost all confidence to Lopez, his promises, and the disposition or ability of the Cubans to revolutionize the island. When this was made known to Lopez, he resigned his command, and asked it as a favor of the army that they would land him on the island, with his thirty Spanish soldiers, and as many others as were willing to go with him. The question then arose, can this be done? The Captain of the steamer was called, and stated that there was not fuel enough to run to the place proposed. The Quartermaster stated that we were already nearly out of water, as very little had been got aboard at Cardenas. Even the few officers--myself among the number--who had before signified their willingness to accompany the General, now declined the attempt. The steamer, therefore, headed for Key West. We lay at anchor some forty miles from the city until a pilot was procured next morning. The Spanish steamer was at Key West early in the morning. As she was coming out, she discovered the Creole, then 25 or 30 miles from Key West. The Pizarro immediately tacked about, and a race commenced, which was intensely exciting, and decidedly critical, so far as we were concerned. Within six or eight miles of Key West our coal was exhausted, and the Captain then resorted to burning pork and rosin. According to the statement of a fireman on the Creole, there were but two barrels of rosin left, when we reached Key West, which we did 20 or 30 minutes ahead of the Spaniard. As the Creole struck the pier, after drawing up her anchor at quarantine, the cannon of the Pizarro passed within a 100 yards of her. The Spaniard was greatly excited, but he did not fire. Above the unfortunate adventurers, the American flag again protectingly floated! Respectfully and truly yours,

Major Kentucy Regiment.


Theodore O'Hara

O'HARA, Theodore, poet, born in Danville, Kentucky, 11 February, 1820; died near Guerryton, Bullock County, Alabama, 6 June, 1867. He was the son of Kane O'Hara, an Irish political exile, and was graduated at St. Joseph academy, Bardstown, Kentucky, where he entered the senior class and acted as professor of Greek while he was completing his studies. He then read law, was admitted to the bar, and in 1845 was appointed to a place in the treasury department at Washington. At the beginning of the Mexican war he entered the army, and was appointed captain and assistant quartermaster of volunteers, 26 June, 1846. He was brevetted major, 20 August, 1847, for gallant conduct in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, and was mustered out on 15 October, 1848. He was appointed captain in the 2d cavalry, 3 March, 1855, but resigned on 1 December, 1856. When the remains of the Kentucky soldiers that fell at Buena Vista in February, 1847, were removed to their native state, Major O'Hara wrote for the occasion the poem by which he is best known. "The Bivouac of the Dead," which begins with the stanza"

"The muffled drum's sad roll has beat The soldier's last tattoo No more on life's parade shall meet That brave and fallen few on Fame's eternal camping-ground Their silent tents are spread"And Glory guards, with solemn round, The bivouac of the dead."

Lines from this poem are inscribed over the entrance of Arlington National Cemetery and over the entrances of several other national cemeteries. At the close of the war Colonel O'Hara returned to Washington, D. C., where he practised his profession. He afterward went with a filibustering expedition to Cuba, and commanded a regiment in the battle of Cardenas, where he was wounded. During the absence of John Forsythe from the United States as minister to Mexico, O'Hara edited the "Mobile Register." He was afterward editorially connected with the Louisville "Times" and the Frankfort, Kentucky, " Yeoman." He was several times intrusted by the government with diplomatic missions, and was especially active in the negotiations regarding the Tehuantepec grant. During the civil war he joined the Confederate army, and was made colonel of the 12th Alabama regiment. Subsequently he served on the staffs of General Albert Sidney Johnston and General John C. Breckinridge. After the war he engaged in the cotton business in Columbus, Georgia, but lost everything by fire, and retired to a plantation, where he died. After his " Bivouac of the Dead" his best-known poem is "The Old Pioneer." In accordance with a resolution of the Kentucky legislature, his remains were conveyed to that state and buried by the side of those whom he had commemorated. See "O'Hara and His Elegies," by George W. Ranck (Baltimore, 1875).

Friday, May 16, 2003!menu.html

Republic of West Florida
This flag flew over the Free and Independent State of West Florida from September 23 to December 6, 1810. This state covered the area below the thirty-first parallel between the Mississippi and Pearl Rivers--now a part of Louisiana. The American citizens of Spain's West Florida territory, who had dramatically increased in number, took control of the Spanish government there and declared the territory a republic. The republic comprised the area of present-day Louisiana known as the Florida Parishes.. The flag later became the unofficial ensign of the South in 1860-61 and inspired Harry McCarthy to compose the well-known song, "The Bonnie Blue Flag."

I am attaching a copy of the Manifesto to the Nation issued by the Moncada rebels in July 1953. It should be noted that the manifesto was not written by Fidel Castro, but by Raul Gomez Garcia, who perished in the attack.
The Manifesto to the Nation is void of Marxist or Communist rhetoric. It claimed that “The revolution declares itself free of binds with foreign nations,” yet Castro indebted Cuba to the Soviet Union for $20 billion and owes another $11 billion to other countries, a Soviet combat brigade was stationed on the island for three decades, more than 500,000 Cuban troops served as Soviet proxies in African civil wars during fifteen years, and a Russian electronic listening post operated at Lourdes, Cuba, from 1964 until 2001. The 28-square-mile base housed approximately 1,500 Russian engineers, technicians and soldiers.
The Moncada manifesto called for only one national flag and hymn, in opposition to Batista’s Fourth of September flag and anthem, but when the rebels achieved power, their red-and-black flag and the 26th of July Hymn became parallel national symbols. The grievances outlined in the manifesto still exist in Cuba today, with governmental economic mismanagement; decrease in industrial production in favor of the primary tourism sector, which has grown one thousand percent since 1990; workers’ discontent; the dollarization of the economy, after Castro authorized it during his speech on July 26, 1993; persecution and imprisonment of dissidents; prohibition of political parties; the dissolution of the 1940 Constitution; and authoritarian power by an “ambitious Chief of State and his main cohorts.” After half a century, the democratic goals proposed by the Moncada and Bayamo revolutionaries, for which sixty-one of them gave their lives, have not yet been fulfilled.
Manifesto to the Nation

Before the pathetic and sorrowful sight of a Republic under the capricious will of only one man rises the national spirit from the most profound souls of dignified men. It rises to continue the unfinished revolution that Céspedes initiated in 1868, Martí continued in 1895, and Guiteras and Chibás actualized in the republic era. In the probity of the men of Cuba is based the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.
Before the defiant arrogance of the dictatorship and the conciliabulum and the ridiculous compromise of the leading politicians, the unbreakable probity of the Cuban people rises in the unanimous decision to reconquer its Constitution, its essential liberties and its inalienable rights, trampled without respite by the treacherous usurpation.
Before the chaos in which the Nation has fallen by the insistence of the most ambitious of all Cubans and the heartless interests of his followers, the Cuban youth, who love liberty and respect the decorum of free men, rises vibrantly in a gesture of immortal rebelliousness, breaking the insane pact with the concept of the past and with the present of grief and deceit.
Before the tragedy of Cuba, contemplated calmly by political leaders without honor, rises in this decisive hour, arrogant and potent, the youth of the Centenary, which does not maintain another interest that is not the decided longing of honoring with sacrifice and triumph, the unrealized dream of Martí.
In the name of the relentless struggles that have marked summits of glory in the history of Cuba, comes the new Revolution, rich in men without blemish, to renovate once and for all the unbearable situation which the ambitious and the improvised have submerged the country and, grasping the roots of the Cuban national sentiment, to the preaching of its greatest men and embraced to the flag of the solitary star, comes to declare before the honor and the probity of the Cuban people.
In the probity of the men of Cuba lies the triumph of the Cuban revolution. The revolution of Céspedes, of Agramonte... of Maceo... of Martí... of Mella and of Guiteras, of Trejo and of Chibás. The Revolution that has not triumphed yet. By the dignity and the decorum of the men of Cuba, this Revolution will triumph.
The Martí Centenary culminates its historic cycle that has marked the continuing progression and retrogression of the political and moral realms of the Republic: the bloody and virile fight for liberty and independence; the civic struggle among Cubans to reach political and economic stability; the unfortunate process of the foreign intervention; the dictatorships of 1929-33 and of 1934-44; the unrelenting struggle of heroes and martyrs to make a better Cuba.
The purpose of finding the true course was dawning in the Cuban life; the consciousness of the citizenry was in a state of giving its best fruit, conquered by the sacrifice of the life of one of its most famous statesmen and by the mandate of his admonishing voice; when, at the command of the most ambitious of all Cubans, a ridiculous minority seized the country, dissipating illusory promises and deceptive propaganda. Their purpose was to make the sensible people believe that treacherous coup in the heart of the institutions, was capable of engendering social progress, peace and work.
To the collar of blood and infamy, of unmeasured lust and plunder of the national treasury, that was linked to the name of the new ruler, was linked to the large chain of violations against Cuba: institutionalization of the "coup d’etat" to secure regimes of force; bribery of the Congress and of the puppet presidents; physical destitution of various Presidents; imposition of castes and privileges; dissolution of the Congress; illegitimate appointments of persons in the Judiciary; destitution of Councilmen and Mayors; physical trampling and abuses of peaceful citizens, and the placing of an inglorious flag next to the most glorious flag.
The present grew in excess, a short time after the treacherous coup, the calamities, the anguish, the eviction and hunger that are unmistakable signs of the ambitious Chief of State and his main cohorts. The harsh paralyzation of the popular desire by the abuse of force, brought as a consequence the gravest situation engendered by a Cuban political event in any era: the industrial production decreases; the discontent of the workers or expulsion from their work centers; persecution and imprisonment of students for their civic protest against the Regime; isolation and division of the political parties; sudden disappearance of money in the street; flight of the frightened capital; imprisoned those who dared to publicly protest the trampling of the Republic; dissolution of the Civil Code and death of the Constitution and its rights. On the conscience of the author of all of this falls the contempt of free men and the cutting edge of the sword of justice.
In the chaos sprung on our people, wounded, but never dead, fell other tardy ambitions. Those who could not make of the country what they promised a thousand times when they were in power... those that, not having drowned the serene expression of liberty, also did not contribute to make it just and eternal for our country, to pull out of the roots of our history the tragic unaccustomed coup; they then came as apostles, trying in vain to reconquer past glories. Another idea can not triumph in the spirit and the conscience of the people that is not the total disappearance of this latent state, of this infected chaos that we have been subjected to not only those guilty of the dawn coup against the national institutions, but those who have been able to watch the crime in calm. It is not honest or just to attempt against the heart of the Republic, nor is it just or honest to climb on her to let the others attempt.
Before the political situation of Cuba are rejoicing the wretched dictator and his cohorts who have climbed on the head of the people in their anxious eagerness to loot. Before the pathetic situation of Cuba the venal politicians are associating to create the new pantomime. Fossils of Cuban politics publicly expound the most retrograde ideas, the most useless thoughts while the people’s longing, which is never wrong, awaits the clarion call of alert, the defense of its most sacred rights, of its tricolor flag and of the eternal idea for which the most illustrious and disinterested citizens have died.
For defending these rights, for raising that flag, for conquering that idea, the present youth has its knees in the ground, youth of the Centenary, historic pinnacle of the Cuban Revolution, epoch of Martiism sacrifice and magnitude. To conquer it, the youth has its watchful eye at the entrance of the men of truth, of agile mind, giant spirit, who knew how to give it all for a Cuba worthy of the spontaneous blood of its sons, live in the consolidation of its inevitable destiny for the supreme dream of the Apostle.
Those who disregarded the lovers of liberty to carry out the coup d’etat, arise against them in this decisive hour, arrogant and potent, the Youth of the Centenary, echo of the honorable yesterday, cradle of a better future. Those who did not count with that honest and studious youth, capable of writing with sacrifice and triumph its best homage to Marti, do not know that in the hearts of all Cubans is the valor and the probity of the Fatherland and that we will place it in victory in the lofty palm fields. The justice of the people in this glorious year should be there. In 1853 with the birth of an illuminated man, began the Cuban Revolution; in 1953 it will end with the birth of an illuminated Republic.
A. The Revolution declares that it does not pursue hate or useless blood, but to save the probity of Cuba in its crucial year. Surging from the most genuine layers of national valor, the revolution of the Cuban people is born, with the vanguard of a youth longing for a New Cuba, clean of past errors and small ambitions. It is the revolution emanating from the men and new procedures prepared with the unredeemed power and the decision of those who dedicate their lives to an ideal.
The Revolution declares that it is the meditated front of insistence; pulling out once and for all the binds that link us to the corrupt past and all the myths that presently keep us in bitterness and pain.
B. The revolution declares itself free of binds with foreign nations and also free of influence and of the appetite of politicians and of self-styled personages. The revolution is a virile entity, and the men who have organized it and who represent it pact with the sacred will of the people to conquer the future that it deserves. The revolution is the decisive fight of the populace against all those who have deceived them.
C. The Revolution declares that it respects the integrity of free citizens and of the men in uniform who have not betrayed the national heart, nor have submitted their glorious flag nor have abjured their Constitution.
It salutes in this decisive hour all Cubans with probity, where ever they may be, and joyously embraces those who are decided to seek shelter on its arc of triumph.
D. The Revolution declared its energy and rigor against those who have only had energy and rigor to snatch from the people its sacred rights and institutions, violating liberty and sovereignty at a cost of the pain and anguish of the sons of Cuba.
E. The Revolution declares its firm decision to situate Cuba at the level of economic well-being and prosperity that would assure its rich subsoil, its geographic location, its diversified agriculture, and its industrialization, which have been exploited by illegitimate and spurious governments, by unmeasured ambitions and of culpable interest.
F. The Revolution declares that it recognizes and bases itself in the ideals of Martí, contained in his speeches, in the foundations of the Cuban Revolutionary Party and in the Manifest of Montecristi; and makes its own the Revolutionary Programs of the Joven Cuba, A.B.C. Radical and the Partido del Pueblo Cubano (Ortodoxo).
G. The Revolution declares its respect for the free sister nations of America who have known to conquest, at the cost of bloody sacrifices, the position of economic liberty and social justice that is the index of our century. And it vows, in this decisive hour, that the Cuban clarion call be one more star in the conquest of the Latin American ideals and interests, latent in the blood of our nations and the thoughts of our most illustrious men.
H. The Revolution declares its eagerness and decision to renovate, completely and totally, the national economic means, with the implantation of the most urgent measures to resolve the crisis and distribute honest work and equitable money to all the Cuban homes, a decision that is one and indivisible in the hearts of the men that defend it.
I. The Revolution declares its respect for the workers and students as accredited masses in the defense of the inalienable and legitimate rights of the Cuban populace throughout all of history, and it assures them and all the people, the implantation of a total and definitive social justice based in the economic and industrial advancement under a synchronized and perfect plan, fruit of thoughtful and meticulous study.
J. The Revolution declares its absolute and reverent respect for the Constitution given to the people in 1940 and reestablishes it as the official Code of Laws. It declares that the only flag is the tricolor of the solitary star and it elevates it as always, glorious and firm, to the din of combat, and that there is no other hymn than the Cuban national, renown throughout the world by the vibrant stanza: That to die for the fatherland is to live!
K. The Revolution declares its love and its confidence in the virtue, in the honor and decorum man and expresses its intention of utilizing all those who really are valuable, in function of those forces of the spirit, in the grand task of Cuban reconstruction. These men exist in all the places and institutions of Cuba, from the rural shack to the General Staff of the Armed Forces; and the watchful eye of the Revolution will situate them in the position of service that Cuba asks of them. This is not a revolution of castes.
Cuba embraces those who know how to love and build, and despises those who hate and destroy. We will build the New Republic, with all and for the good of all, in the love and fraternity of all Cubans.
The Revolution declares itself definitive, gathering the incommensurable sacrifice of the past generations, the unbreakable will of the present generations, and the life and well-being of the future generations.
In the name of the Martyrs.
In the name of the sacred rights of the Fatherland.
For the honor of the Centennial.
The Cuban Revolution
July 23, 1953

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Too much is being read into why Castro chose Sunday, July 26th to attack the Moncada garrison in Santiago de Cuba and the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Rural Guard garrison in Bayamo.
The answer is simple: Castro had to transport from Havana by car, bus and train 160 rebels more than 500 miles to Oriente province. Santiago de Cuba was celebrating its traditional annual carnival that three-day weekend, July 24, 25 and 26. Thousands of people from throughout the island went to Santiago. As a result, the rebels were able to blend in with the merrymakers when they arrived on Saturday evening, without arousing suspicion.
Castro's idea was not original. Cuban separatist General Narciso López had prepared a similar uprising for June 24, 1848, set to coincide with the Cienfuegos feast day. His followers, dressed in carnival costumes for the occasion, would attack and take over the garrison, while the bulk of the troops patrolled the streets during the event. López had to go into exile before putting his plan into effect.
It should be noted that the three rebel leaders of the Bayamo attack on July 26th, Raul Martinez Araras, Orlando Castro Garcia, and Gerardo Perez Puelles, are all living in exile after breaking with Fidel Castro in 1955. Orlando Castro Garcia was imprisoned by the Castro regime from 1961 to 1979 for opposing Communism. Other Moncada and Bayamo veterans Gustavo Arcos Bergnes, Moisés Mafut Delgado, Manuel Suardíaz Fernández, Jaime Costa Chávez and Mario Chanes de Armas, the last two also Granma expeditionaries, received prison terms of up to thirty years by the Castro regime for being “counter-revolutionaries.”
When Fidel Castro seized power, he had the Bayamo garrison entirely bulldozed, except for the Soldiers' Club building, which he turned into the "Ñico Lopez Museum." Ñico Lopez, a market porter with a 4th grade education, killed during the Granma expedition landing, is now being falsely portrayed as the leader of the Bayamo attack. Inside the museum there is a large photo of Ñico next to and in the same proportions as Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, the Cuban father of Independence. Fidel Castro destroyed the Bayamo garrison so that it would not parallel in importance to the Moncada attack.

robert register wrote:

ant: I would really appreciate your comments on my latest post at When I typed "50th anniversary moncada attack", I got a lot of disturbing information. These people are nuts.The information I posted was the first to make sense and it was way down the line. best, r Unfortunately, my book on the Moncada will not be out until the Fall.
Have you seen my Moncada website?
I interviewed over the past 25 years a total of 100 people directly involved in the events who live outside the island, including 14 rebels. The real story of the Moncada attack has never been written. I debunk two myths: The rebels did not stab to death patients in the military hospital, and the military did not torture the prisoners with eye gouging, castration, or mutilation, as Castro purported in "History Will Absolve Me." I interviewed the funeral home director who retrieved all the military and rebel dead. The prisoners were in fact gunned down after being captured but there was no systematic torture. I also interviewed in Puerto Rico the Leizan family, in whose farm Castro was captured after they arranged the surrender of the last eight rebels
Consider what I wrote in "Cuba in Revolution" as to why Fidel Castro chose the date for the Moncada Barracks attack, July 26, 1953, which would become the most sacred date in the Revolution:

"Fidel Castro chose July 26 because the patron saint of the city of Santiago de Cuba was the Apostle James the Elder, who in medieval Spanish tradition was resurrected as Santiago the Moorslayer, the avenging angel of the Spanish knights during the Reconquista, as well as the charging fury that led the indomitable conquistadores of Hernán Cortes when battling the Aztecs of Mexico. The saint was honored every July 25, which also coincided with the end of the sugar harvest, hence the day of the most joyous celebration in Santiago de Cuba. Fidel Castro, the new Moorslayer, would destroy Batista. Indeed, Fidel had told his Ortodoxo friend, José Pardo Llada, after Batista's bloodless March 10, 1952 coup d'état in which Batista had seized the government, 'We have got to kill that Negro.' "

The Miami Herald
Tuesday, September 19, 2000
Jesús Yánez Pelletier, prominent dissident,DEAD

El Nuevo Herald

Jesús Yánez Pelletier, a prominent figure in Cuba's human rights movement, died
of a heart attack Monday in Havana. He was 83.

Speaking from Havana, Elizardo Sánchez Santacruz, president of the
Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, remembered Yánez
as ``a man incapable of nursing hatred or rancor toward his fellow beings.''

Born in Cárdenas, Yánez began his army career at the age of 25 at the Morro
Military School in Havana. In 1946, he graduated from the Military Academy and
was assigned to the Ministry of Justice.

He achieved national notoriety in 1953 when -- as supervisor of Boniato Prison in
the province of Oriente -- he publicly denounced a government plot to murder rebel
leader Fidel Castro, who was being held there after leading a failed raid on the
Moncada army barracks.

As a result of his insubordination, he was expelled from the army and fled to the
United States in 1955.

Once here, he joined the insurgent July 26 Movement and engaged in the
purchase of weapons for the revolutionary forces.

When Castro seized power in 1959, he appointed Yánez as his military aide, with
the rank of captain. Yánez accompanied Castro during the Cuban leader's travels
through Latin America and his 1959 trip to the United States but was arrested in
1960 and charged with treason.

Sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment, he was released after serving 11 years.
Upon his release in 1971, he applied for an exit visa but the authorities refused to
let him leave the country.

Yánez became active in the human rights movement in the early 1980s and
became vice president of the Cuban Committee for Human Rights.

Hello Robert
Am in receipt of your emails and have read them over with great interest. I am working a a couple of large projects now so I will get back to you with comments & information in the near future. Thanx. Rich Chartrand

Here is what I have on Col. John Chartrand:
"Passengers Arrived. In bark Union from Matanzas--Mr. John Chartrand, Mrs. L. Chartrand, Mrs. P. Chartrand, Miss P. C. Chartrand, Master S. Chartrand (N. Y. Times, Jul 3, 1852; pg. 4)
"News of the Morning. The following is an extract from a letter from T. M. Rodney, United States Vice-Consul at Matanzas, dated 6th inst.: 'We changed the residence of our esteemed Vice-President on Tuesday last, from the cumbre to the sugar estate of Col. John Chartrand, leaving the cumbre as 12 1/2 o'clock, and dining at the delihtful Ariadne at about 4. The Vice-President was considerably fatigued with the journey, but slept that night better, he told me, than since he had been on the Island. He seems delighted with the change, and is more hopeful and of better heart than since he reached Matanzas, and at present unquestionably better than when he came here. Don't be surprised if the Colonel sends him home a tolerable well man.'" (N. Y. Times, Mar 12, 1853; pg. 4)
"Passengers Sailed. In steamship Columbia, for Charleston. Miss Chartrand, Col. J. Chartrand." (N. Y. Times, Jul 26, 1858; pg. 8)
"Passengers Sailed. In steamship Quaker City, for Havana. Mrs. Chartrand and friend, H. C. Hall and lady, J. Chartrand. (N. Y. Times, Oct 6, 1859; pg. 8)
"Passengers Sailed. In steamship Columbia, for Havana. J. Chartrand. (N. Y. Times, Oct 16, 1861; pg. 8)
"Passengers Arrived. In steamship Columbia from Havana. Juan Chartrand and daughter." (N. Y. Times, Jul 20, 1865; pg. 8)
"Married. McCARTY-LITTLE-CHARTRAND. At Newport, R.I., on Thursday, April 30th, Lieut. William McCarty-Little, U.S.N., to Anita Maria, daughter of the late John L. Chartrand, of Cuba. (N. Y. Times, May 2, 1874; pg. 7)

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

I was raised in Amelia Lodge No. 47 in Florida. A member of the Masonic-Alabama-Cuba connection, which I mention in my forthcoming book Cuban Confederate Colonel, was Colonel Robert L. Downman, former worshipful master of Masonic Halo Lodge, No. 5 in Cahaba. Downman was killed at Las Pozas on September 13, 1851, while repulsing two Spanish column advances. The Robert L. Downman Papers are in the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery.
It does not surprise me that officials in Matanzas don't know anything about Cuban history. Chaffin fell for that mistake when he asked the head of the history museum at Cardenas for an oral history of the city. Although there are at least four books describing the history of Cardenas, not to mention data in various Cuba encyclopedias, the museum director told Chaffin that the city had been founded by North Americans. Chaffin did not bother to investigate further and simply put that erroneous information in his book.
I have a reference to Rich Chartrand's great-grandfather on a letter that Ambrosio Jose Gonzales wrote from New York on March 27, 1871, to his eldest son. It stated in part: "From a letter (a very old one) forwarded to me from Charleston, and written by Mr Chartrand (a partner of Mr Dalcour’s) dated at the “Reunion,” I imagine that your brothers have not been sent on." Gonzales and his family spent some time at the Monticello and the Reunion Deseada sugar mills in Canimar in 1869-1870. It was owned by the family of Agustin, Teodoro and Y. B. Dalcour. The Dalcours are mentioned in my book.
Please tell me what Chartrand's first name was.
I also have some State Dept. miscellaneous letters that mention the oath taken by King in Cuba.
I will contact Collette King for information on Capt. Lewis.

This is the cover of Antonio's book on Gonzales,CUBAN CONFEDERATE COLONEL

Here's a photo of Pico Turquino, Cuba's highest peak, provided by my ole buddy, Antonio de la Cova. This is an excellent Edison movie of a reenactment of a Spanish firing squad executing Cuban insurgents

Mexico-Cuba Bilateral Technical Exchange. In June 1998, Beatriz Figueroa, president of the Mexican Society for Conservation of Crocodiles (SECOCOM) visited crocodile projects in Cuba and submitted the following report. The visit was undertaken between 30 May and 15 June 1998, thanks to an invitation for academic interchange offered by the National Enterprise for Conservation of Flora and Fauna, Crocodile Project, Havana. The exchange was an opportunity to share experiences in the assessment, management and conservation of crocodile populations in Cuba and Tabasco, Mexico. I was met and accompanied by Roberto Soberon and Manuel Alonso Tabet. We visited the center for crocodile reproduction at Cayo Potrero in the Lanier swamp on Isla de Juventud, which is dedicated to the reproduction, captive raising and research on C. rhombifer to support the reintroduction and recovery program for this population. At the center we reviewed the operating program, observing methods of egg incubation, feeding, diets and practical techniques for handling animals and monitoring the wild population. We also captured specimens of C. rhombifer and Caiman crocodilus in the nearby swamp. We then went to Nuevo Gerona where I participated in the second consultative council meeting on Research on Flora and Fauna and explained the program of crocodile management we are developing in Tabasco, Mexico. This meeting provided an overview of activities in conservation and sustainable use for Cuban natural resources which can serve as a reference mark for the authorities of the Crocodile Project and to begin a collaborative agreement between the National Enterprise for Conservation of Flora and Fauna, Cuba, and the Autonomous University of Juarez in Tabasco. The meeting outlined the national crocodile program in Cuba and enabled us to meet the specialists working in this program, involving 8 crocodile farms and to share our experiences in crocodile management and husbandry. We also discussed the different methods of management being applied to natural areas in each region.

Japanese Men Search for Crocodile Penises. "Brisbane - Orders are pouring in for crocodile penises from Japanese men looking to boost their sex life, an American producer said yesterday.

"We've had a lot of inquiries from Japan for crocodile penises, which sell for 3000 Australian dollars a kilogram, and I intend to tap into that market," said Andrew Cross, owner of Southern Cross Crocodile Farm in Queensland state.

Just bigger than a man's little finger and weighing about an ounce (30 grams) each, it would take more than 30 animals to fill one order, he said.

Mr. Cross said that Japanese herbalists dry the penises, which are then ground into a powder for sale to men anxious to increase their sex drive.

"I have no idea if it works, but crocodiles are mysterious animals and apparently Japanese men believe the powder helps them take on all the reptile's mysterious powers," he said. - The Citizen, November 12, 1998" - Mail Guardian

Lots of great photos of Cuba on this site...

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Tom Chaffin has written only one book on filibuster history, with poor sources and a lack of Spanish-language comprehension. How does that rate being "the foremost authority" on filibuster history? The book was published one year after he finished his dissertation, which is a fast-track to publishing for this former journalist. It usually takes most historians five to ten years of further research and revisions before a dissertation is published. By the way, if you read Chaffin's acknowledgements he thanks me because I sent him a copy of my dissertation, from which he borrowed heavily.
The dean of filibuster historians is Bob May. Although he does not use Spanish-language sources, his research is overwhelming. He has been writing about this topic for thirty years. May's Manifest Destiny's Underworld: Filibustering in Antebellum America. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2002) is the best account of filibustering available. He is certainly more an authority than Chaffin.
The problem with academic reviews is that many professors refrain from being truly critical, fearing that the same thing might occur to their work later. Academics also tend to highly praise the work of their friends, without being objective. Some of them even assign to their students the books written by their buddies, to boost sales. Since it is an assigned classroom textbook, the students are forced to buy it.

TIMES, THEY ARE A CHANGIN'- GOOD THANGS HAPPENIN' AT "CUBA, ALABAMA". All suggestions and other unwanted comments should be sent to


Inside the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground. By Julia E. Sweig. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002, xx, 255 pp. List of illustrations, acknowledgments, abbreviations, introduction, epilogue, about the research, notes, bibliography, index. $29.95 cloth.)

Cuban studies, like former Soviet studies, is a bipolar field. This is partly because the Castro regime is a zealous guardian of its revolutionary image as it plays into current politics. As a result, the Cuban government carefully screens the writings and political ideology of all scholars allowed access to official documents. Julia Sweig arrived in Havana in 1995 with the right credentials. Her book preface expresses gratitude to various Cuban government officials and friends comprising a who’s who of activists against the U.S. embargo on Cuba during the last three decades.
This work, a revision of the author’s Ph.D. dissertation, analyzes the struggle of Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement (M-26-7) against the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship from November 1956 to July 1958. Sweig recounts how the M-26-7 urban underground, which provided the recruits, weapons, and funds for the guerrillas in the mountains, initially had a leading role in decision making, until Castro imposed absolute control over the movement. The “heart and soul” of this book is based on nearly one thousand historic documents from the Cuban Council of State Archives, previously unavailable to scholars. Yet, the author admits that there is “still-classified” material that she was unable to examine, despite her repeated requests, especially the correspondence between Fidel Castro and former president Carlos Prío and the Celia Sánchez collection.
Sweig is politically selective regarding her oral sources. She conducted nineteen interviews in Havana, including former socialite Naty Revuelta, the mother of Castro’s out-of-wedlock daughter Alina, but disregarded Naty’s role. The author omitted interviewing leading revolutionary participants who are dissidents in Cuba or in exile. These include Gustavo Arcos, Huber Matos, Pedro Díaz Lanz, Eloy Gutiérrez Menoyo, Carlos Franqui, Manuel Ray, Raúl Chibás, Millo Ochoa, who are mentioned in the book, and Castro’s sister Juanita, who lives in Miami. These persons have been minimized or excised from the official historiography produced in Cuba, and Sweig has abided by that pattern.
The author had difficulty describing the terrorist campaign waged by M-26-7 with kidnapings, airline hijackings, assassinations, and indiscriminate bombings in schools, night clubs, theaters, and other public places. According to the New York Times, these attacks intensified during the last three months of the revolution, when three hundred bombs exploded in Havana. Sweig downplays these incidents and refers to them with euphemisms such as “sabotage” (used twenty-four times), “the underground’s harassment campaign,” and “massive display of firepower by the militia.” Sweig naively asks “Had Fidel approved of this strategy?” (page 98). She portrays Castro as an infallible leader detached from the terrorist acts committed by his underlings. The most heinous of these crimes, overlooked by Sweig, was the first international airline hijacking in history. Five men wearing M-26-7 armbands seized a commercial Cubana Viscount plane, flight 495, from Miami to Varadero on November 1, 1958. It crashed into Nipe Bay, killing 17 passengers and crew, including women, children, and six U.S. citizens.
In describing the revolutionary triumph, Sweig omitted analyzing the major impact of the U.S. arms embargo on the Batista regime in March 1958 and the ultimatum for Batista to step down delivered by the U.S. Ambassador on December 17, 1958. There is also no mention of the participation of twenty-five Americans who fought with the guerrillas, including Comandante William Morgan, or the role of Afro Cubans in the revolution, none of whom appear in any of the twenty-two photos in the book.
Sweig acknowledged that her work “does not represent an in-depth examination” of the Cuban revolution, whose full history “has yet to be written.” She lamented that during her last meeting with Fidel Castro in 2001, he agreed to speak with her about the early revolutionary period, but had not done so when her work went to press. The author hopes that her book “will raise enough questions to prompt him to schedule an interview.” The recent wave of repression in Cuba indicates that her wait for the interview will be a long one.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Antonio Rafael de la Cova

Monday, May 12, 2003

If you really enjoy seeing the life work of a member of America's professional academic elite ripped totally to shreds, click on the above. Regardless of all the raving reviews Tom Chaffin received on his book describing the Lopez expeditions, the reviewer, Antonio de la Cova, knows a little more than Chaffin. Little things like how to read and write Spanish or getting your facts straight or using original rather than secondary sources. De la Cova praises the pictures in Chaffin's book, however, he writes " The rush to publish, to compete in a glutted academic job market, leaves this work ingloriously and fatally flawed." De la Cova says that Chaffin mistakenly describes the Lopez expeditions as strictly annexationist and warns the reader that "Recent Cuban history of the filibuster era is deficient, and such works rarely include notes or cite new sources."

Chaffin doesn't have anything to worry about though. Professors on America's college campuses love his stuff. The University of San Diego History Department website summarizes Chaffin's Lopez book by saying it "emphasizes that Lopez was an irresponsible dreamer who was more the product of the popular press and national expansionism than the southern 'purple dream'". In other words, Chaffin gives Narciso a break. Instead of being the tool of the evil Southern slave masters, he's a tool of the evil Yankee expansionists and their propagandists. No way Narciso Lopez was motivated by a love of the Cuban people and felt an obligation to do anything in his power to free them from the tyranny of the Spanish court and to bestow upon them the fruits of freedom, liberty and justice.

The reason I got on this subject is because I began reading Vernon Burton and his wife's introduction to The Free Flag of Cuba where twice they call Tom Chaffin "the foremost authority" on the Lopez expedition and admit that their introduction "relies heavily on the thorough accounts of the Lopez expedition by its foremost authority, TOM CHAFFIN."

Hey Vernon. Like da preacher says," I don't thank I'd uh tole dat!!!!"


(right from the horse's mouth) VERNON BURTON RESPONDS!!!!! Just read the review and now I am worried about our introduction. Pretty devastating and I relied heavily on Chaffin and also helped him get his book in paperback by recommending it to LSU Press.
oops....! Vernon

I will have to reread Tom, but I still think it is a good book. I will have to read de Costa's work. The review is one of the most severe I have seen. But I really think we need more modern work on filibusters and I think Tom's book is helping to bring this important 19th C. phenomenon to light. Till I see all the evidence, I will have to stick by my assessment. These sorts of arguments are common among historians and it helps us refine and move toward the truth as we add and critique each other. Debate is good. I will see how you like what I did and if you think I was too far off base relying on Tom's account (which I am not ready to give up yet until I see the alternative spelled out and documented).
Was it your birthday 29 April? If so Happy birthday. Had mine on 15th.
No problem with teasing and I deserve it. But as I just said, I will stick by it till I check out other side. Thought the reviewer does seem to know his stuff.



I have also enjoyed your website.
Regarding my review of Tom Chaffin's book, not only is it badly researched and written because he does not understand Spanish, but I have compared where he ripped off every single reference to Portell Vila from my Ph.D. dissertation. That makes him an "authority" on rip-offs.

All of you need to visit Antonio's website. I consider him to be "the foremost authority" on Cuban history.
This is de la Cova's Cuban filibuster page.

This fellow, William Augustus Bowles, was imprisoned and died in Havana's Morro Castle. May 25, 2003 will mark the 200th anniversary of his arrest at Hickory Ground (home of the Porch Creek Bingo Parlor) near present-day Wetumpka, Alabama. More on Director-General Bowles later.



Sunday, May 11, 2003

Click on

We received this email from Barto Arnold, DENBIGH Project Director.
Very nice site and very interesting material. Thank you for sending it to me.

Yours truly,

Barto Arnold

Barto Arnold
Principal Investigator and DENBIGH Project Director
Austin, Texas
Barto Arnold is a native of San Antonio and studied anthropology and archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin. Arnold’s introduction to nautical archaeology came when, as a graduate student, he was hired to work at the conservation laboratory handling artifacts taken by salvors from the 1554 Spanish wrecks on Padre Island. Arnold served for more than 20 years as the State Marine Archaeologist for the Texas Historical Commission, and in 1997 moved to the Institute of Nautical Archaeology as Director of Texas Operations.




Do ya think ya could sell some paint in Cuba?

"He was always considered one of the best officers and most high-toned gentlemen of the old service. For some years he was connected with the coast survey, and Professor Bache, the head of the department, declared that if Maffitt was taken from him he could not supply his place in all the navy." He added: "He is not only a thorough seaman and game to the backbone, but a man of superior intellect, a humorist of rare excellence, and one of the most delightful companions. There is no position in his profession which Maffitt is not capable of filling with honor and distinction." This was his acknowledged position when the war began. His last command while in the service of the United States, was the Crusader. He was very successful in capturing slavers. In January, 1860, while in command of the Crusader, and also acting as paymaster of the vessel, he was ordered by the Secretary of the Navy to proceed to Mobile, and there cash a check on the collector of the port for prize money due the officers and crew. The city being agitated at the time by the Ordinance of Secession, just passed by the State of Alabama, he was forced to put his vessel in a defensive position, and soon retired to the port of Habana. Here, failing to negotiate with the bank of Habana for the funds requisite for the necessities of the vessel, he advanced from his private funds the money needed to work the steamer to New York, where he was ordered. He turned the steamer over to the proper authorities and went to Washington to settle his accounts. His cash accounts received no attention, though for several months he was a constant applicant for settlement. A trying position was his, as his wife was dead, and his children had no kinsfolk, save in North Carolina; if he remained in the navy his property, which was all in the North, would be secured to him. All that appealed to his interests lay there. Love of his profession was entwined with every fibre of his being. On the other hand, he would have been compelled to fight against his people---perhaps fire upon the very home that had sheltered him, and was then sheltering his defenceless children. One night a friend informed him that his name was down for arrest the next day. His affections drew him South. His resignation having been accepted, he felt free to leave and cast his fortunes with his people.
His war record is well known.