[MKE - Indymedia] Can Forbes Topple Castro -- or has he called their bluff??
aheitzer at igc.org
Thu May 18 12:14:19 PDT 2006
News issued by: Wisconsin Coalition to Normalize Relations with Cuba
633 W. Wisconsin Ave. Suite 1410, Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 273-1040 ext. 12; cubawifriends at mindspring.com
Check out our website: www.wicuba.org
what's your take on this issue? If you want to comment, send your opinion to
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FORBES & FIDEL'S CASH: DOES TRUTH MATTER ANY MORE?
For years Forbes Magazine has discredited itself by listing world's richest
men (people?), and prominently including Fidel Castro high on the list. I
figured they assumed that he owned all of Cuba, but apparently their
analysis is somewhat more sophisticated -- they evidently think he owns 10%
At any rate, this has generated some broader media attention this year, on
the "roundtable" on Cuban TV, and in US media, such as NPR, etc.
So if the Cuban leader is to be believed, Steve Forbes & family can do what
the CIA & the bipartisan foreign policy and might of the U.S. govt. could
not do in the last 46 years -- topple Fidel Castro. All they need to do is
produce some proof for their writings. Too much to expect??
(Of many, longer reports, I've selected one from Reuters, followed by two
shorts from the Cuban-run external news service which summarizes Cuba's take
on this fairly well - but they clearly think Bush is more responsible for
this than seems obvious. Of course, his commission to somehow make US policy
harsher towards Cuba and anyone who visits, trades or associates with it,
will report again on Sat. May 20th, so there will be more news to come
soon.) -- Art Heitzer
Castro disgusted by Forbes fortune listing
Reuters - May 15
HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Fidel Castro may be one of the world's
longest serving leaders, but he furiously denied on Monday a Forbes magazine
story ranking him among the richest.
Castro went on television brandishing a copy of the U.S.-based magazine,
with the president of Cuba's Central Bank at his side, to tell Cubans the
story was a "repugnant slander" by a capitalist publication.
In its annual tally of the "Fortunes of Kings, Queens and Dictators," the
U.S. financial magazine estimated Castro's wealth at $900 million, up from
last year's estimate of $550 million.
The estimate includes state enterprises that the magazine assumes he
controls in Communist Cuba, among them the Havana Convention Center, the
Cimex retail conglomerate and a pharmaceutical company that exports
Castro, in power since a leftist revolution in 1959, says his net worth is
nil and that he earns only 900 Cuban pesos ($40) a month as head of state.
The bearded revolutionary likes to say his "fortune would fit in (U.S.
President George W.) Bush's shirt pocket."
Kings and sheiks of the oil-rich Gulf Arab states still top the Forbes list,
published in its May 22 edition.
The magazine ranked Castro seventh, ahead of Queen Elizabeth of Great
Britain with some $500 million in estates, gems and a stamp collection built
by her grandfather, but not Buckingham Palace or the crown jewels. The
British monarch came to the throne in 1952, seven years before Castro seized
Castro, who will be 80 in August, last year threatened to sue Forbes after
the magazine released its 2005 list.
Forbes said it assumed a portion of the profits of state companies goes to
Castro and cited rumors of money stashed in Swiss bank accounts, but gave no
details, saying former Cuban officials insist Castro has skimmed profits for
Central Bank President Francisco Soberon said the Forbes story was a
"poisonous lie" fabricated by U.S. intelligence services that have worked to
discredit Castro for decades.
"The Cuban revolution and its maximum leader are an example of honesty and
ethical conduct in this chaotic and corrupt world into which the empire has
cast humanity," he said.
Above, courtesy of: La Alborada
Cuban American Alliance Education Fund
1010 Vermont Avenue NW #620 - Washington, D.C. 20005
nuevas at earthlink.net - www.cubamer.org
Fidel Castro Dares Bush: Prove It!
Havana, May 16 (Prensa Latina) Cuba´s President Fidel Castro declared
he would resign if the US administration and its intelligence
services could prove he has a personal fortune.
In a comprehensive radio and TV broadcast Monday evening, the
president refuted the public calumnies by US Forbes magazine, which
named him as one of the ten richest leaders in the world worth more
than 900 million dollars.
The statesman denounced that since 1998 Forbes has been part of
Washington´s strategy to discredit the Cuban revolution, a campaign
carried out by numerous US-controlled media.
But, he pointed out, they don´t know this country and aren´t used to
dealing with revolutionaries, only with politicians and thieves. So,
he continued, if they can demonstrate a foreign account for 900
million, or even one dollar, I will resign my position and the tasks
I have carried out for more than 40 years.
President Castro challenged President Bush, the CIA, the 33 US
intelligence organs, and the thousands of banks in the world to prove
When recalling some of the nefarious US campaigns to harm the
reputation of Cuba, Fidel Castro mentioned trying to link the country
with money-laundering, labelling the gallant internationalist
physicians as "mercenaries," and distorting Cuban-Venezuelan ties,
but this time, he said, the smear will not be immune.
Throwing down the gauntlet, the head of State pointed out that a
blockaded Cuba has upset hundreds of Pentagon plans to separate him
from the Revolution; however, if they can prove this lie, they won´t
need more plots of assassination or transition, he dared.
They Just Don´t Get It
Havana. (Prensa Latina) Forbes financial magazine recently listed
Cuban President Fidel Castro as one of the ten richest world leaders.
The idea to Cubans is laughable, but the president took the time to
have the president of Cuba´s Central Bank, Francisco Soberon, respond
publicly to the calumny; actually, actionable libel.
If it needs clarification, which is doubtful, Cuba is a socialist
country, the enterprises are State-owned and the money goes to
provide health care for every citizen free of charge, educate every
citizen from cradle to grave free of charge, pay exorbitant prices
for food and goods (because of the US blockade) so that every Cuban
has enough to eat for literal Cuban pennies, and keep electricity,
gas and water costs lower than reasonable -relatively much less than
anywhere else on the planet.
All this on top of sending, and paying for, Cuban medical teams in
many, many poor countries of the world, educating poor students from
other nations (including from the US) free- thousands in medical
school, and providing emergency vaccines, emergency medical
assistance whenever and wherever needed (you name it: Uruguay,
Pakistan, New Orleans-although the latter was refused), as well as
running Operation Miracle, providing free eye surgery so thousands of
poor patients from Latin American countries can regain their sight.
Forbes and company do not report or consider this.
To be fair to the political wannabe Forbes family, who have for
generations been so unsuccessful in their forays onto the
presidential path, to choose to side with and quote Miami anti-Cubans
might seem the right way to go; after all, they put the president we
have in the White House.
Fidel Castro was justifiably angry at the libellous personal attack,
and Mr. Soberon provided the facts and figures, but perhaps it was
Concepcion Campa Huergo, director of Finlay Institute, who said it
best "it is a difference of philosophy; for them [Forbes] money is
god, and they cannot grasp that someone else (someone with the
opportunity) would choose humanitarianism."
So maybe it was Forbes cozying up to Miami, and maybe it was still
another US intelligence service provocation, or maybe, maybe, they
just don´t get it.
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