Its agriculture in shambles from decades of shifting policies, Cuba now depends on imports for 80% of its food. Fifty-eight years into its revolution Cuba is still rationing basics, and worse, rations have been cut, no longer providing minimal levels of nutrition. People can’t subsist on six pounds of rice per month, 20 ounces of beans, one cup of cooking oil, and 12 eggs. -Barry D. Wood
A couple of years ago, the then minister of education admitted that the aim of the regime’s policies was “not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos” (a derogatory term to denote opposition members). In other words, the government wanted grateful, dependent voters, not prosperous Venezuelans. -Juan Carlos Hidalgo
“In both Cuba and Venezuela, repressive governments brutally restrict freedom of expression, association, press, and religion. The Castro and Maduro regimes deny basic human rights to those whom they see as a threat to their control. While the world has stood watching, these governments have continued their acts of violence against their people with impunity..." -Chairman Duncan, House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
Now, of course, Venezuela’s economy is a disaster. The government stopped releasing regular economic statistics in December, but one official told Bloomberg News the annual inflation rate is 150 percent. The latest estimate from the Troubled Currencies Project run by Steve H. Hanke of the Cato Institute and Johns Hopkins, meanwhile, is that inflation is really 808 percent. Food shortages have become a problem, a debt default seems almost certain, and a complete economic collapse isn’t out of the question.
In a refreshingly powerful and direct statement, Venezuela's bishops Monday blamed "Marxist socialism" and "communism" by name for the horrors and chaos gripping their country, according to a story in El Universal. -Monica Showalter
Government, Incompetence, Oops, Economy, Socialism, Communism, Regulation
The effects of high inflation have been unforgiving. The government has struggled to prevent shortages of toilet paper, rice, milk, electricity, and other basic goods. Inflation is expected to reach 500 percent this year. Some Venezuelans skip meals due to high prices...
Inflation and detrimental economic policies have crippled the Venezuelan economy. Price controls and hours-long lines have become the new normal. Rolling blackouts continue and the work week has been reduced to two days for state workers. “Reality has bit us in the face, and we have awakened to the new normal: what an extremely poor country we really are. The vast majority of Venezuelans are broke, and that explains why they are also spiritually broken,” Economist Anabella Abadi M. wrote.
North Korean Kids: Hard Labor
Crime, Hate, Violence, Communism, Assault, Religion
The Communist Party’s campaign to eradicate the iconic Christian symbol from China’s landscape continued in full force this past week, with authorities demolishing a dozen church crosses and beating protesters bloody. The religious freedom group China Aid reported that government officials have been coming out in large numbers to put down protesters of the cross removal program, armed with riot gear and prepared to use force.
Incompetence, Economy, Healthcare, Communism
A Cuban-born doctor who has been living in Chile for more than two decades tells the Panamerican Post doctors could not afford to buy “an egg a day” to feed themselves and often woke up in the middle of the night due to hunger pangs...
“I left because I could barely afford to buy a single egg to eat a day,” he says, adding that, as a doctor, he found himself routinely lacking necessary medical supplies. The lack of basic medical tools in Cuba has led many doctors to find themselves unable to work in well-stocked hospitals when sent to travel the world. The nation of Tuvalu, for example, expelled its Cuban doctors from the country for “incompetence” following a number of malpractice incidents.
Violence, Government, Guns, Fear, Terrorism, Communism, Murder
Growing up in North Korea, Yeonmi had seen executions before. She remembers her mother piggybacking her to public squares and sports stadiums to watch the spectacles used by Kim Jong-il’s Workers’ Party to silence even the slightest whisper of dissent.
But this killing lodged in her mind. Yeonmi watched in horror as the woman she knew was lined up alongside eight other prisoners and her sentence was read out. Her crime was having watched South Korean films and lending the DVDs to friends. Her punishment in this most paranoid of dictatorships was death by firing squad.
As the executioners raised their weapons, Yeonmi covered her face. But she looked up again, just in time to see an explosion of blood and the woman’s body crumple to the ground. ‘It was a shock,’ she remembers. ‘It was the first time I felt terrified.’
The United States has reversed a decades-long policy (enforced by ten U.S. presidents) that weakened and isolated an unapologetically Marxist regime. In return, the U.S. secured no economic, political, or moral interests from Cuba’s current government, which continues to impoverish, imprison, and terrorize its own people.
An 80-year-old Venezuelan woman died, possibly from trampling, in a scrum outside a state supermarket selling subsidized goods, the opposition and media said on Friday. The melee at the store in Sabaneta, the birthplace of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, was the latest such incident in the South American nation where economic hardship and food shortages are creating long queues and scuffles.
Armed Communists Protest
November 2016, Austin Texas
Violence, Government, Incompetence, Oops, Protest, Communism
Hours after they looted and set fire to a National Guard command post in this sun-baked corner of Venezuela earlier this month, a mob infuriated by worsening food shortages rammed trucks into the smoldering edifice, reducing it mostly to rubble. The incident was just one of numerous violent clashes that have flared in pockets around the country in recent weeks as Venezuelans wait for hours in long supermarket lines for basics like milk and rice....
Resident Yusleidy Márquez said she too fears the worst. The basket of subsidized food the government gives her mother every 15 days only feeds her family for two days. Lately, she only eats a cornmeal patty for lunch because she can’t afford more. “I think we’re going to die of hunger,” she said.
Violence, Government, Character, Communism, Assault, Murder
November 26, 2014: Last night, a Castro regime operative forcefully entered the home of Cuban democracy leader and Sakharov Prize recipient, Guillermo Fariñas, and physically assaulted dissidents gathered there. Jose Alberto Botell Cardenas, a known regime operative, stabbed four dissidents with a knife, various of whom had hovered to protect Fariñas. Among those stabbed were two members of the pro-democracy group, The Ladies in White -- Maria Arango and Isabel Fernandez Llanes.
Millions of people live near starvation at the secretive state, and children orphaned by misfortune or their parent's imprisonment, often die from malnutrition.
Chilling video footage recently documented a 10-year-old-boy starving to death on the streets of North Korea. Survivors of the regime have revealed how food is often used as leverage to control starving people.
Image: NASA / January 30, 2014
Government, Abortion, Communism, Murder
The North Korean regime is committing systematic and widespread human rights abuses, including forcing mothers to drown their newborn babies and setting up secret prison camps, a United Nations report released Monday found. “The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” the U.N. Commission on Inquiry says in the report, a damning indictment of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s regime.
Outside its small tourist sector, the rest of the city looks as though it suffered a catastrophe on the scale of Hurricane Katrina or the Indonesian tsunami. Roofs have collapsed. Walls are splitting apart. Window glass is missing. Paint has long vanished. It’s eerily dark at night, almost entirely free of automobile traffic. -Michael J. Totten in Havana
Greg Scarlatoiu, head of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, said sources inside North Korea said that as many as 23,000 prisoners at the closed facility, known as Camp 22, in Hoeryong, North Hamgyong Province, died during the transfer to other camps. ... “If 23,000 prisoners died while being moved from the camp, that’s an atrocity,” Scarlatoiu said in an interview.
An account from a North Korean defector says Camp No. 22 in North Hamyong province once held an estimated 30,000 inmates, but numbers rapidly deteriorated to 3,000 amid a food shortage…“The precipitous decline in the number of persons detained at Camp No. 22 requires an explanation,” the report states. “The closure… leaves several thousand former prisoners unaccounted for.”
Government, Communism, Murder
Hyon Song-wol, a singer, rumoured to be a former lover of the North Korean leader, is said to have been arrested on Aug 17 with 11 others for violating laws against pornography.
The reports in South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper indicate that Hyon, a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, was among those arrested on August 17 for violating domestic laws on pornography. All 12 were machine-gunned three days later, with other members of North Korea's most famous pop groups and their immediate families forced to watch. The onlookers were then sent to prison camps, victims of the regime's assumption of guilt by association, the reports stated.
Government, Incompetence, Degeneracy, Threats, Communism, Regulation
The North, suffering under dictator Kim Jong-un's cruel regime, cited a "severe" shortage of food and requested aid during a recent meeting with Mongolia's President Ts. Elbegdorj. "We ask Mongolia to seek possibilities of delivering food aid to North Korea," an article by InfoMongolia said. Millions of people live near starvation at the secretive state, and children orphaned by misfortune or their parent's imprisonment, often die from malnutrition. Chilling video footage recently documented a 10-year-old-boy starving to death on the streets of North Korea. Survivors of the regime have revealed how food is often used as leverage to control starving people.
“At this very moment, people are starving in these camps. Others are being beaten, and someone soon will be publicly executed as a lesson to other prisoners to work hard and obey the rules,” he wrote. “I grew up watching these executions, including the hanging of my mother.” -Shin Dong-hyuk in open letter to Dennis Rodman
Government, Justice, Corruption, Communism
"They did not like my mother, so they locked her up," Zhao's son, Guo Dajun, said in a recent interview. She was locked up in a long hated and often abused penal system known as labor re-education. Chinese police have used it to lock up tens of thousands of people for up to four years without a trial or a judge's review. Established to punish early critics of the Communist Party, it was retooled to focus on petty criminals but now is used by local officials to deal with people challenging their authority on issues including land rights and corruption.
Government, Oops, Politics, Economy, Tolerance, Communism
The independent Cuban Commission of Human Rights said in its annual report there were 6,602 detentions of government opponents last year, compared to 4,123 in 2011 and 2,074 in 2010. Elizardo Sanchez, head of the group, said the rise reflected growing discontent among Cubans and the government's attempts to keep a lid on dissent. "Dissatisfaction is increasing because of the general poverty and the lack of hope," he told Reuters.
Government, Incompetence, Adult, Socialism, Healthcare, Communism
These are several of the more than 40 patients who died of hypothermia at the hospital, when temperatures near freezing hit the area where Mazorra is located.
Violence, Character, Abortion, Communism, Assault
After a Hunan Province couple refused to “voluntarily abort” their five-month-old unborn child on June 6, Communist Chinese officials demanded the couple pay a fine equivalent to $24,000 or undergo a government-forced abortion.... Cao’s husband, Li Fu, who was working during the time Cao was dragged to the hospital, was beaten by planning officials and told that if he and his wife did not consent to a “voluntary” abortion, “Cao would be forced to abort the baby,” Lewis said.
In broken English mixed with Chinese, the author cried for help: "If you occasionally (sic) buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here... will thank and remember you forever."
Hate, Government, Education, Communism
In North Korea, the systematic indoctrination of anti-Americanism starts as early as kindergarten and is as much a part of the curriculum as learning to count. The sentiment of the U.S. - known as American b******* - is reflected in a framed wall poster inside a North Korean kindergarten classroom where children brandish rifles and bayonets as they attack a hapless U.S. soldier, his face bandaged and blood spurting from his mouth.
Editorial, Government, Incompetence, Politics, Socialism, Healthcare, Communism
One of the most readily apparent problems with the health care system in Cuba is the severe shortage of medicines, equipment, and other supplies. This problem is by no means limited to the health sector. Cubans often have tremendous difficulty obtaining basic consumer
goods and other necessities, including food.
"Torturing to death grandmother-aged women for simply speaking to fellow passengers on a bus highlights how backward and twisted the Chinese Communist Party's campaign against Falun Gong truly is,"
Character, Fear, Communism, Image
The heir of deceased tyrant Kim Jong Il, smiling brightly, is surrounded by multiple generations of stern, sad, and spooked faces.
Among those testifying before the UN panel was Shin Dong-hyuk, who spent the first 22 years of his life in North Korea’s notorious Camp 14 before a miraculous escape in 2005. Shin told the harrowing story of a 6-year-old girl, a classmate, who was publicly beaten to death by her teacher for stealing five kernels of corn. Other witnesses testified to other savageries, from forced abortions to medical experiments performed on dwarfs. -Jeff Jacoby
Violence, Government, Character, Communism
For dissidents in Cuba, not even a church is safe haven from the beatings administered by Castro State Security. The diabolical regime could care less about the sanctity of a house of worship, and the leadership of the Catholic Church in Cuba has in effect become an accomplice of the regime, aiding and enabling their repression.
TOKYO - North Korea recently took the unusual step of begging for food handouts from the foreign governments it usually threatens.
Plagued by floods, an outbreak of a livestock disease and a brutal winter, the government ordered its embassies and diplomatic offices around the world to seek help.
Government, Incompetence, Communism
"Their mothers have to bring them here on bicycles," said duty doctor Jang Kum Son in the Yellow Sea port city of Haeju. "We used to have an ambulance but it's completely broken down. One mother traveled 72 kilometers (45 miles). By the time they get here, it's often too late."
Crime, Violence, Adult, Communism
The North Korean government may deny their existence, but photos taken from space have revealed in unprecedented detail the concentration camps that are used imprison more than 200,000 citizens. Men, women and children are forced to work seven days a week as slaves and eat 'rats, frogs, snakes, insects' and even faeces to battle starvation in the camps.
The editor of a publishing house in Cuba who wrote a critical article in The New York Times opinion section about persistent racial inequality on the island, something revolutionaries proudly say has lessened, has been removed from his post, associates said on Friday. The author, Roberto Zurbano, in an article published March 23, described a long history of racial discrimination against blacks on the island and said “racial exclusion continued after Cuba became independent in 1902, and a half century of revolution since 1959 has been unable to overcome it.”
Degeneracy, Economy, Communism
Shops selling human excrement began operating in North Korea this year, as acute shortages of fertiliser in the sanctions-wracked country put a price on faeces, an analyst said.
Pyongyang has told the North Korean people that the nation will have achieved its aim of becoming "a great, prosperous and powerful nation" in 2012, which marks the 100th anniversary of the founder of the reclusive state, Kim Il-sung.
SEOUL, South Korea — New satellite images and firsthand accounts from former political prisoners and former jailers in North Korea have confirmed the enormous scale and bleak conditions of the penal system in the secretive North, according to a report released Wednesday by the human rights group Amnesty International.
Cuba's official Gazette said that effective Jan. 1, "personal cleanliness products" will join a growing list of products cut from the ration books that islanders have come to rely on for a small but steady supply of basic goods.
Government, Incompetence, Socialism, Healthcare, Communism
North Korea's health care system is in shambles, with doctors sometimes performing barbaric amputations without anesthesia and working by candlelight for payment in cigarettes, in hospitals lacking essential medicine, heat and power, human rights watchdog Amnesty International said Thursday.
China is the happiest place on earth(!!) according to a new global happiness index released by North Korea's Chosun Central Television. China earned 100 out of 100 points, followed closely by North Korea (98 points), then Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela.
Character, Crazy, Communism
Strange natural phenomena have been witnessed in North Korea since the death of the country's leader Kim Jong-il, the state news agency KCNA reports. Ice cracked on a famous lake "so loud, it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth", and a mysterious glow was seen on a revered mountain top, KCNA said.
Funny, Metaphor, Communism
The Russian-made jeep carrying the ashes of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro broke down in the middle of his funeral procession on Saturday, forcing soldiers to push the vehicle until it could be repaired.