Cuba's communist government has signaled a crackdown on black-market satellite dishes used by citizens to get news and views from its arch enemy, the United States, nine days after ailing leader Fidel Castro temporarily relinquished power to his brother.
The Communist Party newspaper Granma warned that the dishes, which many Cubans use to watch Spanish-language TV programs from the exile bastion of Miami, could be used by the U.S. government to broadcast subversive information.
"They are fertile ground for those who want to carry out the Bush administration's plan to destroy the Cuban revolution," said the newspaper, the official voice of the government. Similar articles in Granma usually signal that action can be expected.
The article decried an "avalanche" of capitalist advertising in the commercial programs.
Since Castro provisionally relinquished power to his brother Raul on July 31 after undergoing stomach surgery, Cubans have been anxious for information.
U.S.-funded TV and Radio Marti, run out of Miami, have pumped up their output of anti-Castro programming, but few Cubans are believed to have access to the stations because of successful jamming by the Cuban government.
By contrast, there may be as many as 10,000 illegal TV satellite dishes in Cuba, each one linked to perhaps hundreds of televisions by cables that their owners snake over rooftops and between buildings, charging other users $10 a month.
Many who get black-market U.S. television watched with astonishment as exiles in Miami danced in the streets when they heard on July 31 that Fidel Castro had undergone surgery and handed over power to his brother.
Castro's Cuba is widely viewed in Miami as an authoritarian prison where dissent and economic freedom are brutally quashed. Castro's supporters view him as a champion of social justice and national pride for standing up to the United States for more than four decades.
Cuban officials say Castro, who will be 80 on Sunday, is recovering and should be back in charge within weeks. But neither he nor his brother have been seen.
Daniel Ortega, former leftist president of Nicaragua, said he had not been able to see his long-time ally since arriving in Havana on Saturday. The reason was not immediately clear.
"He is in a period of recovery and he is getting ready to take government decisions," Ortega told a Nicaraguan radio station on Tuesday night.
Sources close to Ortega's Sandinista party, which Cuba backed in a civil war against U.S.-backed Contra rebels in the 1980s, said he might meet Raul Castro later on Wednesday.
While Cuban coastal communities have been told to scan the skies for a U.S. invasion that Washington has assured Cubans it will not stage, Cuban authorities continued to organize neighborhood rallies in support of the Castro brothers.
The half-million-member Communist Youth Union and other student organizations wished Castro a rapid recovery in a letter published by the newspaper Juventud Rebelde.
French actor Gerard Depardieu added his name to a list of 400 international personalities, including leftist commentator Noam Chomsky and South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who signed a statement against U.S. interference, Granma said.
RCS - Redati clientilor canalele tematice Discovery!
Block the Fascist Zionist Stations, who spread hatred and war for the benefit of the powerfull rich fat ass ZioNazis.
Long Live the Revolution!
O Innocent victims of Cupid,
Remember this terse little verse
To let a fool kiss you is stupid,
To let a kiss fool you is worse.
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