CUBA NEWS IN BRIEF.A prominent Cuban exile in Miami has been indicted INDICTED, practice. When a man is accused by a bill of indictment preferred by a grand jury, he is said to be indicted. for defying a US presidential proclamation that prohibits boats from departing Florida with the intention of entering Cuban territorial waters territorial waters: see waters, territorial.
Waters under the sovereign jurisdiction of a nation or state, including both marginal sea and inland waters. . The Honduran government opened an interests section in Havana and has signaled its intention to move soon toward full diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Cuban exile leader indicted in Miami
On Sept. 5, a federal grand jury in Miami indicted Cuban exile leader Ramon Sanchez, leader of the anti-Castro organization Democracy Movement, and two others for illegally entering Cuban territorial waters. The three men took a speedboat inside Cuba's maritime boundary on July 14 to commemorate the anniversary of the deaths in 1994 of 41 Cuban refugees whose boat was struck and sunk by Cuban gunboats.
After the 1996 downing of Hermanos al Rescate planes off the Cuban coast (see NotiSur, 1996-03-01), President Bill Clinton signed an executive order prohibiting small vessels from sailing into Cuban waters from anywhere in Florida except the northern panhandle. Boats intending to enter Cuban waters must get a permit from the Coast Guard.
This is the first indictment for violating the proclamation. If convicted, Sanchez could lose the boat, and all three could be imprisoned im·pris·on
tr.v. im·pris·oned, im·pris·on·ing, im·pris·ons
To put in or as if in prison; confine.
[Middle English emprisonen, from Old French emprisoner : en- for up to 10 years and fined US$10,000.
In his defense, Sanchez said the indictment violated his civil rights because it punished nonviolent protesters. He said the presidential proclamation violated his constitutional right to travel. Furthermore, he said, the US does not have the authority to patrol Cuban waters. Clinton's proclamation, however, did not imply US authority over Cuban waters, but rather banned departures from the security zone he established around Florida.
Sanchez said the arrest was unjustified because the Democracy Movement was unfairly singled out for punishment, since some 3,000 boats have received permits since 1996. However, Coast Guard spokesman Ron LaBrec says a review of applications showed no permits have ever been granted to protest groups.
Last year, Sanchez signed a settlement agreement in Federal Court in which he acknowledged that the presidential proclamation was "lawful, valid, and constitutional." He signed the decree to get back a boat impounded after he entered Cuban waters in 1998.
Sanchez's attorney Kendall Coffey apparently plans to put up a free-speech defense. "It's pure free speech that has been criminalized," he said.
Max Castro, a researcher at the University of Miami's North-South Center, suggested that Sanchez made the incursion in·cur·sion
1. An aggressive entrance into foreign territory; a raid or invasion.
2. The act of entering another's territory or domain.
3. to test the resolve of President George W. Bush's administration to enforce the proclamation. "They're trying ...to see if this administration will be more favorable to their provocations against the Cuban government from U.S. territory," he said.
Some commentators suggest Sanchez was hoping to cause an incident similar to the 1996 shootdown shoot·down
1. Destruction of a flying aircraft by a missile attack or gunfire.
2. An instance of such destruction. to draw the US and Cuba into a confrontation. In a 1999 profile on Sanchez, Miami New Times The Miami New Times is a free, weekly Miami, Florida newspaper, put out every Thursday. It was established in 1987. It is part of the New Times Media corporation of alternative media. writer Jim DeFede said, "His goal is to create scenarios that almost certainly would lead to violent responses from the Cuban military, responses Sanchez hopes will spark a new revolution in Cuba, but which could just as easily draw the United States into a clash with the island nation."
Cuba, Honduras re-establish ties
Honduras opened an interests section in Havana on Sept. 15, ending a 40-year period of icy relations with Cuba. Foreign Minister Roberto Flores Flores, town, Guatemala
Flores (flōrəs), town (1990 est. pop. 2,200), capital of Petén department, N Guatemala. Flores was built on an island in the southern part of Lake Petén Itzá and on the site of the said opening the office was the prelude to re-establishing full diplomatic relations with Cuba. In 1997, the two countries signed an agreement in preparation for interests sections, and Cuba opened its office in Tegucigalpa in 1999.
Honduras broke diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 after Cuba was expelled from the Organization of American States Organization of American States (OAS), international organization, created Apr. 30, 1948, at Bogotá, Colombia, by agreement of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, (OAS OAS
See: Option adjusted spread ).
In recent years, the two countries have forged several informal ties. The Cuban government sent doctors to Honduras after hurricanes struck in 1974 and 1998. Several hundred Honduran students are enrolled in a Cuban medical school, and the two countries also have various cultural and sports agreements.
In 1998, President Carlos Flores insisted that he would not consider normalizing relations until Cuba showed progress toward democracy. The remark was in reply to a National Assembly resolution calling on him to explore the possibility of normalization In relational database management, a process that breaks down data into record groups for efficient processing. There are six stages. By the third stage (third normal form), data are identified only by the key field in their record. .
The private sector went further than the administration by formally asking Flores in July to re-establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba. The Asociacion Nacional de Industriales (ANDI ANDI Asociación Nacional de Industriales (National Association of Industrialists, Colombia)
ANDI Autism Network for Dietary Intervention
ANDI Analytical Data Interchange
ANDI American Nitrox Divers Incorporated ) wrote the president, saying, "The government should not delay in officially re-establishing diplomatic relations between these two brother nations."
In August, Foreign Minister Flores signed an investment- protection agreement in Havana during the first official visit of a Honduran foreign minister since 1961.
Honduras and El Salvador are the only Latin American countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Cuba, but El Salvador remains committed to the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy. .
As President Carlos Flores traveled to Havana in August, Salvadoran President Francisco Flores said, "I have always thought we were two brother peoples, but it is impossible at the present time to establish relations."
President Francisco Flores and President Fidel Castro engaged in a heated exchange during the Ibero-American Summit last year when Castro accused the Salvadoran government of harboring terrorists (see NotiCen, 2000-11-30). A major point of friction is the case of two Salvadorans convicted by a Cuban court in 1999 of terrorist acts committed in Cuba. They are awaiting completion of their death sentences (see NotiCen, 1999-04-22, 2000-11-30). [Sources: The Miami New Times, 07/23/99; El Tiempo (Honduras), 10/25/99; South Florida Sun-Sentinel The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, owned by the Tribune Company, is the main daily newspaper of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and all of Broward County. Its main competitor in this area is the Miami Herald, out of neighboring Miami-Dade County to the south. , 07/17/01; MSNBC MSNBC Microsoft/National Broadcasting Company , 07/17/01, 07/18/01; Notimex, 10/14/98, 10/15/98, 07/23/99, 08/07/01, 08/09/01; La Prensa (Honduras), 07/22/99, 08/10/01; World Data Service, (Cuba), 08/10/01, 08/13/01; Associated Press, 08/07/08, 08/08/01, 09/05/01, 09/06/01, CNN CNN
or Cable News Network
Subsidiary company of Turner Broadcasting Systems. It was created by Ted Turner in 1980 to present 24-hour live news broadcasts, using satellites to transmit reports from news bureaus around the world. , 09/06/01; The Miami Herald, 09/07/01; Spanish News Service EFE EfE Environment for Europe (EU)
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EFE Endocardial Fibroelastosis , 10/08/98, 07/12/01, 07/26/01, 08/07/01, 09/10/01]