Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

03 de Marzo del 2000

AN IL-62, NO LESS, FOR JOSE IMPERATORI, CASTRO HERO. By Orestes Martin Perez, Cuba Free Press.

Pinar del Rio.- Jose Imperatori arrived from Havana yesterday as a hero. He is the newest idol created by a policy whose main purpose is to keep Cubans' attention away from the really important problems that the country is facing.

For the benefit of those who may not have followed Mr. Imperatori's career, he was a Cuban diplomat assigned to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington D.C. until recently, when the U.S. government gave him a few days to leave the country. His departure was requested because of the intelligence activities he had been carrying out with Mariano Faget, a high-ranking U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service official in Miami.

Several days ago, FBI officials put Imperatori on an airplane to Canada when he refused to leave the US in spite of having lost his diplomatic immunity. Imperatori arrived in Havana on a special flight from Canada and it is precisely the special nature of this flight that Cuba Free Press would like to call to the reader's attention.

The Havana authorities sent nothing less than a Soviet-era aircraft known as the IL-62, notorious for its colossal fuel consumption to pick up the acclaimed individual. Cuba Free Press does not have data on how much fuel was actually used for this round trip to Canada and back, but various sources say it was the equivalent of several months' efforts by an entire Sugar Cane Cutting Brigade.

Needless to say, it would have been a lot fairer and certainly more beneficial to have devoted the resources misspent on this trip to truly necessary expenditures, such as repairing ultrasound equipment in Pinar del Rio hospitals, many of which are currently out of service due to breakdowns.

Or, if only for a few days, perhaps the public transportation system in any town in the country, most of which are out of service for lack of fuel, could have been helped. Or, perhaps the fuel money could have bought sanitary napkins for the two-thirds of Cuban women who now lack such niceties.

Imperatori flies in an airplane devoted to him exclusively while tens of thousands of Cuban housewives do not have fuel to cook with. And their husbands lack replacement tires for the Chinese bicycles that the Cuban government sold them but which it will not import now so as to save foreign exchange. Cubans lack almost everything imaginable and the argument is invariably, that there is no foreign exchange.

However, there was enough to finance Mr. Liberatore's foreign-exchange-intensive airplane ride. Mr. Incapacitore could very well have booked his flight on a commercial airline and then there would have been quite a lot of foreign exchange left over to cover many of the numerous needs of the Cuban people.

Orestes Martin Perez, Cuba Free Press.


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