A scene from the carnival in Santiago de Cuba
It's crunch time at work, so I'm going on a blogging break. But as Arnold said, "I'll be back."
Photo credit: Both pictures unceremoniously lifted from Octavo Cerco
Here's how Felipe Sixto says he spent the money he stole, according to court documents. Note the $10,200 piano, the $5,000 for artwork, and $16,000 for travel and lodging.
The $142,000 payment to family members went to his father and uncles, who did not know about his son's illegal activities, Sixto told authorities.
Mr. Sixto not only stole more than half a million dollars from a not for profit organization, but after being selected for a highly sought after position in the office of the President of the United States he continued to engage in his fraudulent conduct. Mr. Sixto’s sentence should take into account the nature and impact of his conduct and also the brazen way in which he continued his scheme, undeterred by the impact it would cause others and the office of the President of the United States.
This case is more than an employee simply stealing from his employer. It is about a man who over the course of years engaged in an intricate scheme to defraud an organization chartered to help people who were of his own heritage.
The defendant did not abandon his scheme until he was discovered. He only agreed to repay the funds he embezzled when he was threatened with criminal prosecution.Sixto began stealing the money while working for the Center for a Free Cuba, which is funded in part by U.S. taxpayers and dedicated to promoting democracy and human rights in Cuba. After his arrest in November 2008, he admitted buying bulk shipments of Chinese radios through companies he created, then reselling the equipment to the center for a higher price.
Many people have asked me why I committed the offense. My answer unfortunately is based on greed and selfishness.
As a family man I should have thought of the consequence of my actions and should never have put my family in danger. I understand this. I understand that I was stupid and selfish.Only $19,000 of the stolen funds went toward medical care, making it tough for Sixto to rely on the sick-wife defense.
* Is the youngest of three children.* Graduated from high school in 1998.* Traveled to Cuba twice in 2001.* Was a graduate student at Florida International University. He also graduated from law school, but failed the bar exam in Maryland and so he was never licensed.* Went to work for the Center for a Free Cuba in February 2003, earning $35,000. He left during the summer of 2007 and was earning $65,000 per year.* Began working at the White House earning $55,000 per year in July 2007. He accepted a $102,000-per-year position as special assistant to the president, but resigned after three weeks because of the criminal charges against him.
A creature from my back yard
Hilary was great. She really wanted to hear and learn. Seemed pretty engaged. Overall, great experience. I asked her about Cuba and she said, 'Let's take one at a time,' meaning Mexico.
This is not Jorge Castañeda. But the man is puffing...
...there are solid reasons to believe that something along the following lines took place: for at least a month or so, Lage, Pérez Roque and others were apparently involved in a conspiracy, betrayal, coup or whatever term one prefers, to overthrow or displace Raúl from his position. In this endeavor, they recruited—or were recruited by—Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, who in turn tried to enlist the support of other Latin American leaders, starting with Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Republic, who refused to get involved.Now maybe Castañeda's claims have some truth to them, but the former Mexican foreign minister does a lousy job backing up his argument. He doesn't explain his "solid reasons."
Their reasons for wishing to unseat Rául were mainly turf and power...
Back by popular demand
More photos of the woman in orange are here
The fact that neither man met with Castro heightened observers' curiosity, because Castro had not written his regular "reflections" for a long time. Also, his message to the nation on Dec. 31, the eve of the Revolution's 50th birthday, had been uncharacteristically short (one sentence) suggesting he was indisposed.All this confirms my earlier suspicions that Castro's health had deteriorated, as I suggested on Jan. 2. But Castro looked strong in recent photos of him appearing with visiting heads of state.
Growing up fast
Gunshot victim at a hotel
Gunshot victim sprawled at a building entrance
Gunshot victim made it to the Cuban clinic under her own power
Cuban doctor examines the Haitian patient
Cuban doctors tend to gunshot victim shot in the torso
Cuban doctors bandage wounded foot
Cuban flag hangs outside the Cuban doctors' living quarters
It's hard to escape Cuban politics even in Haiti. This display was near the doctors' clinic.
The Haitianization of Cuba would be tragic. For now, Cuba is nothing like Haiti.