brags of trade while blocking US satellite feeds to Iran
Castro (apparently using Chinese base south of Havana) is blocking
U.S. Satellite feeds to Iran (footnote 1). At the same time he
is trumpeting new trade relationship with US (footnote 2).
U.S. satellite feeds to Iran jammed
Jamming signals are coming from Cuba, sources say
By Robert Windrem
NBC NEWS PRODUCER
NEW YORK, July 11 - U.S. government officials as well as Iranian
Americans and communications satellite operators confirm that
all U.S.-based satellite broadcasts to Iran are being jammed out
of Cuba, one of Iran's major allies and a nation increasingly
dependent on Iranian oil.
"WE ARE well aware of the jamming," said one senior U.S. official
familiar with intelligence on the matter. He said that it was
almost certainly done as part of an effort by the Iranian government
to eliminate dissent during a week of renewed student protests
and the inauguration of Voice of America's Farsi-language television
programming to Iran.
Asked if the jamming were being done out of Cuba, the official
would only say that it was "within the realm of possibility."
Late Friday, however, three sources associated with the broadcast
services confirmed that Loral Skynet, the operator of the Telstar-12
satellite used by the broadcasters, had determined the jamming
was probably emanating from "the vicinity of Havana, Cuba." One
of the sources said that Loral, working with transmitter location
expert TLS Inc. of Chantilly, Va., had further fixed the location
as "20 miles outside of Havana."
Cuba's main electronic eavesdropping base, at Bejucal, is about
20 miles outside of the Cuban capital. The base, built for Cuba
by the Russians in the early 1990's, monitors and intercepts satellite
Iran and Cuba have had increasingly close relations over the past
several years with Iran supplying Cuba with oil. Cuba has extensive
jamming experience, regularly interfering with the signal of the
U.S. government-financed TV Marti.
Over the past several months, private Iranian-American groups
have begun increasing their broadcasts into Iran using Telstar-12,
a communications satellite over the eastern Atlantic. All are
trying to encourage protests against the regime in Tehran.
Iranians, using small satellite dishes, have been able to receive
the broadcast, whose mix of news, entertainment and exhortations
to protest have gained a large audience, particularly in Tehran.
Then on Sunday, the Voice of America began its Farsi-language
Not long afterward, the jamming began.
Over the past few days - as the fourth anniversary of the country's
most widespread protests approached - the broadcasts have been
jammed, not in Iran but in the Americas, according to officials
From Miami Herald web site
Posted on Sat, Jul. 12, 2003
Historic arrival in Havana harbor
By JOHN RICE
HAVANA - As the tugboat El Jaguar towed the squat, green barge
Helen III into Havana harbor on Friday, the U.S. flag waved in
greeting from the fort at the bay's entrance for the first time
in 42 years.
The 323-foot-long barge -- resembling a floating, tarp-wrapped
warehouse -- was the first U.S.-flagged commercial vessel to enter
the harbor since the United States broke relations with Cuba in
1961. Raising a country's flag over the Moro castle at the harbor
entrance is the traditional greeting for foreign vessels.
''When I saw the Cuban flag pass, I felt like it was the first
day of class, I was so nervous in my stomach,'' said Charles Turner
Fabian II, vice president for operations of Maybank Shipping of
Charleston, S.C., onboard the Helen III.
The United States ended relations with Cuba and imposed an embargo
on shipping to Cuba in 1961 as Fidel Castro's government turned
steadily toward socialism. One memory of those decades of hostility
was the name of the dock complex where the ship docked: Haiphong,
in honor of a North Vietnamese harbor bombed by the United States
during the Vietnam War.
Since the collapse of the Soviet block in 1991, however, Cuba
has eagerly sought trade with the capitalist world while trying
to maintain a communist system.
Numerous ships have carried U.S. goods to Cuba since December
2001, when the U.S. government permitted cash-paid shipments of
food and some other goods.
Seventy-one percent of those were U.S.-owned, said Pedro Alvarez,
leader of the Cuban government import company Alimport, which
has signed contracts for about $480 million since the rules were
But the Helen III was the first to carry cargo under a U.S. flag
and with a U.S. crew. It was also the first vessel from Mobile,
Ala., to carry cargo under the recent rules.
Fabian said the barge carried 1,614 metric tons of newsprint and
about six tons of timber.
As tugboats maneuvered the barge to the docks, Fabian stepped
aside to make a phone call to check the company bank account.
''By law, the money has to be in our bank account before we can
unload,'' Fabian said, referring to the U.S. regulations that
set conditions on trade with Cuba. Fabian said the shipment, worth
about $1.5 million, was part of a contract to ship a total of
10,000 tons, with another 5,000-ton deal in the works.