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July 3 2017

Maritime Injury Center

Jun 18 at 4:30 AM Good morning:
My name is Michael Egan, and I’m emailing you on behalf of A little about myself: I served US Marine Corp and US Navy units in the first Gulf War. During shipboard firefighting training, I severely injured my knee on an open scuttlebutt. Later on during my service in the Persian Gulf, I became ill and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, likely due to toxic chemical exposure.

I'm now a Disabled Veteran. I now help merchant marines and mariners understand the significant of the Jones Act. You can find out more about the act at The Jones directly impacts the crew of merchant ships hauling military cargo in times of engagement. Equally important, the accord does quite a bit to support worldwide economic trade.

You have a lot of great information and resources on your Site, including a link to Maritime Help at

If you have time, I would encourage you to check out I think you'll find some unique perspectives and more comprehensive information. I do appreciate your time in advance, and hopefully we can speak more. If I don't hear back in a week or so, is it okay to try again?
Best, Michael
Michael K. Egan
USN Petty Officer 3rd Class Disabled Veteran

Jones Act

Accidents and Injuries

Maritme Rights Overview

November 17 2016

Mayo 14 2015

Ceremony Honoring Our Veterans of WWII

The Association for Research and Dissemination of Cuban Naval History with

City of Miami Logo

the City of Miami

Welcomes You

USCG and Cuban Navy Parade
  Armed Forces Day

 Commemorating the US Military, with A Remembrance of the Allied Cuban Navy of World War II

Ceremony honoring Cuban Navay WW2 Veterans
Ceremony Honoring Cuban Navy WW2 Veterans

Wesley P. Wheeler (great grandson)
 As you know, the Wheeler Shipbuilding Corporation was responsible for the construction of CS-13, which was one of 242, 83 foot wooden sub-busters built by our family for the US Coast Guard and Navy during the Second World War. These ships were all built in Brooklyn, New York between 1941 and 1944. CS-13 began its life as a US Coast Guard cutter (CG 83338) and transferred to the Cuban Navy as part of the lend-lease program.

To complete the story, you may know that sixty of these 83 Coast Guard cutters were transported to England and participated in the DD invasion in Normandy. The so-called "match box fleet", officially known as "Rescue Flotilla One", were converted into rescue vessels and credited with saving the lives of 1,438 men and women who were rescued from the English Channel. In all, the Wheeler family produced over 400 ships for the US Coast Guard, US Navy and US Army to support the war effort. As Wheelers, we are extremely proud to have participated in the war effort, which as it turns out, includes the Cuban Navy as well! We appreciate the invitation to the Ceremony on Saturday, May 16th at 12:00. Please send any further information which you feel is necessary prior to our travel to Miami.

April 24 2015

Invitation to Honor our Cuban and American WW2 Veterans

Invitation Ceremony to Honor Our Vets 

 Personas que han contribuido a la ceremonia para honrar a los Veteranos Navales de la II Guerra Mundial programada para el 16 de Mayo 2015

Enero 22  2015 Capt Juan Carlos Parera $300.00
Febrero 1  2015 Wilfredo D�az $35.00
  Total: $335.00
Febrero 1  2015 Cargo Bancario Intl. - $15.00
Febrero 6  2015 Global Offshore Sailing Team
supporting this fantastic memorial initiative.
Jochen Werne - Skipper & GOST Co-Founder
Febrero 7 2015 Fernando Otero $100.00
Febrero 17  2015 Eladio Bas Trespalacios $100.00
Febrero 22  2015 Cdr. Joseph S. P�rez USN $40.00
                            Grand Total: $ 660.00

Queremos expresar nuestro profundo agradecimiento por la ayuda y cooperación que estamos recibiendo para el Acto en Honor a Nuestros Veteranos programado para Mayo 16 a las 12:00 PM.

 Si usted desea participar nos puede enviar un correo a:
April 15  2015

Observance of the 100th Anniversary of ANZAC DAY

The future Miami Military Museum and Memorial
Cordially invites you to our 2015
World War One Remembrance
--With a special debut exhibit of the African American soldiers Experience of WWI--
and the Observance of the 100th Anniversary of ANZAC Day

April 25, 1915 the ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) landed at Gallipoli.

So many were lost in the battle that ever since then Australia and New Zealand honor the date as their national Day, the only one observed by two nations. We honor these brave U.S. Allies who have always served beside us, and the French and British equally who gave their lives in the same battle.

 At the Zoo Miami Center Next to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum
 12450 SW 152 Street, Miami, FL 33177

Saturday April 25 from 10 AM to 11 AM

An Australian Consulate and Dade Heritage Days event

Ample free parking
.  Free and open to the public

Navigation Chart of the Island of Cuba

Navigation Chart of cuba

 February 14   2014

Cuban Government economic reforms

To the uninitiated, occasional news of "Cuban reforms" is received with some sense of hope that the Castro regime might be loosening its stranglehold on the economy to create new opportunity for the island's 11 million people.

Such false expectations are raised by professional Castropologists, who peddle the narrative that Raul Castro is a frustrated reformer who would spread his wings once he assumed power from his brother Fidel. That dynastic transition happened six years ago, and the Castro stranglehold on the economy is barely loosened. Yet every hint of "reform" is still trumpeted as a new birth of freedom. Of course, that is rubbish.

The latest evidence of the Castro regime's single-minded agenda can be found in the New York Times, in an article entitled, "Cuba's Reward for the Dutiful: Gated Housing." Although one might expect from the NYTimes an homage to Raul the Reformer, this piece reveals that the regime's motivation for doling out privileges or slivers of economic space is to preserve the regime and its hold on power.

Reporter Damien Cave says, "Cuba is in transition," but the bulk of his article describes a regime struggling to "elevate the faithful and maintain their loyalty". The measures he describes have nothing to do with economic liberty, but are implemented with great care not to dismantle the existing power structure. Indeed, the NYTimes piece focuses on the impact of the economic transition upon the security forces that Raul Castro has led for more than 60 years.

In the 1990's, when the regime allowed foreigners to partner with the government to build tourist hotels or light manufacturing it was to generate hard currency after the loss of a $5-7 billion annual Soviet subsidy. When Cubans were permitted to establish very small businesses or rent out bedrooms to tourists, it was to provide jobs and meager income to people  "particularly military retirees"displaced from the state payroll by a fiscal crisis. Behind every "reform," a key motivation was to preserve the privileges and loyalty of the military or to provide income to military retirees. Indeed, the handful of foreign companies that invested in the tourism industry often had military-run businesses as their partners. More evidence of the real motive behind these economic "openings" is that, as Cuban self-employment grew too much, too fast; as the fiscal pressure was eased, due to the new subsidy from the Venezuelan regime; or as regime businesses outgrew the need for a foreign partner, the regime cracked down. Many microenterprises have been suffocated by regulation and taxes, and many foreign partners have been shaken down and run out of the country.

So any argument that the United States should reorient its Cuba policy to encourage the trend to reform is disingenuous, as such advice usually is. The latest attempt comes in the form of a poll that says most Americans support a change in US policy toward Cuba. For decades, critics of US foreign policy toward Cuba have sneered that it was a function of "Florida politics"  alluding to the political might of the Cuban-American community in south Florida. So, it is more than a little ironic, that the latest argument for embargo critics is that the policy should be changed because of a poll.

The cruel lesson of history, which good people on all sides of this debate should learn, is that nothing good is going to happen for the people of Cuba as long as a despot like Fidel or Raul Castro holds power. Those selfish men and the totalitarian regime they built are today the only real obstacles to genuine economic and political change in Cuba. Worse yet, they have demonstrated their capacity to manipulate any economic opening to serve the interests of the regime and, particularly, the state security apparatus.

Any unilateral concession by the United States that buys such a regime one more day in power is not only strategically questionable, it is unconscionable.

Roger Noriega

Febrero 10  2014

Democracy and the Rep�blica

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress and the President discover that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville

We are getting there very fast.


The armed forces are involved not only in the international tourist industry but in the lucrative domestic economy as well. The military-owned retail chain TRD Caribe S.A. operates more than 400 locations throughout the island and caters to Cubans with U.S. dollars. "TRD" is an acronym for "Tiendas de Recuperacion de Divisas," or foreign currency recovery stores.

Employing a Wal-Mart-like strategy, TRD Caribe distinguishes itself from other state-owned competitors by "continuously offering discounts" on Chinese-sourced consumer goods that it reportedly "buys cheap and makes a resale kill" on. GAESA, or Grupo de Administracion Empresarial S.A. (Enterprise Management Group Inc.), is the holding company for the Cuban Defense Ministry's vast economic interests. Among its more visible subsidiaries are Gaviota S.A., which directly controls 20-25 percent of Cuba's hotel rooms in partnership with foreign hoteliers, and Aerogaviota, a domestic airline that carries tourists on refurbished Soviet military aircraft flown by Cuban air force pilots.

Under GAESA's management team, Cuba's military-industrial complex -- the Union de la Industria Militar (Defense Industry Group) -- provides outsourcing services, such as rental car maintenance and tour bus repairs, to foreign companies and joint ventures on the island.

October 17  2013

Cuba: A Real Threat

Re: Book available in Amazon Kindle
Sent by: Bertie

I have written a book, "CUBA: A REAL THREAT"

The book is available in AMAZON KINDLE STORE

Be the first to review this item

The book has 29 chapters, 265 pages, and is the result of many years of my research on Cuba's capabilities, since 1959, to be a terrorist threat to the United States and other nations as well.

All aspects of the ways and means Cuba has, and how the Cuban government has changed tactics as new technologies develope and political strategies demand.

The findings presented in this book I hope that will clearly show that Cuba represents a serious threat to the security of the United States in the areas of bio warfare, electronic espionage, human espionage, high technology weapons, cyber terrorism, medicare frauds, and political intervention in other countries to control their governments.

Dr. Manuel Cereijo, P.E.
Miami, Fl 2013

June 21 2013

M/V "Mol Confort" Accident

MOL Comfort Breaks In Two Off Yemen, Investigation Commences [UPDATE] On June 19, 2013 UPDATE:

The MRCC in Mumbai has tweeted saying that the sections are still afloat and are being monitored by the MV Sanderling Ace, another MOL managed vessel.

In an update on Wednesday, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) notes that their investigation into the cause of the incident has commenced, in conjunction with the vessel's shipbuilder, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

According to a report from a vessel operated by MOL, the two sections of the MOL Comfort are stably floating even under adverse weather. The shipowner also pointed out in their statement this morning that it has not been acknowledged that fire has occurred nor a large volume of oil has leaked.

Tugboats have been arranged to tow the two halves of the vessel and a patrol boat has been dispatched from Jebel Ali to monitor the scene until tugs arrive at a later date.

At about 10:00 JST (05:00 local time) on June 19, 2013, the two fore and aft sections of the MOL Comfort, laden with containers, are drifting at about 2 knots near 12° 57″ N 61° 10″ E in an east-northeast direction.

Details of onboard containers of the MOL Comfort that might be lost overboard or damaged during the incident are being confirmed. Captain's unofficial weather routing expert, Fred Pickhardt, has informed us that on Tuesday near the vessel, winds remained from the SW at about force 7 with waves of 5-6 meters.

MOL COMFORT AIS TRACK Red circle indicates MOL Comfort's position reported on 18 JUN 2013 at 20:18:12 GMT, as well as its track since approximately Saturday. At the time of this update, the ship was drifting at .9 knots, down from 2.5 knots earlier Tuesday.

Full vessel position report HERE. Satellite AIS data courtesy PortVision. FROM EARLIER (17 JUN): This photo of the MOL Comfort shows considerable hogging. Image credit: IANS MOL Comfort Suffers Broken Back, Sinks Off Yemen Remains Adrift Off Yemen 26 crewmembers of an MOL containership were forced to abandon ship Monday off Yemen after the ship suffered from catastrophic hull failure and reportedly sank broke in two.

The MV MOL Comfort, an 8,000 TEU-type containership cracked in half about 200 miles from the Yemeni coast at about 12° 30″N 60′E while enroute from Singapore to Jeddah with a load of 7,041 TEUs. All 26 crew made up 11 Russians, 1 Ukrainian and 14 Filipinos - escaped the sinking ship on two life rafts and a lifeboat. According to a report by IANS News, the Indian Coast Guard in Mumbai diverted three vessels in the area to assist.

The MV Yantian Express was first to arrive on scene and rescued the survivors. The 2008-built MOL Comfort sank a short time later, the report said. Weather at the time was strong winds and seas up to six meters. The ship's operator, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, says that an Emergency Control Headquarters has been established for the incident and MOL is taking company-wide measures to settle the matter. The MOL statement said that damage was extensive and that details of the incident were still being confirmed.

A Catastrophic Structural Failure From a naval architecture standpoint, this is a puzzling situation. Ships are designed to handle long period and large waves that crest on the bow and stern and have a trough amidships. This creates a sagging situation that puts extreme tension on the keel and compression at deck level. The opposite, hogging situation occurs when the crest of the wave moves to the center of the ship and the trough of the waves are at bow and stern. The repeat flexing of the ship in these perfectly timed waves is likely what caused the loss of this vessel.

In the photo above, a perfect example of hogging is shown, where the bow and the stern are both lying in the troughs of two waves. It should not have happened however. Ships are built to handle this situation and engineering rules are followed to ensure the transverse section modulus of the vessel is sufficient to handle these extreme stresses imposed by nature. There are other possibilities however.

The loading of the containers on board may have exacerbated the situation. Although the loading of the containers appears even in the photo, the weight distribution of the containers may not have been even. Had heavier containers been loaded on the bow and stern and lighter ones in the center of the ship, the vessel may have been placed in a hogging situation before she even set sail. It's speculation of course to say one way or another, but assuming that she met class.

Rgds. Capt. Angel C. Fernandez.
Traffic and Equip. Control Mgr.
Ecuadorian Line , Inc.

 June 11  2013

Technical-Maritime Dictionary



 During several years as an STCW-95 instructor in a prestigious seafarers school in South Florida, I came in contact with many students from all over the World (Latin American countries, Italy, Philippines, Indonesia, Croatia, Ukraine, Romania and India).

These training sessions were taught in English, and this created many difficulties because most of the students from South American origin did not understand the English language fluently, especially the questions during the test periods. We all know how difficult the maritime language is and dealing with naval nomenclature in two or three languages is even more difficult. One of the main problems was standardizing the meaning of certain words the way they are used today aboard.

In trying to solve these problems, this dictionary was born and slowly developed to become, besides a dictionary, a reference book. The English language has been designated as the iinternational language of the sea by the International Maritime Organizations, and the STCW-95 requires that all seamen engaged in international voyages, especially the ones who are members of the watch, know and be able to understand the basic marine language. It is to those seamen and those who wish to have a quick and basic up to date maritime dictionary that this book is dedicated.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Capt. Andres Vazquez
1121 W Price Blvd # 170
North Port Fl 34288 U.S.A.

How bin Laden emailed without being detected by US

By MATT APUZZO and ADAM GOLDMAN, Associated Press Matt Apuzzo And Adam Goldman, Associated Press WASHINGTON

Despite having no Internet access in his hideout, Osama bin Laden was a prolific email writer who built a painstaking system that kept him one step ahead of the U.S. government's best eavesdroppers. His methods, described in new detail to The Associated Press by a counterterrorism official and a second person briefed on the U.S. investigation, served him well for years and frustrated Western efforts to trace him through cyberspace.

The arrangement allowed bin Laden to stay in touch worldwide without leaving any digital fingerprints behind. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive intelligence analysis. Bin Laden's system was built on discipline and trust. But it also left behind an extensive archive of email exchanges for the U.S. to scour. The trove of electronic records pulled out of his compound after he was killed last week is revealing thousands of messages and potentially hundreds of email addresses, the AP has learned. Holed up in his walled compound in northeast Pakistan with no phone or Internet capabilities, bin Laden would type a message on his computer without an Internet connection, then save it using a thumb-sized flash drive. He then passed the flash drive to a trusted courier, who would head for a distant Internet cafe. At that location, the courier would plug the memory drive into a computer, copy bin Laden's message into an email and send it. Reversing the process, the courier would copy any incoming email to the flash drive and return to the compound, where bin Laden would read his messages offline. It was a slow, toilsome process. And it was so meticulous that even veteran intelligence officials have marveled at bin Laden's ability to maintain it for so long.

The U.S. always suspected bin Laden was communicating through couriers but did not anticipate the breadth of his communications as revealed by the materials he left behind. Navy SEALs hauled away roughly 100 flash memory drives after they killed bin Laden, and officials said they appear to archive the back-and-forth communication between bin Laden and his associates around the world. Al-Qaida operatives are known to change email addresses, so it's unclear how many are still active since bin Laden's death. But the long list of electronic addresses and phone numbers in the emails is expected to touch off a flurry of national security letters and subpoenas to Internet service providers.

The Justice Department is already coming off a year in which it significantly increased the number of national security letters, which allow the FBI to quickly demand information from companies and others without asking a judge to formally issue a subpoena. Officials gave no indication that bin Laden was communicating with anyone inside the U.S., but terrorists have historically used U.S.-based Internet providers or free Internet-based email services. The cache of electronic documents is so enormous that the government has enlisted Arabic speakers from around the intelligence community to pore over it. Officials have said the records revealed no new terror plot but showed bin Laden remained involved in al-Qaida's operations long after the U.S. had assumed he had passed control to his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri. The files seized from bin Laden's compound not only have the potential to help the U.S. find other al-Qaida figures, they may also force terrorists to change their routines. That could make them more vulnerable to making mistakes and being discovered. 

No grave for Osama bin Laden, just like Che Guevara four decades earlier.

Read more:   Death of Osama bin Laden


William J. Burns Under Secretary for Political Affairs Treaty Room Washington,
DC April 21, 2011

Thank you for joining us today to celebrate the accomplishments of four human rights champions. This Administration, and particularly Secretary Clinton, have made advancing human rights one of our top national security priorities. The events unfolding across the Middle East and North Africa remind us of the universal aspirations of women and men across the globe to live in dignity, to find freedom and opportunity, and to shape their own destinies.

They remind us that stability is not a static phenomenon, that political systems and leaderships that fail to respond to the legitimate aspirations of their people become more brittle, not more stable. And they remind us of the enduring significance of fundamental human rights for American interests around the world, and for what we stand for as a people and as a country.

The leaders we honor today have shown by example how to uphold the basic freedoms that are under threat in so many parts the world. First, the Damas de Blanco or the Ladies in White of Cuba. Damas de Blanco distinguishes itself not only by the depth of its commitment to the release of political prisoners, but by the full measure of its bravery in defense of human rights in Cuba. The Damas helped create the conditions that led to the release of the political prisoners arrested during the Black Spring crackdown of 2003.

With much of the battle for human rights in Cuba forced underground, the Damas de Blanco kept marching. And they keep on providing a poignant weekly reminder of the day-to-day repression that Cubans face. We stand alongside the Damas de Blanco in calling for the release of all remaining political prisoners; we are pleased to have Julia Nunez with us today to accept the Human Rights Defenders Award on behalf of Damas de Blanco. In her remarks two weeks ago on the release of the 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Secretary Clinton noted, Here at the State Department, human rights is a priority 365 days a year.
State Department Civil Service and Foreign Service Officers as well as Foreign Service Nationals tirelessly work to support the freedoms we all cherish. Today, I am honored to highlight the work of colleagues who have made a real difference around the globe in promoting human rights issues.

Ambassador Steve Beecroft's advocacy for human rights in Jordan, including for women and children, persons with disabilities, and ethnic and religious minorities, is a superb example of the determination and commitment of our colleagues in diplomatic missions around the world. As his nomination by the Bureau of Near East Affairs makes clear: Ambassador Beecroft's clear vision, brilliant strategy, and tireless advocacy have resulted in the country re-engaging across the board on a broad range of human rights issues, with progress on both individual cases and systemic reform. He saw opportunities for progress even when the environment seemed barren, and nurtured them patiently to fruition using personal diplomacy, public engagement, and targeted assistance programs for government and civil society.  It is not only our Ambassadors who promote human rights.

We honor today two officers serving in two different parts of the world who have demonstrated integrity and innovation in their work to protect and defend universal freedoms of expression, assembly, association, and freedom of religion. They are Holly Lindquist Thomas of the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan and Christian Marchant of U.S. Embassy Hanoi. Holly has made a critical difference in the lives of individuals and their families in Uzbekistan. She made key contributions in persistent approaches to the Government of Uzbekistan that led to the release of businessman and opposition leader Sanjar Umarov. Holly's surveys around the country, on the issue of child labor during the cotton harvest, provided first-hand information on the underlying causes of this phenomenon and the true conditions of children. In Vietnam, Christian has been a persuasive advocate for Vietnam
's beleaguered dissident community, serving as a conduit for imprisoned dissidents, their families and the outside world, and working to ensure that the bilateral Human Rights dialogue produces concrete results. In one case, literally on the courthouse steps, Christian's intercession prevented a political activist from being beaten.

We congratulate all four of you. You richly deserve these awards. In recognizing your service, we also honor the human rights defenders and civil society activists who are doing hard work every day in every part of the world to turn the ideals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into reality.
Thank you.


President Obama Signs Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010

US Coast Guard Logo
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

On Friday, President Obama signed into law the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. The signing of this bill gives the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Bob Papp, authorities to make changes and operate the Coast Guard to better serve the public.

The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 provides us with authority to enhance the safety of U.S. ports and waterways, acquisition assistance to acquire state-of-the-art ships and aircraft to patrol America's waters, and tools to promote individual readiness, including improvements to our family housing and child development centers, said Adm. Papp in an ALCOAST on the subject adding, I am particularly pleased with the modernization authorit it will allow us to finish our organizational realignment and enhance our ability to meet the high demand for our services.

Finishing organizational realignment of the service means using the best processes to ensure Coast Guard men and women have the training, tools, and leadership necessary to safely and successfully fulfill our missions of maritime safety, security and stewardship.

Additional authorities granted within the Act validate the Coast Guard's decision to take control of the process to replace aging cutters and aircraft, providing our men and women in uniform with state of the art platforms to conduct Coast Guard missions.

Finally, and significantly, the Act bolsters the Coast Guard's authorities when it comes to combating smugglers of people and narcotics attempting to violate U.S. territorial waters.
I could not be more pleased with this Authorization Act and want to thank the Administration and Congress for their support, said Papp.

The Act will help us remain always ready well into the future.�

Intermaritime Grouo Logo

Cuban Gunboats built at Havana for the Cuban Navy.
"Cuban Gunboats"

Cuban exile Alberto Gutiérrez relentlessly denounces conditions in Cuba. I expressed surprise that no American academic or newsman had gone to Cuba to write a factual, authoritative report on conditions there. Alberto comments: "- I am sorry to say that the main objective of many academics who go to Cuba is have a chat with El Máximo Líder. Then they take a look around mainly in Havana and return claiming their "expertise" about education and health services there.

A report about racial discrimination, the suicide rate (one of the highest in the world), the daily life of a Cuban in comparison with the ruling elite, etc. is out of the question. Not many US universities are interested in those subjects. And the same goes for those enterprising journalists you mentioned. A Cuban professor from Florida International University will take some of her students to Havana for humanities classes. I requested a public clarification. I wondered in my note if the courses could be instead related to Inhumanities, considering the misery and oppression under Castro. So far my rather sarcastic note has been ignored".

RH: It is a sad situation, Those involved fear that were they to criticize Castro's Cuba, they would not be welcome again. Why does the Diario Las Américas not send someone to Cuba to write the report I suggested?

Cuba School Discipline

Randy Black described the discipline in Russian schools. Alberto Gutiérrez recalls his school days at the Academia Raymat, in Pinar del Río, many years ago: "There the students also stood when the teacher or any visitor entered the classroom. Those who misbehaved faced the stern principal, and were punished with a "correctivo", a detention after class doing lots of homework. The students were sent home with a note explaining the reason of the "correctivo". The note was expected back the next day after being duly acknowledged by a parent. The voice of the agriculture teacher was better than any sleeping pill. Consequently, I also learned to set my eyes as open as possible toward the teacher and released my mind into a world of clouds closer to the kingdom of Morpheus. It was not easy but to close one's eyes was unthinkable.

Then, at Mariel Naval Academy things didn't get any better. Reveille at 6 a.m. I was often hungry and sleepy. My classmates and I endured lots of hazing in the name of "discipline". After all, that was a military institution, and we were "gentlemen" midshipmen. Those concepts were also enforced when most midshipmen were cashiered after the revolutionary purge of 1959, and those few spared became merchant marine cadets. Spherical Trigonometry and Solid Geometry classes are the ordeals l remember most. The two subjects were taught by a highly qualified lieutenant commander who didn't realize that we lacked his brains. At least the ensign who taught Nautical Astronomy was more approachable.

In 1960, during the time I attended Havana University, I noticed there a definitive breakdown of discipline That year many professors were purged, having been denounced by other professors and their own students for alleged past sins and a lack of zeal for Castro. However, it was in the US where I finally realized that sometimes students were allowed to sleep in class.

Unfortunately, with the years discipline and respect for teachers in this country have declined to an alarming degree. A close relative of mine who has been an excellent teacher for many years finally is ready to quit ."At this point I don't know who are worse: the students or their parents", she told me recently, disillusioned with the outlook"

RH: The disgraceful episodes in American schools should have led to the imposition of more discipline, but that seems not to have happened. Remember the motto of William of Wyckham: "Manners make man".

Ships and shipbuilding

Alberto Gutierrez answers a question about ship building in Cuba: "Under Castro, today shipbuilding in Cuba is a shambles.

Shipbuilding reached its peak in Havana during the second half of the XVIII century with the launching of men-of-war such as "Sant�sima Trinidad", the flagship of the Franco-Spanish fleet at the battle of Trafalgar. Havana was a main shipyard of the Spanish Navy , taking advantage of the fine Cuban timber available in those days. Once, in San Lorenzo del Escorial, a member of my family sternly reminded a tour guide of the Cuban origin of the timber used in that palace/monastery, other Spanish palaces and in many sailing units of the Spanish Navy.
At the beginning of the last century, shipbuilding in Cuba was no longer important. In 1911 the small cruisers "Cuba "and "Patria" were launched in Philadelphia. Since then the Cuban navy relied on units leased from the US. A few gunboats with wooden hull were built in Havana. There were many Cuban-made schooners for commercial fishing, and the steamboats of "Compañía Naviera de Cuba"(the Cuban shipping company) were used for coastal trade. First the railroads, and finally the Carretera Central (the central highway )from Pinar del Río to Santiago de Cuba after 1931 led to the elimination of most maritime traffic between Cuban ports. During World War II four old Cuban cargo ships were torpedoed by German submarines. After the war, foreign shipping companies, mainly US, British , Norwegian and Spanish, controlled the maritime traffic from Cuba to other countries. The little publicized "floating railroad"( railroad wagons full of cargo on their own wheels were rolled on and off cargo ships), operated between Havana and South Florida from 1945 until Castro took over Cuba, receding the container concept . In 1948 the Cuban merchant marine established a regular service to several US ports. By the mid fifties, in spite of an incongruous collection of old ships , there were reasons to expect better days ahead: a dry dock was built in Havana for repairs, and six new freighters of small tonnage (four British and two Japanese) were ordered. After 1959 Castro was also keenly interested in developing a merchant fleet called "Lineas Mambisas de Navegación " . His first acquisition was the "Sierra Maestra"', an oddly designed freighter built in East Germany. Other cargo vessels were built in Poland and Spain. Between 1961 and 1965 the Cuban shipbuilding experienced a brief revival with the assembling of a modern fishing fleet in Havana . However, after the seventies, mismanagement and Castro's "grandiose " whims in Africa and elsewhere, sealed the fate of what seemed a promising future at sea. Some freighters were used to transport troops, and fishing boats carried weapons for the guerrillas in Venezuela and other countries. With the end of the Soviet subvention in the nineties the lack of maintenance, and even the unsanitary conditions and contamination aboard all those ships increased, causing the death of 37 seamen in assorted accidents. Today the grossly underpaid and understaffed Cuban merchant marine is a disarray of ships mostly "camouflaged" with foreign flags to avoid US economic sanctions and the obligations to foreign creditors. Just taking a look at the sad conditions of Paula Pier in Havana, anyone can see the current situation of shipbuilding in Cuba.

Ronald Hilton

Date: Monday, August 9, 2010, 1:17 PM
Dear Sr. Gutierrez, I really highly appreciate your prompt reply. Many thanks for your information. I will keep checking the Foro Naval for any additional information.
Wishing you and all Cuban seamen all the best and very best regards.
Faithfully, Nikolay Savov

Hello Webmaster, could you help me to find Sr. Miguel Antonio Gallego Boch. He was a teacher at the Naval Academy in Mariel. We are classmates at the Naval Academy in Varna, Bulgaria and we graduated in 1981.

Since 1982 he was a teacher in Mariel. I saw him for last time in 1982 in Cienfuegos where I was on board a Bulgarian merchant ship. Since that time I have no news from him. Please help me to establish contact with him and to survive a longtime friendship. My name is Nikolay Savov, email:
Many, many thanks in advance and very best regards from Varna,Bulgaria.
Nikolay Savov

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate.

Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace. So why are we witnessing such fundamental changes? Well, the globalism and "free trade" that our politicians republicans and democrats, and business leaders and bankers, insisted would be so good for us to have, had some rather nasty side effects.

It turns out that they didn't tell us that the "global economy" would mean that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few regulations.

The big global corporations have greatly benefited by exploiting third world labor pools over the last several decades, but middle class American workers have increasingly found things to be very tough.

There was a time when the United States criticized the Latin American Countries because they  had only two classes--the poor and the rich; now the United States is becoming one of them.  This is already creating havoc in this country.

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
Alexis De Tocqueville

Our Naval Forum is an-us place to honor our naval heritage, explore its unresolved debates, uncover new information, and respectfully stimulate an honest, thoughtful discussion between all of our members. Our visitors want to read both current and historical information about Naval and Maritime  events in Cuba and sometimes they have a point of view, which they wish to respectfully express and discuss. We welcome that.  By inviting comments and aggregating a balance of views all on one site, we hope to explore a wide range of thoughts.

The goal is a thoughtful, authoritative analysis about our current political situation and our naval history, with our visitors  who are willing to respectfully state and defend their opinions and participants ready to offer additional commentary.

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The Webmaster moderate comments and will remove any that violate these standards, or anything else that is offered with what is deemed negative intent. The Webmaster only post content from our archives to give a voice to the past. The opinions of our visitors expressed here are their opinions and not necessarily those of the editors of the Circulo Naval.

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Comment thoughtfully. Be ready to support and defend your positions. When you can, cite your authority for stating a position. Be open to all counter-arguments, and do not be dismissive of honestly expressed opposite views. It is the debate and exchange that is most valuable.

In Honor of the Grandson of Ing. Orlando L.
Alfonso who died in combat in Afghanistan  USA

Going Through A Very Tough Time...

My Grandson (USMC Captain) Was KIA Two Weeks Ago In Afghanistan...

We Will Pull Through This With The Man Upstairs' Mercy...
Orlando L. Alfonso

Make Me An Instrument Of Your Peace; Where There Is Hatred, Let Me Sow Love; Where There Is Injury Pardon; Where There Is Doubt, Faith; Where There Is Despair, Hope; Where There Is Darkness, Light; Where There Is Sadness, Joy...
Saint Francis Of Assisi.

Memorial Monument To the Americans and Cuban Pilots of the Liberation Air Force of the Assault Brigade 2506

American and Cuban Flags
The monument was built to honor and as a  permanent tribute the ten Cuban pilots of the 2506 Brigade "Liberation Air Force", four American Central Intelligence Agency volunteer pilots and two aircraft technicians, members of the 2506 Brigade, who perished during the air strikes and landings of the ill-fated invasion of the Bay of Pigs, Cuba, on April 17, 1961.

Flight operations for the attack were coordinated by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Alabama Air National Guard. A total of seventeen B-26 fighter-bombers were used in training and designated for the eventual implementation of the planned air strikes. However, due to political considerations, last minute orders from the Kennedy Administration reduced the total flight operations to a minimal task force of eight, which compromised the operation and resulted in its failure.

The monument is a obelisk within a five-pointed star surrounded by a circle, all in a field of red. To the west are the five blue and white bands of the Cuban flag. Atop the bands is a restored B-26 fighter similar to the aircraft used by the Liberation Air Force pointing towards Cuba.

The Cuban Pilots Association joins the entire Cuban exile community in remembering those martyrs, who by falling in an honorable action, left a wake of glory under the Cuban sky.

Their memory will help ensure that the exiled Cuban community, as well as its American allies, achieves and preserves the freedom for Cuba that they sought through the sacrifice of their lives.

Date : April 17, 2010

En Memoria Capitanes Fuerza Aerea Brigada 2506  For more information clik the following link

"Monument to the Pilots of the Brigade 2506 Air Force

Brigada 2506 Logo

Naval and Pilots Officers of the Assault Brigade 2506.

Juan Cosculluela  Osvaldo Inguanzo  Silvio Perez

Enrique Garcia Batista  Mario de La Mar  Andres Vazquez Ramirez
  Tomas Afont    Esteban Beruvides    Patricio Gonzalez Arias

Reinaldo Lazo    Jose Perez Menenez  Demetrio Perez

Ignacio Rojas Gonzalez  Vicente Secades    Octavio Soto

Raul Vazquez Martin

  Armando Rodriguez Alonso                                Armando Rodriguez Alonso 
                        CO Sub-Chaser Tejana

Grunmam Hidroavion


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