US Diplomats Hold Yard Sales Before Leaving Cuba

October 10, 2017 |

By German Piniella  (Progreso Semanal)

Yard sale at a US diplomat’s residence. Foto: Amelia Rodríguez

HAVANA TIMES — There was a huge commotion. “The Yanks are leaving!” This is what many people were saying who, God knows how, found out when the Mister who isn’t needed at the embassy anymore is going to return to the USA.

With his quick return home comes the diplomat’s concern for his excess baggage, or the things that he doesn’t need around the house, or that getting health documents are going to be too much of a pain to take the dog.

Therefore, the best thing to do would be to import a tradition from the US – well, it isn’t a completely new discovery because there are already some Cubans who have done this before them. Let’s have a garage sale!

It’s the solution when you want to get rid of things cheaply so that people can take all of your useless and out-dated things in one day. So let’s liquidate our belongings, except for the clothes on our back, even the dog, with the exception of some cigars and bottles of rum that you normally have and one of those funny souvenirs that some mass-producing craftsmen make (dolls dressed up as Orichas and some plaster decorations, the really typical kind).

Anyway, getting back to the story, God knows how but there are people who have found out that there’s a Mr. who is going to have his garage sale and people will turn up in front of his house, where the US diplomat has even put a security guard from the embassy to keep order, so they don’t stampede over him when he opens up shop.

I didn’t find out from any rumor or announcement, I was just going to the neighborhood kiosk with my wife when I came across the line in front of the diplomat’s home in the Atabey neighborhood, the same diplomat that I used to see walk right by my house every afternoon calmly walking his dog (the same one we don’t know if it’s also for sale), the former not showing the slightest symptom of having suffered a “sonic attack”.

I must confess that I was curious to see what he was going to sell (damn, maybe he’s going to sell the Scottish whisky – not the Brazilian fake version – cheaper than in the store), but nobody knows what time the diplomat’s store is going to open and people kept gathering (on foot, motorcycles and in cars too) while my wife took some photos on her cell phone. I didn’t wait  for the Yank to open up his business. I will find out later how it went and whether some inspector from the ONAT (tax office) came along to ask him if he had a license. Will they demand that he pay tax on the things he’s selling before he leaves forever?

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  • Dan Makgow Smith

    I still have hopes of one day becoming the Ambassador to Cuba!
    I actually wrote the White House requesting this assignment.
    No, I’m not crazy, just patriotic and I love Cuba.

  • Casey Strong

    How come not even one of the dozen or so Americans who claim injury has ever been interviewed or spoken out, why is there no media coverage of this.
    The Americans are on TV within 5 minutes of any event at anytime, where are the lawsuits and the crying victims who appear with every event in recent times.
    They are non existent because this never happened, and if it happened at all it was the Americans themselves who are responsible.

    • Gary Maybarduk

      Casey, As a retired Foreign Service officer and an old Cuban-hand I must respectfully disagree.
      Foreign r officers do not seek publicity for themselves or engage in lawsuits. It is not in the tradition or expectations of the Service. Likewise, however, if this were made up many officers would be offended and it would reach the press.

      I have no idea what has happened. It makes no sense from either government’s self interest., but it is not likely to been made up.

      • Marty

        I’m gonna go with the consensus opinion that it was a false flag attack. The US still wants social licence to invade Cuba.

        • Kennedy Earle Clarke

          Marty, I totally agree with you. They are seeking a pretence to invade Cuba, but the the Freedom Loving peoples of the world would join hands with the heroic Cuban people to help defend their country!

          • Moses Patterson

            How many ships/tanks/aircraft etc. do the “Freedom Loving peoples of the world” have to repel the invasion you speak of?

          • Kennedy Earle Clarke

            The Heroic people of Vietnam defeated the mighty USA with its well equipped army, with its air force raining down napalm bombs on innocent children, with its ships and submarines shelling the combatants from off shore November 1, 1955-April 30, 1975 and with the TET Offensive 31st January, 1968 when a whole village was razed to the ground; men women, children, old men, old women, animals were murdered, slaughtered and butchered.The Great Defender and Champion of Human Rights in today’s Deceptive World?

            Once a people are determined to rid themselves of their oppressors, no force on earth can deter them from achieving that Liberty, that Freedom. The people of Cuba defeated the Batista army which was armed, financed and supported by the HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTOR the mighty USA. The Cubans were armed with machettes and outdated weapons, yet, they defeated the Batita army and air-force in 1959.

            They turned around and defeated the USA and its minnions at the Bay of Pigs invasion 17th April, 1961. The Cubans again, were only armed with machettes and out dated weaponry, yet, they defeated the Yankee Imperialist army and navy.. Lord Denning, one of England’s greatest Jurist said and I quote, “Liberty will not descend to a people. A people must raise themselves to liberty. It is a BLESSING which must be earned before it can be enjoyed. End of quote. Brother Patterson, I hope that I have replied correctly to you question..It is the people’s determination; the people’s will:

          • Moses Patterson

            Different country. Different time. One can only pray that the same mistakes made in Vietnam would not repeated elsewhere.

      • Casey Strong

        Gary I appreciate your respectful disagreement, we need a lot more of it in our modern discourse.
        That being said I need only point to all of the evidence we have on two fronts,
        1- this is business as usual in the American bag of dirty tricks, murder plots and invasion attempts against Cuba.
        2- nobody keeps quiet anymore, if this had actually happened the victims would have been encouraged to speak out, they would be all over the media because Cuba bashing is a fovorite pastime of the US gov.

        In my opinion thus was the hammer needed to erase any of the Obama era advancements, another practice that we have ample evidence thus administration is engaged in.

      • Kennedy Earle Clarke

        They could not present them because they were spies and you do not expose your spies. Period! People know who their Foreign Officers are because they see them working in the Embassies, but you do not see the spies, the Intelligence officers.

    • Moses Patterson

      Your comment is nuts.

      • Casey Strong

        Well so much for the respectful discourse, as usual simeone feels the need to insult.

        • Moses Patterson

          To be sure, my comment is about your comment. Fair game and respectful, more or less. I make no judgement about your mental health. That would be disrespectful.

    • Kennedy Earle Clarke

      Brother Casey Strong, your surname depicts a person of STRONG CHARACTER who stands up for truth, for justice, for fair-play. You are not afraid to call sin by its correct name. The question is posed, “Why did the USA claim that they discovered all these happenings in the year, 2016, but did not disclose them to the world? Instead they arbitrarily deported two of the Cuban Embassy staff immediately without presenting any facts to the world.? Would Cuba attack the Canadians who were with them all through the height of the US Embargo? Why did the US Doctors have to examine the Canadian Diplomats, is Canada so sorely lacking in Doctors that they had to resort to the USA for medical attention for their Diplomats.

      Supposing the allegation is correct, (just supposing) wouldn’t this have been an opportune time for Donald to assassinate the Agreement forged between Raul and Obama which he claims was one – sided? As you have correctly stated, why, not even one of the Diplomats who suffered loss of hearing, brain swelling, loss of balance was never brought to the attention of the world to describe his symptoms which started since 2016? According to the Department of State spokeswoman Duerte in 2017, at least 16 persons were affected but the incidents were no longer occurring. The disclosure from the State Department came on the same day that the union which represents the so-called Diplomats released theirs.
      On Monday, 2nd October, 2017, both the U.K. Guardian and the Associated Press Newspapers Headlined – “US spies working under Diplomatic cover, were among the first victims of mysterious sonic attacks. It was not until these spies reported hearing bizarre sounds and began experiencing even stranger physical effects that the US realized something was wrong.” Were these US spies experimenting with some electronic gadgets and something went awry and, in order to save face, the US decided to include Canada which has been a friend of Cuba, defying its neighbour when it imposed the draconian embargo on the island nation?

      Brother Casey, don’t you think that this could have been the reason why Donald has not assassinated the Agreement? The reason why they could not be exposed to the Press for interviews is because they were CIA operatives. No country consciously and wilfully exposes its Intelligence officers, as this would render those officers impotent in the collection of intelligence and could also jeopardize their lives and that of their family. Hence their non-appearances at Press Conferences and interviews!
      .,

  • alison

    Too bad the moto was in front of the car. Showing the black diplomatic
    plates would really add more validity to the photo for the rest of the public.

  • wheatpaste

    Completely puerile, asinine, insulting article. Is this what passes for journalism in Havana? I truly expected better. Yank? Grow up. You mean to be belittling toward U.S. diplomats, but it has backfired: the only person who looks foolish here is the author of this scabrous little hit piece.

    • Nick

      Wow.
      I think the article is meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
      So when did you have your sense of humour bypass operation?
      And is it now politically incorrect to say ‘yank’?

      • wheatpaste

        Oh, Nick. You pathetic tool . . .
        You do understand yank is a nasty insult in all communist countries, right? Like “limey wanker.” Sad when you can’t tell the difference between humor and slander.

  • JennyC

    The author notes at the end: “I will find out later how it went and whether some inspector from the
    ONAT (tax office) came along to ask him if he had a license. Will they
    demand that he pay tax on the things he’s selling before he leaves
    forever?” I hope there will be a follow-up story! This article has quite a comment thread going on Facebook.

  • drspocks

    I don’t know if its been reported in Cuba but the NYTimes has run two recent stories where scientists who specialize in audio research say that the idea that American diplomats were targeted with a sonic weapon is ‘highly unlikely.”

    They go on to say that while nausea and slight headaches did occur with subjects under some laboratory conditions, the symptoms quickly went away and the sound wave intensity is deflected by walls and other solid surfaces.

    It’s not clear what did affect these diplomats, but there is no scientific basis for it being caused by sonic waves.

    This is beginning to look more and more like a manufactured pretext to change policy toward Cuba. To carry it out Cuba has to be the aggressor attacking innocent American personnel so that the Trump administration can be seen as simply responding to this act.

    If this is the case, Cuba can expect more dirty tricks to dissuade Americans from traveling to the island. I for one am already planning my trip in solidarity.