1/08 - present
Canada based media
Europe based media
Cuba in the News$253 Million Verdict Against Cuba 4/6/2008 Reuters: "The case involved Rafael del Pino Siero, a U.S. citizen who was a friend of Fidel Castro but turned against him after the bearded revolutionary took power in 1959, the Herald said. It said Del Pino Siero, who broke with Castro over suspicions he was a communist, was captured while trying to help a Cuban escape to Miami in July 1959. He died in his Cuban prison cell 18 years later at age 51, leaving behind in Miami two children, Rafael del Pino Jr. and his sister Milagros Suarez."
Fidel's successor gives Cubans the freedom to watch foreign television 4/4/2008 Independent
Human rights group blasts Cuba for abuses 4/4/2008 McClatchy: "The human rights arm of the Organization of American States on Friday condemned Cuba for multiple violations, drawing an angry response from its allies Venezuela and Nicaragua, which argued that Havana had been unable to defend itself. In its 2007 annual report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a semi-autonomous unit of the OAS, said Cuba restricted political rights and freedom of expression, lacked free elections and an independent judiciary and "created a permanent panorama of breached basic rights for the Cuban citizenry."
Obama's Disappointing Incrementalism on Cuba 4/1/2008 TPM: "But one of the really interesting lines from the general and heartily agreed to by the conservative organizer and also the pundit was: No one serious can support our policy towards Cuba. Fifty years of failure. We need to engage those people. Commerce and travel, exchange between their people and our people. . .well, you know what I mean. Cuba is an easy fix. Castro's brother, Raul, is lifting all sorts of restrictions on his public, and we're doing squat. If we want to steal Hugo Chavez's thunder in Latin America, then open up to Cubans and see where the currents take us. Can't get worse than the "zero" we have achieved thus far."
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke on Cuba 3/31/2008 AfroCubaWeb: "Removing the embargo on Cuba would provide and new and valuable market to United States businesses and farmers. I also believe it is in our country’s best interest to promote greater diplomatic ties with Cuba. And Americans, as free citizens, should be able to travel freely, including to Cuba. As such, I cosponsored H.R. 624, the Free Trade with Cuba Act, which would end the trade embargo with Cuba. It is my hope that with the new leadership in Cuba, Congress will address the Cuban embargo issue and usher in a new era in U.S.-Cuba relations."
A 'Splendid' War’s Shameful Side - The finale of the Spanish-American war, rooted in misunderstanding and racism, still reverberates. 3/31/2008 Newsweek: "Thanks to Cuban insurgents, the Americans landed unopposed in Cuba and Spanish relief columns were pinned down and kept from the fight. But the Americans gave the Cubans little credit for the ultimate victory against the Spaniards. Incredibly, the American commanders barred the rebel army from attending the Spanish surrender ceremony in Santiago. Ostensibly the reason was to safeguard against reprisals, but the greater motivation, revealed by letters and diaries of the time, appears to have been the disdain with which the Americans regarded the Cubans as a mongrel army. The Spaniards (an all-white force) wanted to preserve their honor by surrendering to the Americans in Santiago. In the end most of the Spanish soldiers scattered elsewhere around Cuba, where there were no American forces, surrendered to the Cuban rebels without suffering recrimination. The vanquished Spanish soldiers were allowed to keep their arms and embark for Spain. But the Americans disbanded and disarmed the victorious Cuban army. America refused to end its occupation of Cuba until 1902, not until the American commanders were satisfied that the Cubans were sufficiently "civilized" for self-rule. (But the republic's constitution allowed Washington to send in American troops at any time.) Black officers and leaders were purged as uneducated and uncultured. Slavery had been abolished only in 1886, and blacks had not attained the social standing of whites, despite the egalitarian philosophy of rebel heroes like José Martí, who preached that there was no such thing as race, only humanity. Eager to appease the Americans (and get them out of the country), many Cubans became embarrassed and confused and lost sight of their own progressive principles. Before long, the Cuban leaders were guilty of their own racial prejudice, violently suppressing a political party formed by discarded and disenfranchised black veterans in 1908."
Commentary: Afro-Cubans could influence an anti-Bush vote in Fla. 3/30/2008 Black America News: by Tonyaa Weathersbee, published 10/04, still topical
CUBAN DEMOCRACY GRANTS - U.S. shifting funds away from Miami anti-Castro groups 3/30/2008 Miami Herald: "The funds are to be awarded via competitive bids and officials are urging Eastern European and Latin American groups to apply. The administration is especially eager for proposals that would provide communications technologies to activists in Cuba. Officials say Internet access, YouTube videos and cellphone text messages propelled movements to challenge governments in places like Tibet and Burma. Access to these technologies is restricted by the communist government, although on Friday, Havana announced cellphones would be made more widely available. Earlier, the government has also said computers would be sold to all Cubans. ''We are not . . . excluding anybody from the process,'' said José Cárdenas, the deputy assistant administrator for South America and Cuba at USAID, ``but with the tremendously escalated resources, definitely we want new participants in the program. ''We would love to see more former East European bloc groups and individuals,'' he added, ``and we would love to see more private interest and activity from Latin America.'' Until now, the bulk of the grants have been funnelled through Miami groups. Critics said the programs placated Cuban-American groups but did little to bring democracy to Cuba. Havana routinely calls Cuban recipients of U.S. aid programs ``mercenaries of the empire.''
Cuba lifts curbs on mobile phones 3/28/2008 BBC: "Cuba's rate of cell phone usage remains among the lowest in Latin America. Now Cubans will be able to subscribe to pre-paid mobile services under their own names, instead of going through foreigners or in some cases their work places. However, the new service must be paid for in foreign currency, which will restrict access to wealthier Cubans."
Small African Encyclopaedia - From the African presence in Cuba 3/28/2008 MINREX: published April, 2007.
Happy Birthday Assata Campaign 3/28/2008 Scheme: "On November 2 2006, Mos Def, Sonia Sanchez and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement helped to kick off the Happy Birthday Assata Campaign, a national mobilization effort to commemorate the revolutionary icon’s 60th birthday. Well over one hundred supporters gathered at SEIU 1199 in midtown Manhattan to rally support for Assata and for the many political prisoners detained throughout the United States and abroad."
Cuban govt to help [Niger] Delta on malaria 3/28/2008 Vanguard, Nigeria: "The Cuba goverment has promised to assist the Delta State Government in the fight to eradicate the dreaded malaria fever by supporting the massive plantation of a special plant that kills mosquito anywhere it is planted. The Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Elio Savon, made this promise, Wednesday, in Warri during the occasion of the country first official visit to Delta State to seek ways of partnering with the DESOPADEC in its effort to bring smiles to the face of the long suffering oil bearing communities."
Letter from Assata on her 60th Birthday Celebration 3/27/2008 HOA: "I am 60 years old and I am proud to be one of those people who stood up against the ruthless, evil, imperialist policies of the U.S. government. In my lifetime I have opposed the war against the Vietnamese people, the illegal contras – war in Nicaragua, the illegal coup in Chile, the invasion of Haiti and of Granada, and every other illegal, immoral and genocidal war the U.S. government has ever waged. I have never been a criminal and I never will be one. I am 60 years old and in spite of government repression, in spite of the media’s lies and distortions, in spite of the U.S, government’s COINTELPRO Program to criminalize and demonize political opponents, I feel proud to count myself as someone who believes in peace and believes in freedom. I am proud to have been a member of the Black Panther Party although the U.S. government continues try to distort history and continues to persecute ex-members of the Black Panther Party. Just recently, the U.S. government has indicted and arrested 8 ex-Black Panthers in a case that was dismissed 30 years ago. The case was dismissed some 30 years ago when it became obvious that the most vicious forms of extreme torture were used to extract false confessions from some of the so-called defendants."
Lest We Forget: An open letter to my sisters who are brave. 3/27/2008 The Root: Alice Walker on Obama - "True to my inner Goddess of the Three Directions however, this does not mean I agree with everything Obama stands for. We differ on important points probably because I am older than he is, I am a woman and person of three colors, (African, Native American, European), I was born and raised in the American South, and when I look at the earth's people, after sixty-four years of life, there is not one person I wish to see suffer, no matter what they have done to me or to anyone else; though I understand quite well the place of suffering, often, in human growth. I want a grown-up attitude toward Cuba, for instance, a country and a people I love; I want an end to the embargo that has harmed my friends and their children, children who, when I visit Cuba, trustingly turn their faces up for me to kiss."
Assata Shakur 3/26/2008 Gazette, Langston University: "On Common's "Like Water for Chocolate" album, released in 2000, there is a song titled "A Song for Assata," which shines light on Shakur's life. There are also many videos available on Youtube.com that depicts this strong, yet unheard of woman whose resilience led to her freedom."
Cuban Authorities Blocked Access to Top Blog 3/25/2008 Devicepedia
Peter F. Paul 3/24/2008 Wikipedia: "Peter Paul was a lawyer in Miami, Florida, representing foreign governments and political leaders in South America and the Caribbean. He also served as President of the Miami World Trade Center and was the original owner and operator of the largest Foreign Trade Zone in the U.S., Miami Free Zone Inc. As a result of what Paul described as anti-Communist and anti-Castro political activities, he directed a fraud on the Cuban government of $8.75 million dollars by selling agents of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro nonexistent coffee. The plan apparently also involved sinking the ship that was to deliver the nonexistent coffee to hide the fraud from Castro and, according to TIME Magazine, to defraud its insurer, but the ship was abandoned in Costa Rica and never sunk. Paul pled guilty to federal conspiracy charges. When his home was raided by the police in connection with this crime, they found cocaine in his garage, and Paul also pled guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to distribute. … Paul emerged in 2000 as the largest contributor to Senatorial candidate Hillary Clinton. Paul and his attorneys have at various times offered two explanations for this. First, that he was trying to attract her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, to serve on the board of Stan Lee Media after leaving office. Second, that he hoped to negotiate a pardon for his previous criminal convictions. Paul produced and underwrote what he described as the largest fund raising event ever held for a federal candidate , in Los Angeles, days before the 2000 Democratic Convention began."
Afro-Cubans keep close watch on island politics 3/23/2008 LA WAVE: WAVE is a Black paper in Southern California with a circulation of 9.5 million - "On the face of it, Alberto Nelson Jones shouldn’t be one of Fidel Castro biggest fans."
Cuba : Transitions without End 3/21/2008 Global Research
Letters to Granma new form of expression in Cuba 3/21/2008 Reuters
Cuba, Venezuela Rap US in Terrorism Case 3/19/2008 AP: "Cuban Ambassador Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz called the 80-year-old Posada, a militant opponent of Fidel Castro's communist regime, "the most notorious terrorist of the Western hemisphere." He said there is sufficient evidence linking Posada to "some of the most infamous crimes of the 20th century" including the bombing of the Cubana de Aviacion jet over Barbados that killed 73 people, the Iran-Contra scandal and the bombings of Havana hotels in 1997. Deputy Venezuelan Ambassador Aura Rodriguez de Ortiz accused the United States of ignoring a request made nearly three years ago for Posada's extradition, calling him "a known international criminal and terrorist and fugitive of Venezuelan justice." The United States, she said, is bound not only by the 1922 U.S.-Venezuelan extradition treaty but by international treaties on terrorist bombings and the safety of civil aviation "to extradite or submit his case for prosecution without any exception."
Cuba and Iran slam U.S. in U.N. terrorism debate 3/19/2008 Reuters
Cuba lifts ban on farmers buying supplies 3/17/2008 Reuters: "Communist Cuba has lifted a ban on some farmers buying supplies in the latest sign that new President Raul Castro is looking to individual initiative to stimulate food production. Agricultural sources told Reuters on Monday that Cuba will soon open stores for farmers to buy tools, herbicides, boots and other supplies for the first time since the state took over all the country's shops in the 1960s. "It's like a birthday party around here. All the members of the cooperative are very happy," the wife of a dairy farmer said in a telephone interview."
Can Afro Cuba Survive After Fidel? 3/15/2008 Amsterdam News: published 12/05 - "Black Cubans continue to lag behind white Cubans,” notes the journalist and activist, Willie Mack Thompson. “Pres. Castro has spoken to this … but this is especially frightening in an anticipated leadership transition. “My concern is that if Black Cubans enter into this transition with less resources and income – less status – they will not be able to compete and will thus be relegated to their pre-Revolutionary status. It will be a class struggle based on status.”
Cuba lifts ban on computer and DVD player sales 3/13/2008 Reuters: "Communist Cuba has authorized the unrestricted sale of computers and DVD and video players in the first sign that its new president, Raul Castro, is moving to improve Cubans' access to consumer goods." [While the Internet remains scarce due to controls and the size of pipes, an alternate distribution mechanism is forming via thumb drives and other means.]
"THE DEFAULT SHOULD BE FREEDOM": REP. JEFF FLAKE ON U.S. CUBA POLICY 3/12/2008 Reason TV
Afro Cubans and Race 3/8/2008 Democracy Now: published 4/00 - "Democracy Now! producer Maria Carrion recently spent time in Cuba and recorded a series of conversation by Afro-Cubans on race and racism."
Getting Smart About Cuba 3/8/2008 Foreign Policy in Focus: "Beyond the blood ties, there is a more subtle and significant architecture that supports the status quo. It’s a taxpayer-funded “embargo industry” that employs hundreds, if not thousands, whose livelihoods depend on Cuba remaining, well - Cuba. It began during the Reagan years with appropriations for Radio and TV Marti that today top $500 million to beam U.S. propaganda into Cuba. In the case of TV Marti, even $225 million can’t buy Cuban viewers since the Cuban government jams the signal. But a half a billion bucks does buy jobs, contracts and political loyalties. Almost simultaneously, hardliners helped create the National Endowment for Democracy. One of the agency’s first grants went to the powerful Cuban American National Foundation - a group that delivered the first Cuban-Americans to Congress. Since 2000, NED has provided at least $4.9 million to Cuba related pro-democracy programs. The windfall from these first programs emboldened the hardliners to write more legislation funding more work for Cuba democracy-builders, that is - embargo supporters - in Miami and worldwide. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) grants to “support political transition in Cuba” totaling more than $40 million have gone primarily to Miami-based groups since they were first doled out in 1996."
Cyber-Rebels in Cuba Defy State’s Limits 3/6/2008 NYT: "A growing underground network of young people armed with computer memory sticks, digital cameras and clandestine Internet hookups has been mounting some challenges to the Cuban government in recent months, spreading news that the official state media try to suppress."
Back to the Past in Cuba 3/4/2008 Lew Rockwell: "French intelligence sources tell me there is a growing risk of major street violence by poor blacks, who make up 60% of the population and live in slums ringing Havana. Army units have been deployed around the capitol." [The 60% is a reasonable figure, much more so than the dubious 2002 census.]
A Wave of the Watch List, and Speech Disappears 3/4/2008 NYT: "The sites, in English, French and Spanish, had been online since 1998. Some, like www.cuba-hemingway.com, were literary. Others, like www.cuba-havanacity.com, discussed Cuban history and culture. Still others — www.ciaocuba.com and www.bonjourcuba.com — were purely commercial sites aimed at Italian and French tourists. “I came to work in the morning, and we had no reservations at all,” Mr. Marshall said on the phone from the Canary Islands. “We thought it was a technical problem.” It turned out, though, that Mr. Marshall’s Web sites had been put on a Treasury Department blacklist and, as a consequence, his American domain name registrar, eNom Inc., had disabled them. Mr. Marshall said eNom told him it did so after a call from the Treasury Department; the company, based in Bellevue, Wash., says it learned that the sites were on the blacklist through a blog. Either way, there is no dispute that eNom shut down Mr. Marshall’s sites without notifying him and has refused to release the domain names to him. In effect, Mr. Marshall said, eNom has taken his property and interfered with his business. He has slowly rebuilt his Web business over the last several months, and now many of the same sites operate with the suffix .net rather than .com, through a European registrar. His servers, he said, have been in the Bahamas all along. Mr. Marshall said he did not understand “how Web sites owned by a British national operating via a Spanish travel agency can be affected by U.S. law.” Worse, he said, “these days not even a judge is required for the U.S. government to censor online materials.”"
Raúl Castro, Team Work and the Search for the Spirit of Capablanca - Cuba After Fidel - By Nelson P. Valdez 3/1/2008 Counterpunch: "José Ramón Machado Ventura, Carlos Lage and others will have a lot of work before them. All the talk about hardliners setting the tone of the new Raúl Castro administration is too simple and naive. In fact, the revolutionary regime confronts a variety of problems to address and as everyone in the leading positions acknowledges, it will be necessary to have diverse approaches depending on the difficulty to be solved and its complexity Raúl Castro has made clear, in numerous speeches, that his administration intends and will insist on airing differences and arriving at consensual decisions. That is neither the mentality nor approach of a phalanx of troglodytes. There is a collegial system in place. It will be further elaborated and institutionalized. The question, in the final analysis, is not what role each person plays, but in what direction the Cuban revolutionary state moves. Such tasks will not depend on just a few individuals but in their interconnections and effectiveness."
Cuba: Open-Armed Policy by Cindy Sheehan 3/1/2008 Global Research
Vatican: Cuba would swap dissidents for 5 U.S.-held spies 3/1/2008 McClatchy: "New Cuban leader Raul Castro would consider exchanging dissidents held in Cuban jails for five Cuban intelligence agents imprisoned in the United States as spies, a top Vatican official said in an interview."
‘We haven’t heard the last of Fidel’ 3/1/2008 SF Bay View: Willie Thompson reports on Fidel, Rev Lucius Walker
Venezuelan activist lectures on social issues 2/29/2008 Daily Collegian: ""I'm not Chavista, I'm not Bolivarian, I'm a revolutionary," Garcia said. According to Garcia, this social movement evolves around racial and economic inequality in Venezuela. "The problem of racism [in Venezuela] is that is under the veil of racial mixture," Garcia said. Education, according to Garcia, is the solution to the country's problems. That is why the Afro-Venezuelan movement has made it a priority to implement more African elements in the school curriculum. "We went to the ministry of education to demand our participation," Garcia said. These demands were discussed with Cuban instructors that came to Venezuela to implement a new school agenda. Garcia admitted that the Cuban instructors had strategies, methods and objectives that should be included in the Venezuelan school system. However, when the question about the content that should be taught came up, disagreements arose. "The Cubans thought the issue of racism should not be included," Garcia said. After a month and a half of deliberations, Garcia said that they had won their petition. Garcia expressed that the Afro-Venezuelan contributions needs to be included because, "[Professors] are the first reproducers of racism," according to Garcia. According to Garcia, one of the mistakes made during the Cuban revolution was ignoring of the racism issue."
Cuba: Vatican envoy says Raul Castro has promised more press freedom 2/27/2008 AKI, Italy
Cuban-Americans press Bush administration to indict Fidel Castro 2/27/2008 McClatchy: "In a case that puts the Bush administration in a legal dilemma, Cuban-American groups demanded Tuesday that the Justice Department indict Fidel Castro — who no longer enjoys immunity as head of state — for the 1996 downing of two airplanes over international waters."
Raúl Castro Hints at Change, but Cuba Remains Wary 2/27/2008 NYT: "Mr. Castro, who is 76 years old, is hardly a fresh face to Cubans, having served as the defense minister for the past half century. Many people doubt that he intends to upend his brother’s legacy. Yet he does seem inclined to govern more pragmatically than his more doctrinaire and romantic brother, who ran this country for 49 years as if it were his own business, signing off on almost every government decision. Raúl Castro has said the government needs to shrink and become more compact. He has promised “structural changes” and “big decisions.” “We have to make our government’s management more efficient,” he said Sunday, adding, “We have to plan well, and we cannot spend more than we have.”"
Seize moment in Cuba to change U.S. policy 2/27/2008 Oakland Tribune: by Congresswoman Barbara Lee - "On a visit to Cuba in January 2000 with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, I reached out to Cuba's government to create a program to provide free scholarships for American students to attend the Latin American Medical School in Cuba in exchange for a commitment by the students to work in medically-underserved communities in the U.S. We achieved this without spending a single dime of our tax dollars. Today over 100 students are enrolled at the medical school in Cuba. The success and growth of this scholarship program will also have a tremendous impact on the perceptions of countless Cuban people who will receive free medical care at the hands of American medical students and these students will share their understanding of the Cuban people when they return to fulfill their commitment here at home."
Washington v. Cuba After Castro 2/25/2008 Global Research
New Cuban leader adds military loyalists to his team 2/25/2008 McClatchy: "Cuba's new leader has placed two top army generals in key positions in his new government, giving the armed forces an even bigger grip on the civilian power structure. The country's National Assembly also filled the government's No. 2 position — first vice president of the ruling Council of State — with 77-year-old José Ramón Machado Ventura, regarded as a very hard-line communist ideologue. Retired CIA Cuba analyst Brian Latell said Sunday's changes in the Council of State — no doubt orchestrated by Raul Castro — resemble the Soviet Union in the early 1980s, when ``old men were replacing very old men.'' ''This is a gerontocracy,'' Latell added, noting that Castro's inner circle is now dominated by people well into their 70s. Only 56-year-old Carlos Lage, who has been supervising the economy, represents a younger generation in the upper echelon of power."
Serious legal questions loom for Posada 2/25/2008 Miami Herald: "Luis Posada Carriles, the anti-Castro Cuban militant, celebrated his 80th birthday this month at an undisclosed location in Miami, but many serious legal and political questions about his alleged crimes as a younger man still loom as large as ever. In New Jersey, Posada is the ''target'' of a federal grand jury investigation into the series of 1997 tourist-site bombings in Havana, his attorney Arturo Hernandez confirmed to The Miami Herald. Posada has long denied any involvement in the bombings. In Washington, Posada's alleged role in the bombing of a 1976 Cuban airliner that killed 73 people is being revisited by a Democratic lawmaker from Massachusetts who plans to hold congressional hearings on the matter in the spring. And Posada's immigration status remains an issue with the Justice Deparment, which is pressing its appeal of a Texas judge's decision to dismiss an indictment that charged the Cuban with lying about his 2005 entry into the United States."
The U.S. Should Consider Talking to Raul Castro, Sen. Biden Says 2/24/2008 ABC News: "ABC News' Mary Bruce Reports: Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., said this morning that the U.S. should consider opening relations with Cuba. When asked in an exclusive "This Week" interview if the U.S. should consider talking to Raul Castro, Biden explained "yes, probably. The end of the Castro era is in sight...so we should be preparing what that transition is going to look like." Fidel Castro's brother Raul is poised to take over as the head of the Cuban government today. "We should be taking independent moves now, from establishing mail service to allowing more frequent family members, et cetera, but not lifting the embargo until there is a response to political prisoners, all the things that are wrong with this Castro administration," Biden said."
When the Terrorists Were 'Our Guys' 2/22/2008 Consortium News: "Recently obtained internal FBI records and notes of a U.S. prosecutor involved in counter-terrorism cases make clear that the connections among Bush’s CIA, DINA and the Cuban Nationalist Movement (CNM) – which supplied the trigger men for the Letelier bombing – were closer than was understood at the time. DINA provided intelligence training for CNM terrorists who acted like a “sleeper cell” inside the United States; federal prosecutions of right-wing Cuban terrorists were routinely frustrated; and the CIA did all it could to cover for its anticommunist allies who were part of a broader international terror campaign called Operation Condor. Beginning in late 1975, Operation Condor -- named after Chile's national bird -- was a joint operation of right-wing South American military dictatorships, working closely with U.S.-based Cuban and other anticommunist extremists on cross-border assassinations of political dissidents as far away as Europe."
Republican McCain hopes Castro to 'meet Marx soon' 2/22/2008 Reuters
Clinton: Obama 'change you can Xerox' 2/21/2008 AP: "They disagreed on the proper response to a change in government in Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro's resignation. Clinton said she would refuse to sit down with incoming President Raul Castro until he implements political and economic reforms. Obama said he would meet "without preconditions," but added the U.S. agenda for such a session would include human rights in the Communist island nation."
US Awaits Its Own Transition to Review Cuba Policy 2/20/2008 AntiWar: "Despite Tuesday's historic announcement by President Fidel Castro that he is retiring from public office, U.S. citizens must await the departure of their own sitting president 11 months from now before Washington's nearly 50-year hostility toward the Caribbean island is likely to be reviewed. Even then, change is not guaranteed. That was the consensus of all Cuba analysts in Washington who rated the chances of any conciliatory gesture by the U.S. toward any new Cuban leader – and particularly one headed by Castro's brother Raul – while George W. Bush remains in office as virtually nil."
Four possible successors to Fidel Castro 2/20/2008 LA Times: Raoul Castro, Carlos Lage, Ricardo Alarcon, or Felipe Perez Roque.
Castro Circle Likely to Hold Power After His Resignation 2/20/2008 NYT: "Raúl Castro has talked about bringing more accountability to government and possibly working to improve relations with the United States. But since taking over temporarily in the summer of 2006, he has largely operated in his brother’s shadow, and, except for facilitating huge investments by Canadian and European resort developers here, he has brought about little change."
Dems: Be ready to respond to Cuba 2/19/2008 AP: "Current policy sets specific benchmarks that Cuba must meet, but Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. should think about responding if Cuba's new regime indicates even a willingness to change. Castro's brother Raul, who is likely to assume control on Sunday, has raised expectations for modest reforms since he took over as acting president last year. Obama went the furthest, saying: "If the Cuban leadership begins opening Cuba to meaningful democratic change, the United States must be prepared to begin taking steps to normalize relations and to ease the embargo of the last five decades," he said in a statement."
The Moment Has Come By FIDEL CASTRO 2/19/2008 Counterpunch
Castro: Made in America 2/19/2008 Guardian: "Guevara recounted how CIA operatives had taken advantage of Guatemala's political openness to bribe newspaper editors, encourage opposition groups and build influence within the armed forces. That led Guevara to a transcendent conclusion. It was not possible, he told Castro, to impose a reformist political programme in any Latin American country within the framework of democracy, because the US would crush it. The only way to do so, the two men agreed, was to establish a dictatorship in which no opposition groups were allowed to function. After Castro seized power in 1959, with Guevara at his side, this is the course on which he led Cuba. The repressive rule he imposed on Cubans sharply restricted their civic and political freedoms. It also made his long survival possible. The CIA coup in Guatemala was not the only American intervention that shaped Castro's worldview. Like countless Cubans over the span of two generations, his political consciousness was decisively influenced by the legacy of the Spanish-American war of 1898. Cuban revolutionaries welcomed American soldiers who came to help them in that war because the US Congress had promised that after Spanish rule over Cuba was ended, American troops would withdraw and "leave the government and control of the island to its people". Once the Spanish were defeated, however, the US changed its mind and decided to turn Cuba into a protectorate. Cuban patriots never forgot that betrayal."
U.S. Cuba policy could get new look 2/19/2008 USA Today: "But some in Congress, including members of both parties, say the change could represent an opportunity for progress on human rights in Cuba and that changes in U.S. policy and attitude could help bring about such a transition."
Cuba in Transition II 2/16/2008 Stabroek, Guynana: "Last week in Cuba, in a government-sponsored debate that touched mainly on social issues, but which was really very political, given the nature of the Cuban system, the Culture Minister, Abel Prieto, took the lead in voicing criticism of some of the controls imposed by the Communist regime. In calling for change, Mr Prieto went so far as to state his support for gay marriage, in a country notorious for repression of homosexuals."
The Uncertain Future of Cuba 2/14/2008 CubaNet, Miami
Desafíos de la problemática racial en Cuba 2/13/2008 Jiribilla: "La aparición del libro Desafíos de la problemática racial en Cuba (Fundación Fernando Ortiz, 2007), del economista y politólogo, Esteban Morales Domínguez, constituye de por sí un hecho trascendente dentro del campo de las Ciencias Sociales cubanas de hoy. El retraso de un estudio que, además de la perspectiva histórica, incluyera un análisis de la cuestión de la raza en la Cuba revolucionaria, ha postergado un debate que se ha realizado mayormente fuera de la Isla o hacia el interior de nuestra sociedad civil. Esta aproximación científica contribuye a legitimar la importancia de asumir el tema racial dentro de las agendas investigativas institucionales y dentro del diseño y puesta en práctica de las políticas sociales y culturales en el país."
Fidel Castro's "Life" - La Lucha Continua 2/12/2008 Counterpunch
Arbour sees 'unprecedented' commitment from Cuba on human rights 2/8/2008 Earth Times: "Cuba is showing "unprecedented positive engagement" with the United Nations in the field of human rights, the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said Friday. Speaking at the end of a 4-day visit to Mexico, Arbour told reporters that recent moves by Cuba were significant. She noted that Cuba invited the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Jean Ziegler last year, and that the communist island announced in December that it intends to sign international agreements on civil and political rights and on economic, social and cultural rights."
CIA continues to manage Miami terrorist groups 2/8/2008 Granma: ""The terrorist organizations in Miami intensified their operations against Cuba in the 1990's with attacks from the sea and hotel bombings, one of which killed an Italian tourist in 1997. These terrorist activities were violations of U.S. law, but U.S. law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, did not stop them," Agee said. "Why?" he asked, and then went on to explain, "In my opinion it's because the CIA has never ended its involvement with these terrorist groups. In Miami the Agency has close liaison with the FBI and local police, and all they have to do is ask for hands off these organizations and nothing will be done. For me there is no other explanation for the impunity with which these terrorists have broken U.S. law over so many years and continue to do so," Agee continued, citing the cases of Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles."
Cuban students speak out on the Internet 2/7/2008 UPI: "A video of Cuban students questioning a top government official about the communist island's repressive laws has attracted a wide audience on the Internet. ''I've never seen anything like that before,'' said Phil Peters, a Cuba expert with the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va., think-tank, The Miami Herald reported Thursday."
Hawks push to maintain embargo against Cuba 2/6/2008 Final Call: "Right-wing hawks are mobilizing against any possibility that Washington might ease its 46-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. Hawks are particularly concerned that the recent rise in realists’ influence over the Bush administration’s foreign policy might begin to affect U.S. policy toward the Caribbean nation."
Israel trades barbs with Cuba at UN 2/6/2008 Jerusalem Post: "Following a failed attempt by the Non-Aligned Movement to condemn Israel over the situation in the Gaza Strip last week, the Israeli Mission to the United Nations, encouraged by the subtle victory, has continued to stake out the country's right to defend itself in a series of exchanges with the permanent representative of Cuba to the UN."
New book focuses on racial issues in Cuba - Its author, Esteban Morales, scrutinizes the topic of race relations in the island from colonial times to present day. 2/4/2008 Cuba Now: "Economist, political scientist and essayist Esteban Morales Domínguez has repeatedly stated, in several articles and interviews, that lack of cultural knowledge and ignorance, among other factors, have played an important role in helping silencing and omitting racial issues in Cuba, rendering the topic unworthy of public debate. The publication of his book, Challenges posed by racial issues in Cuba, recently launched at Fernando Ortiz Foundation in downtown Havana, has opened one more space to fight back apathy and indifference, thus promoting awareness among those who still consider that the Negro issue does not call for assessments or scrutiny."
Felipe Perez Roque Admits that the Dual Monetary System is Unjust 1/24/2008 CubaNet, Miami: "The Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations, Felipe Pérez Roque, stated in front of some 60 people that the circulation of the two types of currency on the island prevents citizens from acquiring basic necessities. The encounter took place in the neighborhood, El Moro, in the municipality Arroyo Naranjo, with the objective of motivating the locals to exercise a united vote in the elections of January 20th that turned into an event where the Foreign Secretary made his critical statements about the problematic nature of having the dual monetary system in the country. “The dual monetary system is unjust because it makes it so that those who don’t have access to foreign currencies can not afford to buy articles of basic necessity, because the salaries have not risen to meet people’s expenses…and that it causes nutrition and housing problems amongst other things” states Pérez Roque."
US Remains Cuba's Top Food Supplier 1/21/2008 AP: "The United States remained Cuba's main supplier of food and farm products in 2007, selling the communist-run island more than $600 million in agricultural exports despite its trade embargo, a top official said Monday. Cuba imported roughly the same amount of agricultural products as it did in 2006, but rising production and transportation costs forced it to spend $30 million more than the $570 million it paid two years ago for the same goods, said Pedro Alvarez, chairman of Cuba's food import company Alimport."
The Coddled "Terrorists" of South Florida 1/19/2008 Salon: "We have what it takes," Bacallao adds, extending his hands as if he were holding a couple of melons. "Cojones."
Miami: terrorists provoke aggression against pacifists demanding Posada’s arrest 1/14/2008 Granma
Apparent Calm 1/11/2008 CubaNet
Renegade CIA agent Agee dies 1/9/2008 Guardian
Medical School Scholarship Program at the Latin American School of Medical Sciences, Havana, Cuba 1/5/2008 IFCO
Bamby C4, New Film about International Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles 12/28/2007 Cuba Now: "A new film exposing some of the criminal actions, the personality and life of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is in its final production stage in Cuba. Bamby C-4 is the title of the movie, which was shot in Cuban and Venezuelan localities. It reveals aspects of the youth and old age of the renowned criminal, author of among other violent actions of the 1976 bombing in mid air of a Cubana airliner, off the coast of Barbados and which claimed 73 innocent lives."
Castro Set to Run Again, Brother Says 12/25/2007 AP
A Cuban Is at Home in Two Worlds 12/24/2007 AP: HAVANA - ""It's always been up to me to be critical. I've always been with the opposition, not with one government or the other," says Lesnik, a Cuban revolutionary-turned-South Florida radio commentator, in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't talk out of both sides of my mouth," he adds. "What I say here, I say in Miami. What I say in Miami, I say here." "
Barbie 'boasted of hunting down Che' 12/23/2007 Observer: "The evidence appears inconclusive, but Macdonald, who won an Academy Award for One Day in September, about the killing of Israeli athletes by the Palestinian group Black September at the 1972 Munich Olympics, told The Observer: 'The Che claim came from several sources. I think it makes total sense when you understand what Barbie was doing and who he was working for in the Bolivian military, and how they admired him as a Nazi officer and what he had done in the war. Jean Moulin was an infamous episode, and he would trade on it and use that as part of his calling card.' Macdonald, whose film will be broadcast on More4 on Thursday at 9pm, added: 'Guevara arrived in Bolivia in disguise - very much like the French Resistance, constantly in disguise, travelling around the country unspotted by the Germans. I suspect Barbie's involvement was more on a theoretical level and, if you think about it, it makes sense from the point of view of the Bolivian government and the Americans. He had hands-on expertise in exactly this type of situation, exactly this field. He was strongly anti-communist. Neither the Americans nor the Bolivians had anything like this kind of experience.'"
Chavez Presides Over Oil Summit in Cuba 12/21/2007 AP: Providing fuel in return for locally produced goods or services has been an option for some time under Venezuela's current Petrocaribe pact, which supplies oil to the region through long-term, low interest financing. But it is unclear how many countries other than Cuba have taken up the offer. Chavez also called for creating an international fund to promote solar, wind, geothermal and other alternative energy sources. "Despite the Yankees, our gas is at the service of Venezuela first, and next to our brothers in the Caribbean," Chavez said in a reference to the United States. Later, Chavez oversaw the reopening of an oil refinery renovated with his country's help. The Camilo Cienfuegos refinery was renovated in 18 months after standing idle more than a decade following the Soviet Union's collapse… Presidents Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Rene Preval of Haiti and Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic were attending the summit as well as the leaders of Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominca, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Jamaica."
New JCS Documents on Cuba and Vietnam 12/16/2007 Mary Ferrell Foundation
End failed trade ban with Cuba 12/14/2007 Times Union: by Tonyaa Weathersbee - ""When I approached this solid waste dump, I couldn't even smell it," said Alberto Jones, who is a native of Guantanamo and vice president of the friendship association. "It was like a botanical garden ... the air quality has improved in that area tremendously." "When I met this lady [Garcia], I said to Soledad: 'She ought to be a CNN hero,' " Weeks told me. So Weeks nominated Garcia. And she won. The living room erupted into cheers. Then came the rude interruption. Actress Rosario Dawson announced that because of travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba, Garcia couldn't come to New York to pick up her $10,000 prize. Jones had to accept it on her behalf. Such craziness ought to make more Americans want to step up - and push for an end to the failed embargo and travel ban."
More than 500 U.S. artists and academics demand an end to the blockade 12/13/2007 Granma
Huckabee does a flip-flop on Cuba 12/11/2007 LA Times: "As governor of Arkansas five years ago, Mike Huckabee joined a bipartisan chorus of politicians who concluded that the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba was bad for businesses. Now that he's a top-tier candidate for president, Huckabee has decided he favors the embargo -- so much so that he vowed Monday to outdo even President Bush in strangling the regime of Cuban President Fidel Castro and punishing those who do business there. It was a change of heart sure to please hard-liners among the Cuban exiles who could make up 10% or more of the electorate in Florida's crucial Jan. 29 Republican primary. But it also reflected the latest move by a once-obscure candidate now grappling with how to transform a burst of momentum into a sustainable bid for the White House."
Antonio Maceo: The Bronze Titan 12/10/2007 Granma: by Fidel Castro
Candidates target Castros for indictment 12/10/2007 Miami Herald: "The frustration of Miami exiles over the Cuban government's downing of two Brothers to the Rescue planes more than a decade ago has now filtered into the presidential race, with top GOP candidates calling for the indictment of Fidel and Raúl Castro. While stumping through South Florida, three Republican candidates have brought up the Brothers tragedy, and at least two have pledged to hold the Castro brothers responsible for the 1996 shoot-down by Cuban MiGs that killed four Miami-based fliers. The candidates' interest in the shoot-down may be an indication of the advice they're receiving from key Cuban-American leaders. Among Sen. John McCain's supporters are U.S. Reps. Mario and Lincoln Díaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, all of Miami. In the past, she has brought up the possibility of indictments with President Bush. ''I talked to McCain about this specific recommendation, and he said yes, that as president he would . . . ask the Justice Department to begin a legal inquiry into the illegal shoot-down,'' Ros-Lehtinen said Monday."
‘Intellectuals are revolutionaries who criticize and think with their own heads’ 12/6/2007 Progresso
Attacking Tonyaa Weathersbee 12/2/2007 AfroCubaWeb: "Tonyaa Weathersbee is a columnist for the Florida Times Union out of Jacksonville. A member of the prestigious Trotter Group of African American columnists in the US, she has maintained an interest in Cuba and issues of race & identity there. In September, 2007, Tonyaa Weathersbee wrote an article about a recent trip she took to Cuba, One Race, Two Countries. A group of 4 Cuban Americans attacked her for this article in a letter to the editor, Cuba is no paradise for blacks, 11/07, citing a few myths that are common among Cuban Americans. AfroCubaWeb columnist Alberto Jones comments on this attack in A Failed Revisionist attempt To Mask Cuba’s Tragic History, 11/07."
Cuba is no paradise for blacks 11/29/2007 Florida Times Union
UN praises Cuba's ability to feed people 11/14/2007 AP: "A U.N. food expert hailed Cuba as a world model in feeding its population, some 18 years after the collapse of the Soviet Bloc ravaged the island's economy and sparked widespread hunger. Jean Ziegler, who has been the United Nations' independent investigator on "the right to food" since 2000, spent 11 days in Cuba on a fact-finding mission, meeting with top officials and chatting up farmers, state managers and ordinary Cubans waiting in line for food allotted by ration cards. "We haven't seen even one malnourished person" - a rare feat in much of poverty-stricken Latin America, Ziegler said Tuesday. "The right to being fed is the priority, without a doubt.""
For U.S. Exporters in Cuba, Business Trumps Politics 11/11/2007 NYT: "Asked the obvious question about whether longstanding American trade sanctions should be lifted, Governor Heineman ducked and weaved like a professional boxer. “Well, I try not to get into that, because that’s up to the president and the Congress, but I will say expanding trade relationships is good for Nebraska and altogether good for America,” he said."
Racismo, totalitarismo y democracia 11/9/2007 Encuentro: de Enrique Patterson - "Recientemente, La Jiribilla, publicación cultural online del régimen, publicó el artículo "El tema racial y la subversión", firmado por el Dr. Esteban Morales. Más allá de las omisiones, mentiras y descalificaciones (entre ellas, la demonización de quien escribe), resulta interesante el intento de re-abordar ¡por fin! el tema racial, aunque sea desde los paradigmas de las ya desgastadas ideología y práctica "revolucionarias". El reconocimiento, leve y tangencial, de los descalabros del régimen a la hora de lidiar con la tradición racista y discriminatoria indica la dificultad del poder para seguir negando la existencia de semejante flagelo en el seno del llamado régimen "socialista"."
Recovery begins in Cuba’s eastern provinces 11/9/2007 Granma: "SPECIAL teams from the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources (INRH) began mounting the new water pipeline for Santiago de Cuba as part of works underway there to improve this service, and that because of the rains was seriously affected several times."
"About That Trip to Cuba ... " - When the FBI Came Calling 11/5/2007 Counterpunch: [published 10/06, still topical] - "What Agent Montiga claimed over and over again was just a talk between the two of us "more as friends really," to give me information, and help me out, quickly turned into two and a half hours of mostly being questioned by her boss, Fred Buckley. Special Agent Buckley, they made sure to tell me a number of times throughout the conversation, had been involved in the investigation and eventual prosecution of Ana Belen Montes, a Cuban spy who'd infiltrated the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and sentenced to 25 years in prison. They didn't want to see anything like that happen to me, they claimed. Not that they were suspecting me of anything, they just wanted to warn me what my work on Cuba could lead to if I wasn't careful about who I worked with. The agents told me that students like myself, were exactly what the Cuban government was looking for."
Seeing the people, not Cold War politics 11/5/2007 Florida Times-Union: by Tonyaa Weathersbee, a member of the Trotter Group, an association of Black US columnists. This article discusses Alberto Jones, whose columns appear on AfroCubaWeb.
Struggling for Relevance in Cuba: Still No Cigars 10/30/2007 AntiWar: "The irony of supposed free-marketeers inducing communists to freedom with government handouts should not be missed. We call for a free and private press in Cuba while our attempts to propagandize Cubans through the U.S.-government-run Radio/TV Marti have wasted $600 million in American taxpayer dollars."
Cuba, Claims and Confiscations 10/29/2007 Iraq War: "In 2005, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Creighton University a $750,000 contract to study how to collect on claims against the Cuban government for property confiscations, most of which were carried out in 1959 and 1960. The resulting report, issued in October, reinforces the suspicion that the claims were never meant to be resolved but simply added to the store of weapons useful for the giant Cuban makeover that is supposed to happen after the death of Fidel Castro. The report is also likely to be soon forgotten. Even USAID appears not to take the study seriously since it cut the project from two years to one and halved its budget. But no matter, the report is not worth the money. To begin with, it lists as its outside advisors five organizations of dubious acquaintance with objectivity on Cuban issues. They are, the US military (Southern Command) and four anti-Castro NGOs: the Cuban American Bar Association; the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy; the Cuba Study Group; and the Cuba Transition Project, another recipient of USAID money."
Venezuela’s debt to Cuba 10/28/2007 Global Research: "Chávez personally responded to these attacks during his television program “Aló, Presidente” on September 30, 2007. According to him, the debt that Venezuelans have incurred with Cuba is much greater than the fuel assistance provided to the island. “Those who [...] accuse me of giving away fuel to Cuba [are] foolish. If the account were tallied, bolívar for bolívar, cent for cent ...” the president recalled that 30 thousand Cuban doctors have been working in the country on a free and volunteer basis for more than five years. He confirmed that Cuban professionals have saved more lives in those five years than Venezuelan doctors have throughout the entire medical history of Venezuela. “This has no price,” he emphasized. “What is worth more in objective value, the barrels of oil that we sell to Cuba or this?” he asked (2)."
Bush lashes out at unfazed Cuba 10/25/2007 ABC: ""I think the rest of the world is engaged with Cuba, probing to see what's going on there, to figure out the big question of the day, which is how is Raul going to govern, how is Raul Castro going to govern Cuba," he said. "And the administration has really been sidelined, expecting that some kind of political change would have occurred, first when Fidel Castro left power, and then looking ahead to when he would die. "I think the administration is looking for a more active posture, rather something more than simply waiting for Fidel Castro to die." Mr Peters says he does not expect Fidel Castro to ever take back the reigns of power in Cuba. "I would think that Raul Castro is going to reform the economy," he said. "He's done so much to raise expectations in Cuba, through his words and through some initial steps, and also by forcing a debate about the economy and economic change, all the way to the grassroots."
Empty rhetoric on Cuba 10/25/2007 Berkshire Eagle: "What the United States needs to do in terms of Cuba is close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp that costs us so much moral authority. Alleged terrorists should be tried in America under the American system of justice. And we must finally end the economic embargo that has propped up Mr. Castro through 10 presidents, including the current lame duck, and punished the Cuban people. To accomplish these two tasks, however, will require a wise regime change here at home."
Europe Split Over Cuba 10/25/2007 Crosswalk: "In 2003, the European Union (E.U.), prompted by Spain -- Cuba's 19th century colonial ruler -- imposed diplomatic sanctions after the regime arrested 75 prominent dissidents, put them on trial and sentenced them to lengthy prison terms. The E.U. also agreed to support Cuban dissidents by inviting them to functions at E.U. member states' diplomatic missions in Havana. President Fidel Castro in turn froze ties with the embassies. Among the most enthusiastic supporters of the sanctions were the former Warsaw Pact countries who joined the E.U. in 2004. But E.U. consensus quickly crumbled. Spain's conservative government was replaced by a socialist one under Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who spearheaded efforts to repair the severed ties with Cuba. The sanctions were eased in January 2005, and Zapatero also pushed for E.U. member states to stop inviting dissidents to their embassy receptions, arguing that this would help to ease tensions further. The Czech government put its foot down, calling the proposal "unacceptable." Former President Vaclav Havel -- himself a former dissident -- accused the E.U. of "dancing to Fidel Castro's tune" and slammed "the idea that evil must be appeased.""
Venezuela Warns U.S. that "Cuba is Not Alone" 10/25/2007 Venezuela Analysis: ""He spoke like an imperialist and a colonialist," said Venezuelan parliamentarian Saul Ortega about Bush's statements. Ortega assured that the reaction to these threats will be increased unity among the people of Latin America. "In response we have to close ranks in defense of the principles of sovereignty and self-determination," he said. Vice-foreign minister Rodolfo Sanz assured that the United States was making a mistake with their statements towards Cuba and maintained that the "times have changed." "We aren't going to sit here with our arms crossed before some diabolic adventure," he said. Sanz assured that the Cuban people can count on support from nations like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, among others, stating that "Cuba is not alone." "
Cuban Exiles Have Mixed Emotions About Bush Speech 10/25/2007 VOA: "Uva de Aragon, associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, was not impressed with the package because, she says, Cuban officials are unlikely to allow its implementation. She says Washington should instead focus on areas where it can have a real impact, such as ending restrictions that bar scholars and Cuban exiles in the United States from traveling to the island. "We should do more for having students go there [to Cuba] and having professors go there and having family go there because they also take information," said Uva de Aragon. De Aragon said that loosening the decades-old embargo may help encourage democratic and free-market reforms in Cuba, and weaken the government's hold on power. But she says the embargo remains a controversial topic in the Cuban exile community and will likely remain a part of U.S. policy as long as the Castro regime remains in power."
Bush Touts Cuban Life After Castro 10/24/2007 AP: "Bush's speech drew praise for its aims but criticism, too, on grounds that he hadn't offered much new. Bush proposed the offer of expanded Internet access to Cuban students, and an invitation to Cuban youth to join a scholarship program. He also called on the creation of the international fund, built on foreign donations, to help Cuba build a free-market society one day. Vicki Huddleston, who served as the top U.S. diplomat in Havana under Presidents Clinton and Bush, said continuing to isolate Cuba will not work. "The president, in his commendable desire to make Cuba free, has unwittingly made it more likely that both Raul and Fidel will celebrate the revolution's 50th anniversary in January 2009," Huddleston said. "And Fidel — aging and infirm — will probably be around to celebrate having outmaneuvered two Bush administrations and 10 American presidents." Lawmakers of both parties have proposed easing the trade and travel restrictions, which they claim have done little good; Bush says doing so would only strengthen a dictatorship. Over the years, the U.S. government has spent many millions of dollars to support Cuba's opposition, with much of the funds never directly reaching the dissidents on the island and instead winding up funding opposition support organizations in Miami and Washington. Meanwhile, Castro has become a model for a growing left-wing movement in Latin America, most notably in Venezuela and Bolivia."
Bush offers oddly timed attack on Castros 10/24/2007 IHT: "But Cuba specialists said the president's warning seemed oddly timed and his analysis outdated, part of a policy with dwindling domestic support that is meant to isolate Cuba but that increasingly leaves the United States as the international odd man out… Analysts said, however, that Raúl Castro has established his hold on power and has taken moves to open the Cuban economy and at least listen to public concerns. With the political transition under way in Havana, and other countries exploring new relations with the island, U.S. policy looks increasingly anachronistic, they said. "Our policy really is one of utter sterility," said Wayne Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a onetime chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. "We warn the Cubans not to go for transition but it has already happened, and short of some kind of massive military action, which we're in no position to take, there's nothing that we can do.""
Acerca del negro en Cuba: logros y quimeras 10/24/2007 LASA: PDF, published in 2000.
The Open Wound: The Scourge of Racism in Cuba from Colonialism to Communism (Perfect Paperback), Arawak publications; 1st edition (April 18, 2007), 248p by Iván César Martínez 10/17/2007 AfroCubaWeb: "The chapters of The Open Wound follow a historical sequence tracing the devastating effects produced by this ideological political system on the psyche, the habits, the cultural and aesthetic values, the patriotic and revolutionary behaviors and the material life of the Cuban people. The work aims to demonstrate how for five centuries Cuba s darker-skinned population have not achieved real freedom, and to explain why the different moments in this long period -- colonialism and slavery; abolitionist period with colonial rule; republican-subordinated independent era; anti-democratic dependent regimes; and the period of communism or totalitarian socialism -- have not been able to solve the race-color problem so entrenched in the Cuban elite ideology of White supremacy. The work is also intended to serve as a tool to eradicate this terrible scourge by demystifying the so-called color-blindness of Cuban society and showing clearly the existence of a hierarchical color-structure of power that has never changed and that keeps the majority of the population -- Cubans that have been sentenced for the crime of having been born with a darker skin color -- at the bottom of the society, permanently excluded and reined in."
Black Cubans are still faced with racism 10/15/2007 Dallas Morning News: published 9/98 - "What the two stories illustrate, say Cuban authorities, is that while Mr. Castro and his government greatly improved the lives of blacks by ending official discrimination, informal racism survives in this heavily black nation. Only now, they say, is the mostly white Cuban leadership coming to grips with that reality. A special commission is assessing the problem. "There is no official racism here anymore," said Mr. Adlum, a retired diplomat. "But there is still a culture of racism. The mistake was to think that just by having everyone integrated, racism would fade away.""
Tourism and the Negrificación of Cuban Identity 10/15/2007 Transforming Anthropology: published 10/06
U.S. Plan for Airline Security Meets Resistance in Canada 10/13/2007 NYT: ""Either the United States places no value whatsoever in the Canadian list, which it helped develop, or I have to suspect what's going on here is a pure and simple data-fishing exercise," Mr. Gaspar said. Among other things, he speculated that the data could be used by American authorities to track Americans who violated the trade embargo against Cuba by flying there on Canadian airlines."
Cuba has given us medical help for decades 10/13/2007 Stabroek News, Guyana: "Over the years Cuba has increased its support. They are helping us in the construction of diagnostic centres, which I understand they will staff. They are training hundreds of students, mainly from poor families, most of them in medicine. Despite this sustained support by Cuba the media has never given it half the publicity as it has done the US one off help. I for one would like to say a big "Thank You" to Cuba for staying with us for approximately three decades."
Cuba to screen anti-terrorist film 10/11/2007 Cuba News Headlines: "Directed by Italian Angelo Rizzo, the film is based on events in the Island from April 12 to September 4, one of which caused the death of young Italian tourist Fabio di Celmo."
Cuban migrants have it easier on U.S.-Mexico border 10/11/2007 Reuters: "Unlike migrants from across Latin America who trek through deserts and mountains to enter the United States, Cubans only have to show up and request political asylum to be allowed in. With the U.S. Coast Guard stemming the flow of Cubans across the Florida Straits, record numbers now head for Mexico and then travel overland to the U.S. border on routes used by hundreds of thousands of other Hispanic immigrants a year. Some 11,500 Cubans arrived in the United States this way in the last 12 months, mainly through Texas, almost twice as many as in 2005, U.S. government statistics show."
Che lives -- by Pepe Escobar 10/10/2007 Asian Times: "Former soldier Mario Teran, the man who killed Che, lives in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, anonymous and dirt poor. He used to be blind because he was unable to finance a cataract operation. Cuban doctors have operated on 600,000 people in 28 countries, free of charge. Including 110,000 Bolivians and Teran. The full story of how he was cured by doctors sent by Fidel Castro was revealed to a Bolivian newspaper over a year ago by Teran's son."
2 to be sentenced for Cuba travel ban violation 10/10/2007 Miami Herald: "Vazquez, who had obtained five such licenses illegally, profited by selling his permits to thousands of Cuban Americans seeking to dodge restrictions that became even tighter under the Bush administration. Last month, a court presentencing report said Vazquez sold the use of his licenses to 6,500 travelers -- estimating the government's ''loss'' and his ''gain'' at $975,000. His attorney, Celeste Higgins, called it a ''reckless estimate.'' She said the government suffered no loss and Vazquez pocketed between $120,000 and $400,000, citing his plea deal. Vazquez and Margolis, who recently pleaded guilty, will be sentenced Friday and Monday, respectively, in Miami federal court. Vazquez could face up to three years in prison for conspiring to defraud the U.S. government. Margolis, convicted of a lesser charge of filing a false government application, faces up to six months but could get probation. The year-long investigation -- which also led to the conviction of Vazquez's ex-wife and a Hialeah travel agent -- revealed a profitable scheme that allowed thousands of Cuban Americans to shuttle to and from the island. It has spawned other investigations by a U.S. attorney's task force targeting violators of the trade embargo against Cuba."
Blogging from Havana, secretly 10/10/2007 Reuters
'We could have saved Che' from execution, says ex-CIA operative 10/9/2007 Independent: "It was also the job of Rodriguez at the time to ensure that Che was kept alive and transported to Panama, where he would face interrogation by his American colleagues. In the interview, he explains how he was overruled during a phone call to the jungle encampment from Bolivia's military high command."
Hillary's Infidelity 10/9/2007 Village Voice: "Obama's strategy makes her spurn Bill's Cuban advances and embrace Bush and the GOP's anti-Castro right."
The Economic Sanctions Against Cuba: the Failure of a Cruel and Irrational Policy 10/8/2007 Global Research
28 dead in Cuba as train slams into bus 10/6/2007 AFP: "The accident took place when a train that left from Cuba's second city, Santiago, headed for Manzanillo, in Granma province. It slammed into the bus at a crossing in Yara, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) southeast off Havana, the report said."
Cubans tout street democracy 10/6/2007 USA Today
Entrevista con Eugène Godfried: Una llamada para el dialogo sobre la masacre de 1912 10/5/2007 AfroCubaWeb: con comentarios de Osvaldo Cárdenas, antiguo jefe del Seccion del Caribe del Departamento de las Americas del Comite Central.
Interview with Eugène Godfried: Call for dialog on the 1912 Massacre 10/5/2007 AfroCubaWeb: with comments by Osvaldo Cárdenas, former head of the Caribbean Section of the Department of the Americas of the Central Committee.
LOS RAPEROS: RAP, RACE, AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION IN CONTEMPORARY CUBA 10/5/2007 University of Texas: published in 2004 - "This dissertation explores the emergent movimiento de hip hop cubano (the Cuban hip hop movement) as a critical site to examine the interplay of race and social transformation in contemporary Cuba. Following Cuba’s post-1990 economic crisis know as the “special period,” the ethnographic investigation centers on the ways young Afro-Cubans are utilizing the expressive cultural space of rap music and broader hip hop “culture” to performatively fashion new kinds of transnationally engaged black identity and related race-based social critique. The author suggest that through such transnationally informed identity processes a new generation of Afro-Cuban youth are positioning themselves in strategic response to the shifting dynamics of race and class in a socialist Cuba increasingly shaped by the interpenetration of global capital and related free-market transformations. In a post-“utopian” Cuba characterized by economic dollarization, expanding tourism, rising social stratification, and – significantly – resurgent levels of racial inequality, the author’s analysis seeks to understand how these emergent subjectivities and the social critiques they invoke pose challenges to, as well as contribute to a current reconfiguring of nationally-bounded constructions of race and corresponding ideologies of national non-racialism. He additionally draws attention to the evolving negotiated relationship between Cuban hip hop as a new, potentially oppositional identity-based social phenomenon, and the Cuban state as it attempts to institutionalize hip hop within a prescriptive, socially homogenizing frame of revolutionary national culture. In turn, Cuban rap has come to occupy a unique site of racially-positioned critique within revolutionary Cuba, serving as a key actor in an evolving black public sphere predicated on the assertion of black political difference within a previously configured non-racial Cuban national imaginary. The author proposes that Cuban hip hop in this capacity represents a critical manifestation of, as well as an active social agent within the shifting transnational complexities of national racial formation in Cuba today."
Cuba: Raza y República 10/3/2007 Jiribilla
Foreign-flagged vessel, crew can’t cross from Cuba to the U.S.? Show us where it’s written 10/2/2007 Triton-Megayatch: "If you can find for me – in writing with the U.S. Treasury Department or somewhere in Washington – proof that it is illegal, not allowed or even not advised for a non-U.S.-flagged yacht with non-U.S. personnel onboard to leave U.S. waters (Key West) directly for Havana (Marina Hemingway) and return to the same departure port, reporting in as required to the 800 number, then I will present you with a bottle of champagne at the Monaco Yacht Show. The Customs and Border Protection guys I contacted produced a document applicable to U.S.-flagged boats and U.S. residents only. A week’s worth of phone calls to Washington received no call backs. I look to your superior connections to find this document, which I’m sure must exist. We were threatened with dire straits the next time we considered doing the direct route, but when confronted with the fact that nowhere was it in writing, they became overbearing and unpleasant."
Tourism reviving racism in Cuba 10/1/2007 Chicago Tribune: published 5/18/01, still topical!
Cuba, the Melting Pot 10/1/2007 Morning Star: "PEDRO-PEREZ Sarduy remembers the day in 1959 when Che Guevara came to the central square of his home town Santa Clara. "The square was packed," he relates. "We were all excited and avid to see and hear this hero of the revolution. At the front of the crowd were the white Cubans, behind them were the mixed race people and the blacks stood at the back. That's the way things were." "
Cuba’s Racial Democracy: What Now? 10/1/2007 New School: by Alejandro de la Fuente
Venezuela-Cuba cable set for 2009 10/1/2007 Telegeography: "State-owned telco Telecom Venezuela (formerly CVG Telecom) and Cuban telco Transbit have revealed a plan to create a joint venture before the end of the year to build an undersea fibre-optic cable connecting the two countries, reports BNamericas, which quotes Telecom Venezuela president Julio Duran as saying that the network could be ready in 18 months from the creation of the venture - around mid-2009. The planned cable would run an estimated 1,552km from La Guaira, Vargas state, in northern Venezuela to Siboney in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, and support 20 million simultaneous voice calls."
Does Google censor Cuba? 10/1/2007 The Nation: scroll down for the entire article
|Guerrillero»||«Pinar del Río|
|El Habanero»||«La Habana|
|Tribuna de La Habana»||«Ciudad de La Habana|
|5 de Septiembre»||«Cienfuegos|
|Invasor»||«Ciego de Ávila|
|Sierra Maestra»||«Santiago de Cuba|
|Victoria»||«Isla de la Juventud|
Emisoras de Radio Nacionales
Emisoras de Radio Provinciales
Revistas y otras publicaciones
|Prisma||Negocios en Cuba|
|Alma Mater||Caimán Barbudo|
|La Gaceta de Cuba||Zunzún|
|Avances Médicos de Cuba||Travel Trade Cuba|
|Somos Jóvenes||Opus Habana|
|Revolución y Cultura||Cuba Internacional|
|Ciencias de la Información||Salsa Cubana|
|Sitio de Elián||Cuba demanda|
|Cuba contra el bloqueo||CubAhora|
|Sitio del Ajedrez en Cuba||Marinas Puertosol|
|Directorio Turístico de Cuba||Ballet Nacional de Cuba|
|Casa de las Américas|
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