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Castro says Spain's Aznar sought to bomb Serb media 9/30/2007 Reuters
Cuba releases 40 dissidents: opposition 9/28/2007 AFP
Cuba detains at least 21 dissidents 9/28/2007 Herald Sun, Australia
Eugene Godfried Calls on Fidel Castro for Reflection and Action concerning the 1912 Massacre: YouTube Video 9/26/2007 AfroCubaWeb
English translation of the Aznar-Bush transcript 9/26/2007 El Pais: Fidel Castro referred to this interchange.
Guerra de Razas (Negros contra blancos en Cuba), 9/25/2007 AfroCubaWeb: published in 1912, this is a free PDF download - "Written during and right after the 1912 Massacre by reporters "embedded" with the Cuban Army, this piece of propaganda informs the public about the noble campaign against the "racist revolution."
The Epilog contains a list of those who partook of the Banquet celebrating the victory in Parque Central, la Habana, under the statue of Jose Marti, whose son, "Coronel Jose Martí y Zayas-Bazán," was one of the presiding Jefes."
Los Independientes de Color, Habana, 1950, de Serafin Portuondo Linares 9/25/2007 AfroCubaWeb: rare and classic text available as a free PDF download - "Linares was a member of the Communist Party and was roundly criticized by his party upon publication for not following a Marxist class analysis. Instead he analyzed the event as a racist slaughter, basing himself on primary sources. The Communist Party organ, Fundamentos, blamed the US and also the Independientes themselves whom it categorized as petty bourgeois and anarchists."
The Discourse on Racism in Anti-Castro Publications, 9/07 9/22/2007 AfroCubaWeb: "Here we track issues of race and identity in the anti-castro groups based primarily out of Miami."
Cuba to Defend Cultural Diversity at Ministerial Meeting in Spain 9/20/2007 AIN
Cuba Embargo Issue Goes to the U.N. - General Assembly Will Consider Legality of U.S. Sanctions Against Cuba 9/19/2007 ABC: "Perez Rogue, speaking at a Havana news conference, said the Bush administration had "furiously" increased enforcement of the sanctions, even though the General Assembly had voted 183-4 last year that the embargo was illegal and should be lifted.
The Cuban report to the United Nations on the embargo's impact over the last year lists dozens of incidents, ranging from unfair sanctions on third-country companies to the denial of visas to a children's theater troupe and to a handicapped sports group that wanted to attend an event in Argentina.
"The last year saw an unprecedented application of sanctions," Perez Rogue said. "We are at the moment when the blockade is at its most ferocious as part of the Bush administration's regime-change policy." "
Cuba at the Crossroads 9/17/2007 Heritage Foundation: [By Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank.] "And another thing, too, the promises of the so-called revolution; in a country where there is such a large population of Afro-Cubans, you don't see Afro-Cubans in the leadership ranks of the so-called revolution. You just don't see it. "What happened to racial equality?" "
Castro Did It - Again 9/13/2007 JFK Accountability: published 1/06 - by Peter Dale Scott and Rex Bradford
Afro-Cuban Identity in Pre-Revolutionary Cuba: The Dynamic Ethnie 9/10/2007 College of William and Mary Monitor: published in 2001
Americans break the law to visit Cuba - Thousands flout U.S. travel ban to see 'forbidden treasure' 9/10/2007 MSNBC: "The U.S. Treasury Department issued 40,308 licenses for family travel last year, almost all to Cuban Americans, and the Cuban government counts these travelers as Cubans, not Americans.
Separately, Cuba said 20,100 Americans visited the country through June of this year, almost all presumably without U.S. permission.
Other than family members, the U.S. government granted permission 491 times for people involved in religious, educational and humanitarian projects. Some other Americans — including journalists and politicians — can come without licenses, though few do.
Cuba said about 37,000 Americans not of Cuban origin came in 2006 — down from the more than 84,500 it reported in 2003, before the latest restrictions."
Cuba, a Rebel Group’s Birthplace, Becomes a Refuge 9/9/2007 NYT: "In this largely threadbare city, away from the threat of assassination or even random crime, the relative luxury the E.L.N.’s leaders experience speaks volumes about how much has changed in Colombia and Cuba — and perhaps how much they themselves have changed. Relations between Colombia, led by a conservative government, and Cuba are warming despite their very different political philosophies.
And after years of isolation and conflict, the rebels seem content, once the day’s negotiations have ended, to visit this city’s jazz clubs or stroll along the seawall without having to look over their shoulders.
The E.L.N.’s leaders, including Mr. Beltrán and Mr. Galán, are mainly men in their 50s who have spent their adult lives entangled in war, in mountain encampments or in prison cells. Mr. Galán, whose real name is Gerardo Antonio Bermúdez, travels here from Medellín, where he has been living since his recent release from prison.
Mr. Beltrán, who was born Israel Ramírez Pineda, travels from rebel camps in the border region between Venezuela and Colombia. Juan Carlos Cuéllar, another E.L.N. commander at the negotiating table, comes on furlough from his prison cell on the outskirts of Medellín."
El tema racial y la subversión anticubana 9/9/2007 Rebelion: "En esta tarea de manipular el tema racial en Cuba como objeto de subversión política, están vinculados individuos como Enrique Patterson, quien relaciona el tema con los asuntos de la gobernabilidad o del potencial político contestatario, que según este individuo está presente en la población no blanca en Cuba.
Enrique Patterson fue profesor de Filosofía en el Dpto. de Marxismo Leninismo de la Universidad de La Habana. Abandonó el país en 1990 y reapareció poco después en el Congreso de LASA en Washington, haciéndose acompañar de dos funcionarios, al parecer, del Dpto. de Estado. No resultando difícil inferir quien pagaba sus gastos y con que propósitos lo habían llevado al Congreso. Ahora vive en Miami y se dedica a escribir sobre la problemática racial en Cuba, con una línea de pensamiento que lo vincula directamente a los propósitos del Gobierno Norteamericano.
En similar tarea manipuladora se halla Ramón Colás, que lidera en Missisipi un Proyecto de Relaciones Raciales. O la Revista Islas, que hasta hace poco buscaba conexiones para lograr producciones sobre el tema racial desde dentro de la Isla."
Russian women stranded in Cuba since USSR fall 9/5/2007 AP: ""Today our situation is difficult, as it is for the whole country," said Barash, 72, who cannot make ends meet on her 260 peso ($10) monthly pension after 30 years working for the Cuban film industry.
About 1,300 women from Russia and former Soviet republics Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan still live in Cuba, scraping a living as best they can."
Cuban dissidents seek unity in Castro's absence 9/5/2007 Reuters
We Don't Hope for Favors from the Worst of Empires - The Super-Revolutionaries 9/4/2007 Counterpunch
LASA 2007: Otra brecha al bloqueo imperial y un canto a la esperanza 9/3/2007 Cubarte: "Cuba, con todos los vientos en contra, ha participado en EE.UU., por tres décadas en estos cónclaves y esa tradición se interrumpió hace 36 meses, cuando las más furibundas disposiciones del bloqueo imperial, negaron en dos ediciones consecutivas, el acceso de los conferencistas cubanos, a través del reiterado recurso de negativa de visas de ingreso al territorio norteamericano.
De esta forma, el intercambio fructífero del análisis desde Cuba en temas políticos, económicos, culturales y sociales y en las más diversas manifestaciones, quedó trunco.
Sin embargo, la solidaridad firme y amorosa de la comunidad de intelectuales y artistas que integran esta Asociación, abrió una brecha en el muro de ese bloqueo irracional, demandando nuestra participación y ganaron la batalla al decidir el cambio de sede de estos encuentros para terceros países.
La furia imperial no se hizo esperar y engendró nuevas prohibiciones para el financiamiento a los cubanos, pero ello no impidió que surgiera una verdadera red de amor continental que ha hecho posible que más de 100 cubanos, lleguemos a Montreal, Canadá, a compartir con todos, en un abrazo fraterno, el quehacer investigativo de expertos en diversos ámbitos del Arte, las Ciencias Sociales, Económicas y otras disciplinas, con una notoria diversidad que funde a los predios universitarios, los investigativos, los artísticos y los creativos.
Para los cubanos es ya un triunfo de la razón y la justicia, el estallido del amor y la solidaridad, que anulan una vez más los reiterados e irracionales intentos de aislarnos en todas las esferas de la vida política, económica, cultural y social."
Victims of National Security Injustice - The Tragic Ordeal of the Cuban Five 9/2/2007 Counterpunch: "In the 1990s, these Cuban nationals infiltrated Florida-based anti-Castro terrorist groups and reported on the terrorists' activities to Havana. In 1998, an FBI delegation traveled to Cuba. Cuban officials gave the FBI some 1,200 pages of material, along with video and audio tapes that incriminated groups and individuals -- their names, weapons they carried or stored and other details that the Justice Department could use to prosecute the terrorists.
The FBI told their Cuban counterparts they would respond in a month. The Cubans are still waiting, but the FBI did use the material. They arrested the Cuban Five. The Justice Department then charged them with felonies.
Irony accompanied injustice. The five admitted they entered the United States to access U.S.-based groups plotting terrorism against Cuba. In fact, U.S. law actually allows people to commit crimes out of a greater necessity, one that would prevent greater harm.
"It is a form of self-defense, extended to acts which will protect other parties," argued Leonard Weinglass, attorney for Antonio Guerrero, one of the Five. Indeed, the Five's lawyers presented this argument to trial judge Joan Lenard, but she refused to let the jury consider it."
Cuba upgrading its weapons 8/28/2007 Herald Sun, Australia: "EMI director Colonel Arturo Torres told the Trabajadores newspaper the facilities he runs "have increased their production level since 1998 more than fourfold".
Weapon systems that have been upgraded in precision targeting and destructive capabilities include munitions, grenades, land mines and anti-tank rockets, Trabajadores said.
As an example, the weekly said a laser-guided targeting system called VLMA, has boosted the AK-M automatic rifle's precision by 80-90 per cent, regardless of the shooter's skill level."
Dissidents freed as Raúl Castro signals change of tack in Cuba 8/25/2007 Guardian: "Raúl Castro has started to make cautious changes in Cuba which could signal plans for political and economic reform.
Since he took over from his brother Fidel, dozens of dissidents have been released, an olive branch has been extended to Washington and there is talk of easing communist controls on property and agricultural production."
U.S. Cuba Policy Not Improved Under Democrats 8/24/2007 Common Dreams: "“Experience keeps a dear school,” said Benjamin Franklin, “but fools will learn in no other.” But if someone who will learn only from painful experience is a fool, what do you call someone who won’t learn from painful experience? Answer: a supporter of our policy toward Cuba… The other day, Sen. Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, reopened the discussion of Cuba policy with an op-ed column in The Miami Herald that accused President Bush of “blundering,” stressed the need to “help the Cuban people become less dependent on the Castro regime,” and promised to “grant Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island.”
This may sound like a bold and refreshing attempt to overhaul our Cuba policy. In fact, it’s a cheerful embrace of a strategy that has proved its futility year after year."
US-Cuba Relations Emerges as Presidential Issue 8/24/2007 The Havana Note
Clinton Takes the Bait on Cuba 8/22/2007 Yahoo News: "Rival Sen. Hillary Clinton said she would continue the Bush administration's hard-line stance, for the most part. Clinton's campaign said she agrees that exiles should be able to freely send money to their relatives but said she does not favor ''any wholesale, broad changes'' to the travel restrictions until Fidel Castro falls. Clinton did vote with Obama in 2005 -- unsuccessfully -- to ease restrictions on family travel in ``humanitarian cases.''"
Obama calls for easing Cuba embargo 8/21/2007 AP: "Obama's campaign said Monday that, if elected, the Illinois senator would lift restrictions imposed by the Bush administration and allow Cuban-Americans to visit their relatives more frequently, as well as ease limits on the amount of money they can send to their families."
Obama to talk on Cuba issues 8/21/2007 Miami Herald: "Barack Obama, who made headlines for suggesting he would meet with anti-American leaders such as Fidel Castro, plans to speak Saturday in Little Havana."
Red Against Black by Myles Kantor 8/20/2007 Front Page Magazine: "In addition to sharing heroic dissidence, Esteban Cardenas, Enrique Patterson, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, and Oscar Elias Biscet are black Cubans. The latter commonality is significant given the recurrent myth that Fidel Castro has enhanced black Cubans’ quality of life. "[B]lacks are demonstrably better off under Castro than they were under the Batista dictatorship," Randall Robinson writes in Defending the Spirit. Economist Jude Wanniski similarly claims that "Fidel made life better for black Cubans."
In addition to brutalizing these and other Afro-Cuban dissidents, Castro’s totalitarianism subjugates Afro-Cubans as a whole; there is no Afro-Cuban exemption from "illegal exit," "disrespect," "illicit association," and other repressive policies. Afro-Cubans are enslaved, muzzled, and terrorized no less than white Cubans.
In fact, there is evidence that Afro-Cubans are more acutely repressed. Prohibitive emigration, for example, has applied with greater intensity to Afro-Cubans. Patterson notes, "I am certain that because of my race, I was the first member of the group [the Democratic Socialist Current] that the political police went after.""
Our main goal: Freedom in Cuba 8/20/2007 Miami Herald: by Barak Obama
Hilton Hotels in Row Over Cuban Embargo 8/17/2007 CNS News: published 2/07 - "British lawmakers have slammed the American-based Hilton hotel group for refusing to do business with the Cuban government because of the U.S. embargo against the communist island nation, and some are calling for a boycott.
Early last month, a hotel in Oslo, Norway that is owned by the American company turned away a Cuban delegation attending a trade fair after they had already made reservations."
Race in Cuba 8/17/2007 History of Cuba
U.S. blind to true colors of Cuba's problems - by DeWayne Wickham 8/17/2007 USA Today: published 5/30/02, still highly relevant. Dwayne Wickham is dean of the Trotter Group, an association of Black columnists.
EL IMPERIO Y LA ISLA INDEPENDIENTE 8/16/2007 Granma: "En 1912 el Secretario de Estado de Cuba, Manuel Sanguily, negoció con la cancillería norteamericana un nuevo tratado por el que Estados Unidos renunciaba a sus derechos sobre Bahía Honda a cambio de una ampliación en los límites de la estación en Guantánamo.
En ese mismo año, cuando se produjo el alzamiento del Partido de los Independientes de Color, que el gobierno del presidente José Miguel Gómez —del Partido Liberal— reprimió brutalmente, salieron de la Base Naval en Guantánamo tropas norteamericanas que ocuparon diferentes poblaciones de la antigua provincia de Oriente, cercanas a las ciudades de Guantánamo y de Santiago de Cuba, con el pretexto de "proteger vidas y haciendas de ciudadanos estadounidenses"."
Feds Fine Travelocity.com for Cuba Trips 8/15/2007 AP
On U.S.-Cuba Relations, Chris Dodd Demonstrates What an "Adult Foreign Policy" Would Look Like 8/15/2007 Washington Note
Professor West, What About Castro’s Leftwing Victims? 8/14/2007 Front Page: published 2/12/02 - "Patterson’s being a black Cuban also didn’t endear him to the regime; black dissidents refute Castro’s propaganda that the Cuban Revolution has benefited them. "I am certain that because of my race," Patterson notes, "I was the first member of the group [CSDC] that the political police went after.""
LOS RAPEROS: RAP, RACE, AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION IN CONTEMPORARY CUBA by Marc David Perry, B.A., M.A. 8/13/2007 University of Texas: published 12/2004, 335 pages. This is a PDF, 930kb.
Afro-Cubans in Cuban Society 8/13/2007 Wayne Smith: published 12/1999. Wayne Smith was head of the US Interest Section in Havana under President Carter.
Sociedad Abakuá es tan fuerte en Cuba como en África,dice investigador Norteamericano 8/13/2007 WDS
Fourth batch of Cuban Students graduates 8/12/2007 Antigua Sun: "This year, a total of 21 students graduated from various universities in Cuba. Of the 21 however, only 11 were present to attend the ceremony as eight, all doctors, and two who pursued their masters, were still in Cuba awaiting their official documents."
`La Gaceta' Discusses Cultural Influence Of Blacks In Cuba 8/12/2007 World History Archives: published 4/99
Time for an Alliance of Civlizations Against Empire - Hard and Obvious Realities - By FIDEL CASTRO 8/6/2007 Counterpunch
Inside Track: Take Cuba Off The Terrorist List by Wayne S. Smith 8/6/2007 National Interest
In Cultural Haven, Cubans Need Not Choose Sides 8/3/2007 NYT: "MADRID — This is surely not the only city in the world where a handful of Cubans can spend a day together and avoid talking politics. But it is certainly the preferred one for Cuban artists and intellectuals of all political stripes, who find the freedom here that they could never have in Havana and the opportunities that may elude them in Miami, both polarizing cities in the endless debate about Fidel Castro and the nature of exile."
Les mercenaires cubains de la Maison-Blanche 8/1/2007 Reseaux Voltaire
More Cubans leaving by sea again, many to Mexico 7/30/2007 Reuters: "After a lull following Fidel Castro's illness last year, Cubans once again are taking to homemade boats or powerful speedboats manned by smugglers on a trip to the United States that often includes a detour through Mexico.
Since May, the U.S. Coast Guard has been intercepting more boat people in precarious craft crossing the Straits of Florida in the calm summer waters. The U.S. Border Patrol also has been processing rising numbers turning up at the U.S. frontier with Mexico."
U.S. prediction of chaos has not materialised: Raul 7/27/2007 The Hindu: "Interim President Raul Castro told tens of thousands of loyalists on Thursday that the country suffered a serious blow when his brother Fidel Castro fell ill a year ago, but that the chaos that the U.S. had long predicted never materialised."
A year without Fidel 7/26/2007 Al Jazeera: "It has been a year since Fidel Castro, the Cuban president, was last seen in public. As the nation prepares to celebrate one of the milestones of the revolution, Mariana Sanchez finds many Cubans are eager for a better life post-Fidel."
Pastors for Peace head to Cuba with aid 7/26/2007 Final Call
Burlington College to send students to Cuba 7/25/2007 AP: "Burlington College is starting a program that will send 15 students to Cuba for a semester to study at the University of Havana. The full-time program will include courses in Cuban studies, history and culture, Spanish language instruction and another course."
Envio de regalos a Cuba 7/25/2007 Cuba Headlines
Iran will export 88 products to Cuba 7/25/2007 Cuba Headlines
Cuba scores points as US medics graduate in Havana 7/25/2007 Guardian: "Eight American students have graduated from a Cuban medical school after six years of free tuition, giving a fresh boost to the reputation of the communist government's healthcare system.
The first class of US graduates from the Latin American School of Medicine, a Fidel Castro brainchild on Havana's outskirts, plan to return home and take board exams for licenses to work as doctors in US hospitals.
The Americans were among more than 2,100 students from about 25 countries who received diplomas this week in a high-profile ceremony at Havana's Karl Marx theatre. The six women and two men, all from US ethnic minority backgrounds, said they would use their skills to treat poor people, in keeping with the humanitarian ethos of the school."
‘Posada knows too much’ - Fabían Escalante, former chief of Cuban intelligence, speaks 7/19/2007 Progresso Weekly: ""Then [Posada] disappeared in El Salvador, showed up in Yucatán and entered the United States at the direction of his bosses. Posada would have never done that without express orders. His handlers told him: 'Come here and we'll do the same with you that we did with Orlando Bosch.'
"But they hadn't counted on the actions of supportive people, of independent journalism. Then came the denunciations and the evidence. The pressure from Cuba has been very decisive, so decisive that [the people in Washington] probably wouldn't have done what they had to do. Consider the Cuban denunciations, the combative marches, the round tables, the open forums, the international solidarity; all these are pressure mechanisms that have forced the U.S. to do, which is to try him as an illegal immigrant." "
Among Bush’s jewels: the federal attorneys and the imprisonment of the Cuban Five 7/18/2007 Granma: "WHEN, in Washington, Bush obstinately refuses to cooperate with a Congressional investigation into the firings of federal prosecutors who did not bow down to his tricks, the image that comes immediately to mind is the last day of the trial for the Cuban Five, June 8, 2001, when Guy Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, fervently embraced terrorist ringleader José Basulto right in the courtroom.
Basulto, with whom Lewis was effusively celebrating the convictions of the Cubans who had infiltrated terrorist organizations, is none other than one of the few survivors of Operation 40, a pack of thugs formed by the CIA to "clean out" Fidel’s followers in Cuba after a successful Bay of Pigs invasion.
Just one look at who surrounds that group of serial killers formed by an official U.S. government agency makes it clear who the "founder" of "Brothers to the Rescue" is: his sardonic laughter was recorded by radios during the February 24, 1996 shoot-down of the Cessna planes that were once again flying over Havana, despite warnings by U.S. aviation authorities not to do so."
Black skin and Cuban leadership 7/17/2007 Jamaica Gleaner: by Ramon Colas, founder of the Independent Libraries of Cuba - "To be sure, the Cuban authorities would much rather blacks stay far away from investors and joint venture companies. This, in turn, brings about a situation in which investors (largely white) absorb these same attitudes and become complicit in an evil that affects millions of non-white Cubans. In the political realm discrimination is no less pervasive. Within Cuba's power structure, few blacks share the privilege of leading. Of the National Assembly's 600 deputees, only 18 per cent are black. A similar situation exists at the provincial and local levels. The executive is worse yet. When Cuba's leaders travel abroad, they could pass off as a Northern European delegation save for the black faces carrying the luggage or guarding the entourage. Unfortunately, the military is no different. That institution's leadership is made up of white officers. The three chiefs of the army are white; so are the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the head of the police, the navy, and the air force. Similarly, the military's control over economic activities is all channelled through non-black officers. Only the low-ranking black soldiers remind us that Cuba is, after all, in the Caribbean."
Pro-Castro Columnist Compares Black Exiled Dissident to Maid 7/17/2007 Miami Herald Blogs: published 3/06 - "Andres Gomez, the leader of the pro-Castro group Antonio Maceo Brigade who lives in Miami, writes in a Cuban government publication that anti-revolutionary activity is undergoing a renaissance of sorts in the United States. He singles out for ridicule Bibliotecas Independientes, or
Independent Libraries, a group that promotes literacy and the development of civil society in Cuba.
Writing in cubadebate.cu, a Cuban government web site, Gomez uses the race of Ramon Colas, the group's leader, as part of his criticism. "This organization, whose only visible member includes a little Negro who travels a lot, whose style and mannerisms remind me of maids in Cuba before 1959, always dressed in their white uniforms -- seems to ignore, just like his masters, that in Cuba, for example, during the last 15 years, they celebrate annually a national book fair."
Colas said it's the only time he has felt any "racism'' since he came to Miami about 5 years ago from Cuba. "He is using a series of offensive and racists words against me that you would never get away with using against African Americans," Colas said of Gomez… "It's not racist, really, it's an estimation of mine of what he is," Gomez said Wednesday. "It's not racist in the least. He is like that. And I maintain what I said. In any case, he'd be a shame to his race.""
45 years since the murder of a humble fisherman 7/16/2007 Granma: "On the boat’s stern, his body was being guarded by his faithful dog, who barked unceasingly. Later, it was learned that he had died as a result of internal cranial bleeding, caused by three heavy blows to the head, but his body also had marks made by a sharp instrument, showing he had been tortured… Rosell was not unaware of the danger posed by crossing the canal at the entrance to Guantánamo Bay, his widow, Eloisa Bertó, remembered, given that one night he was shot at… Meanwhile, several days before, Cuban terrorists carried out a number of acts of sabotage, not only to strike terror into the Cuban people, but also to justify the salaries they were being paid by the CIA. The targets selected by the CIA were almost always what they believed to be the most vulnerable: shooting at a car on a highway, attacking a farm family, and now, the murder of a humble fisherman in Caimanera, the perfect target for their big projects."
Cuban dissenters speak freely in some corners 7/14/2007 AP: "Still, freedom of speech in Cuba is more nuanced than may appear. The government tolerates criticism in a few accepted spaces, and many people do express themselves in public, sometimes even loudly and bitterly — and more so, some say, since Castro fell ill last year and his brother Raul took over."
LATEST CARAVAN NEWS 7/14/2007 Pastors for Peace: "US Homeland Security officials detain Canada medical supplies at the Maine/Québec border. For latest news and more details visit the 18th Cuba Caravan's Blog."
US government forces a European airline to stop flying to Cuba 7/13/2007 Blog on Travel
Fidel Castro: Reflections from a Target of the CIA 7/11/2007 Alternet: "The release of the CIA's "Family Jewels," which exposes its clandestine operations to overthrow and assassinate foreign leaders between 1959-73, details its efforts to take out Castro. The Cuban leader shares his views."
In Cuba, it often takes cash to swap homes 7/8/2007 Sun Sentinel: "A lawyer earns $20 a month," said Yuri, a 40-year-old broker who charges 10 percent of whatever money is exchanged by the owners. "You arrive and say, 'Look, I want to get a permuta done quickly.' You offer him $50, $100 and you have a permuta in less than 15 days."
Yuri called Havana's housing swap the purest form of capitalism.
"You have a socialist façade with money all over the core," he said. "A lot of people come away from the permutas with money. The same people who talk to you about internationalism and socialism will demand $100 from you to get a permuta done."
Living on Cuban food ration isn't easy 7/2/2007 AP
CUBA: Women Combating Shortage of Decent Housing 7/2/2007 IPS: "Juana Hilda Naranjo no longer worries when it rains. For the last three years she has been living in a modern apartment out of reach of the water and wind, thanks to the efforts of the Taller de Transformación (Transformation Workshop) in the poor, predominantly black Havana neighbourhood of Pogolotti… "Unfortunately, many people were sitting in their homes waiting for the Poder Popular (the local government) to resolve their problems and they weren't participating," said Reyes, 57. But that passive stance was transformed into activity when efforts got underway to bring gas and public lighting to the neighbourhood, which people had been anxiously awaiting.
Folk-dancing and other cultural groups have joined in the reforestation efforts on the banks of the Santoyo River and the "sacred" forest of Pogolotti, the name given by local followers of AfroCuban religions to a former garbage dump that is now a wooded area.
So did the students of a weaving course created by 71-year-old Genoveva Hechavarría, which today represents an alternative source of income for a number of families.
Pogolotti, which contains three slum areas, has a population of 26,800 and covers a total area of just over five square kilometres. Eighty percent of the residents, most of whom are black, are labourers.
The Taller, whose members are all women, mainly social workers, also faced mistrust on the part of local organisations and institutions, which feared meddling in their traditional areas of activity.
But "actually the Taller facilitates community labour; we don't replace any other institution," said Reyes.
The group is now heavily relied on by the local authorities, who they advise and provide with the results of their ongoing studies. "We have taught the delegates (of the Poder Popular) to listen, because many of them were not trained in community work, and we help them in their administration," said Reyes.
The Taller’s funding comes from international non-governmental organisations like Oxfam Canada, Norwegian People’s Aid and Bread for the World.
They have also received support from the non-governmental Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Centre, an organisation based in Pogolotti that foments participative development work based on popular education.
The Taller’s team was trained there in the methods of community work in a course on popular education. The Centre has also helped mediate in the implementation of projects in conjunction with international organisations."
Clinton slams GOP rival's Cuba remark 7/1/2007 AP: "Taking a swipe at a potential GOP presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday criticized Fred Thompson for suggesting illegal Cuban immigrants pose a terrorist threat.
"I was appalled when one of the people running for or about to run for the Republican nomination talked about Cuban refugees as potential terrorists," Clinton told Hispanic elected officials. "Apparently he doesn't have a lot of experience in Florida or anywhere else, and doesn't know a lot of Cuban-Americans."
Thompson, who is polling strongly among GOP primary voters and is expected to join the race soon, made the comment at a campaign stop Wednesday in South Carolina.
The actor and former Tennessee senator was criticizing an immigration bill in the Senate, contending it would make the country more vulnerable to terrorism.
Noting that the United States had apprehended 1,000 people from Cuba in 2005, Thompson said, "I don't imagine they're coming here to bring greetings from Castro. We're living in the era of the suitcase bomb." Fidel Castro is Cuba's leader."