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Archives by Tag 'Cuba'
Encounters With Gore Vidal
SAUL LANDAU
In 2005 I interviewed Gore Vidal for my weekly TV-radio show Hot Talk. We had first met years before at a dinner party at Marc Raskin’s house in Washington DC where I had watched him monopolize the conversation by verbally destroying the head of a major museum. “He’...
Latin America Moves Left and Forward
CARMELO RUIZ-MARRERO
The Foro de Sao Paulo (FSP), a forum that brings together most of the Latin American left, had its 18th meeting in the Venezuelan city of Caracas on July 4-6. In attendance were representatives of practically all of the Foro’s member organizations, includ...
The Tale of a “Trusting Fool”
SAUL LANDAU
What did Cuba do to the United States to merit 53 years of castigation? In 1960, those dirty Caribbean Commies joined the “evil” side in the Cold War – the Soviets, one recalls, offered substantial aid, not threats. But in 1991 the USSR disappeared. So...
Guajiros for Change!
BENJAMIN WILLIS
US agricultural exports are usually the last thing the casual observer of the US-Cuba conundrum thinks about. It’s not a sexy topic like the Cuban 5. It’s not politically charged like Alan Gross’ situation. It doesn’t engender the emotional respons...
Cuba: a Society in Motion
ROGER BURBACH
In Cuba change is in the air. But such change should not be read as an end to the revolution. “The United States and the exile community are dead wrong if they think that regime change will take place at any time in the near future,” said Julio Diaz Vazquez, a ...
Fidel in Haiku Mode
NELSON P. VALDES
Recently a number of journalists and commentators have wandered whether Fidel Castro has lost his marbles [or as it is said in Cuba, “perdió la chaveta"].  Thus, Paul Haven of the  Associated Press in Havana on June 19th“ wrote, “So acolytes and detracto...
The Perverse Cuban-American Mythology
BENJAMIN WILLIS
For the past two months there scarcely has passed more than a day that Cuba hasn’t been in the news.  The highly covered visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the island the last week of March drew more attention than any papal visits in the recent past.  The VI Summit of...
The View From Victorville Prison
DANNY GLOVER and SAUL LANDAU
We visited Gerardo Hernandez for the fifth time and, as usual, his spirits seemed higher than ours despite the fact that he resides in a maximum-security federal prison. Gerardo and three other Cuban intelligence agents approach their 14th year of incarc...
A Cuban March Against Homophobia
DON FITZ and JACQUELYN OMOTALADE
“This discussion has changed my mind about homosexuality.  Now I understand what my lesbian friend went through.  When she graduated from medical school in Cuba, she cried.  She told me that she could live her life the way she wanted to when she was in Cuba.  But no...
Do Reporters Read?
SAUL LANDAU
Less than 3 years ago, Cuban authorities arrested Alan Gross, who had an almost $600,000 contract with DIA.Inc., to carry out a USAID program in Cuba. At his Havana trial, Gross heard Cuban authorities present his trip reports in which he revealed how he supplied a...
Justice, Injustice and the Cuban Five Case
SAUL LANDAU
I sit on a gray plastic chair, facing a tiny, gray, plastic table and another empty, gray, plastic chair, waiting for Gerardo Hernandez in the visiting room of the maximum-security federal pen in Victorville, California. Next to me, in similar seating arrangements, a midd...
The Horrible Things That Empire Offers Us
FIDEL CASTRO
A piece of news released by AP, the most important US news agency, dated today in Monterrey, Mexico, explains it with irrefutable clarity.  This is not the first, and certainly it won’t be the last, about a reality that puts paid to the mountain of lies with which the ...
The Macho Violence of the Cuban Exiles
SAUL LANDAU
You can disagree with violent anti-Castro dogma, but such dissent could also get you killed – or your business torched as happened on April 25 to Airline Brokers Co. Some Cuban exiles apparently take free speech so seriously that they punish those who use it in “inapp...
Failure at the Summit of the Americas
RAUL ZIBECHI
Dilma Rousseff interrupted the speech of Barack Obama. The President of the United States was speaking about the advances of various countries in Latin America, commenting that now there exists “a prosperous middle class” that represents a business opportunity for com...
Latin America Delivers a Swift Kick
CONN HALLINAN
On one level, April’s hemispheric summit meeting was an old fashioned butt kicking for Washington’s policies in the region. The White House found itself virtually alone—Dudley Do Right Canada its sole ally—on everything from Cuba to the war on drugs. But the diffe...
What Obama Knows
FIDEL CASTRO
The most demolishing article I have seen nowadays about Latin America was written by Renán Vega Cantor, full professor at the National Pedagogical University of Bogotá, which was published three days ago by the website ‘Rebelión’ under the title “Eco...
Somnambulant in Cartagena
ROBERT SANDELS
“I watched Obama closely at the famous ‘summit gathering.’  Fatigue sometimes overcame him, he involuntarily closed his eyes and occasionally slept with his eyes open.” – Fidel Castro [1] The Sixth Summ...
The Last Summit … Thank God
SAUL LANDAU
Fidel Castro scored one big political victory last week, without speaking or even leaving his house – and one sort of amusing little win. By a lopsided score at the Summit of the Americas meeting in Cartagena, Fidel beat President Obama 31-2. The USA and Canada still wa...
The Cuban Five
MISSY BEATTIE
Last week, I picked up Cindy Sheehan at her hotel near Baltimore Washington International Airport, and we drove to the Cuban Interests Section in D.C. for lunch. This was just one event among many during which international representatives gathered on behalf of the Cuban ...
What Lies Across the Water
STEPHEN KIMBER
I am a late-comer to the case of the Cuban Five. I stumbled on the story a few years ago while researching a novel—a love story—set partly in Cuba. During a trip to Havana in the spring of 2009, I struck up a friendship with a guide who was showing me the city ...
A Conspiracy of Whores
JOHN GRANT
Whore: (verb) To debase oneself by doing something for unworthy motives, typically to make money. ...
The New Math
ROGER BONAIR-AGARD
A few days ago, Ozzie Guillen, manager of the Florida Marlins baseball team, and a Venezuelan National, said in a Time magazine interview, “I respect Fidel Castro. I love Fidel Castro. I respect Fidel Castro. Many people have tried to kill Fidel Castro in the las...
Punishing Cuba 50 Years On
BEN SCHREINER
With the media happily fixated on the sex scandal swirling around the U.S. Secret Service, the Sixth Summit of the Americas held in Cartagena, Colombia over the weekend was left to collapse with little notice.  The inability of the some 30 heads of American stat...
Gaitán, OAS, and Cuba
W. T. WHITNEY, Jr.
“Hegel remarks somewhere that history tends to repeat itself. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce” Karl Marx, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonapart On April 9, 194...
Maximum Security Prison, Turn Left After “Hooters” Sign
DANNY GLOVER and SAUL LANDAU
Highway 15 connects California’s Inland Empire with Las Vegas – accounting for the relative thickness of Saturday morning traffic. So we don’t stare too long at signs advertising Gentleman’s Clubs – showing no gentlemen, but rather attractive young women. Did yo...
Castro, Baseball and the Thought Police
JOHN ESKOW
What a pitiful spectacle.  Ozzie Guillen, the hard-partying eccentric who manages the Florida Marlins, sits weeping in the harsh glare of TV lights, forced by his bosses to recant his praise for Fidel Castro.  He’s already been punished with a five-game suspension, bu...
The CIA and Castro: an Undying Obsession
SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES
“Show me where Stalin’s buried, and I’ll show you a communist plot.” — Edgar Bergen For 53 years exiles from Miami and US officials have tried to assassinate Fidel Castro 638 times, overthrow his revolutionary g...
Cuba and International Solidarity
DANIEL KOVALIK
“Never . . . was so much owed by so many to so few” — Winston Churchill In his book, ...
Empire and Its Discontents
NOAM CHOMSKY
Significant anniversaries are solemnly commemorated — Japan’s attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, for example.  Others are ignored, and we can often learn valuable lessons from them about what is likely to lie ahead.  Right now, in fact. At the...
Ask No Questions, Tell No Truths
SAUL LANDAU
“Daddy,” the little boy on the bus asks, “what park is that?” “I don’t know.” Two blocks later. “Who’s the man in that statue?” “Beats me.” “What’s that big building with the point on top?” “I haven’t a ...
Capitalism’s Fracking Iceberg
LISA BARR
I’ve always hated Superbowl Sunday: *the eating as anesthesia for the painful post- holiday spending spree; *the guilt-free mindless enjoyment of a gladiator match; *the circus-like way it distracts a dying empire’s masses from taking ...
The Winter of Dengue Fever
DON FITZ
“I’m on pesquizaje,” my daughter Rebecca told me.  “All of the third, fourth and fifth year medical students at Allende have our classes suspended.  We are going door-to-door looking for symptoms of dengue fever and checking for standing water.” [1]...
Guatemala’s Reign of Terror
W. T. WHITNEY
Guatemalan prosecutors announced January 26 that 85-year old Efraín Ríos Montt, military dictator in 1982-1983, was going to trial in March. He’s accused of responsibility for killing and disappearing thousands of mostly poor and indigenous Guatemalans. Gratifi...
Environmental Internationalism
SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES
Since 1959 Cuba has played a significant world role, quite a feat for a nation of 5 million – 11 million now. Cubans have shown their values, commitment and solidarity in dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters around the world. Between 1960 and 2011, Cub...
The First American Freedom Fighter
WILLIAM LOREN KATZ
This February 2nd stands as the 500th anniversary of the death of Hatuey, an Indigenous American fighter for independence from colonialism not mentioned in the same breath as Patrick Henry, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. However, Hatuey d...
Cuba: Looking Back and Ahead
SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES
In 2012, the White House will focus on the most important of international and national issues: the re-election of the President. US-Cuba policy will fall into “Next Year’s” box – or the year after that. The National Security staff reverts to its familiar position...
Seven Truths Inconvenient to U.S. Foreign Policy
DAN KOVALIK
As George Orwell so eloquently stated, “Truth is the first casualty of war.”  Indeed, lying is absolutely necessary to the ability of countries such as the U.S. aiming to wage unprovoked war upon other countries – the worst form of human rights crime as recognized ...
Close the Gitmo Gulag
MARJORIE COHN
Travelers to Cuba and music lovers are familiar with the song “Guantanamera”— literally, the girl from Guantánamo. With lyrics by José Martí, the father of Cuban independence, Guantanamera is probably the most widely known Cuban song.  But Guantánamo is even mo...
What Did Cuba Ever Do to Us?
SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES
“…they cannot forgive us that we are just so close to them, that we have made a Socialist revolution under the very nose of the United States!” — Fidel Castro, April 16, 1961 “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that ...
Cuba, the Embargo and the Digital Divide
SUE ASHDOWN and NELSON P. VALDES
“You have to figure out how you can reach the informed masses. The solution is not the newspapers… Internet is more accessible.” –Fidel Castro, November 12, 2010 [1] There is a lot of discussion about Cuba and Inter...
A Holiday Visit to Gerardo’s Hell
DANNY GLOVER and SAUL LANDAU
2:30 PM, departure time the most excruciating part of visiting Gerardo Hernandez. A prison guard announced: “Visiting hours are over.” Gerardo lined up against the wall with the other inmates. We stood with wives, children and mothers. Finally, the electronically cont...
The CIA, Cuba and Operation Peter Pan
SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES
“Los niños nacen para ser felices.” — José Martí On November 19, 2011 NPR broadcast “Children Of Cuba Remember: Their Flight To America.” Reporter Greg Allen claimed the 1960-62 journey from Cuba to the United States...
NATO: the Brutal Alliance
FIDEL CASTRO
NATO’s brutal military alliance has become the most perfidious instrument of repression known in the history of humankind. NATO took on that global repressive role as soon as the USSR, which had served the United States as an excuse for its creation, ceased to ex...
The Two Venezuelas
FIDEL CASTRO
There was a time when Venezuela was an ally of the US empire and the country where Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch carried out their plans for the brutal in-flight bombing of a Cuban plane that caused the death and disappearance of all people aboard, including the youth...
The Promise of Cuba
ANTONIA DARDER & PETER MAYO
For more than 50 years, Cuba has been one of the most maligned countries in the western press. As the island’s political system grappled with its limitations and shortcomings, as all countries do, mainstream press coverage demonized the island, despite no tangible milit...
The Reshaping of Cuba
SAUL LANDAU And NELSON VALD?S
After more than half a century some myths need dispelling about U.S.-Cuba relations and Washington’s demand for “changes.” On the Cuban Revolution Ernest Hemingway said: “I think the people [of Cuba] now have a decent moment and I don’t believe that they eve...
Winds of Change in Cuba
ROGER BURBACH
Havana, Cuba. The Cuban revolution is in a process of transition and transformation as it marks its 50th anniversary. I have visited the country every decade since the revolution’s triumph, and excepting the 60s, I have never experienced the Cuban people more ope...