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By Guillermo Almeyra
August 8, 2009
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Cuban Revolution is going through its hardest period ever, mainly because of an international situation marked by capitalism’s current crisis, which is bound to last for at least two more years. Even a slight recovery will still mean that imported goods such as food and oil will go up in price, and hopefully the latter won’t go so high as to prevent Venezuela’s aid from increasing. At the same time, global warming has reached such levels that the whole Caribbean region is doomed to suffer the devastating effects of hurricanes and droughts on a regular basis.
Throw in the fact that the way U.S. policy on Latin America has evolved –suffice it to mention the role played by the State Department and the Pentagon in the coup d’état in Honduras, the threat posed by the IV Fleet hanging over the region like the sword of Damocles, and the seven military bases in Colombia that constitute a direct threat to Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil, just to mention a few examples– reveals that Obama’s intentions and views carry a lot less weight with the Establishment than the big business and the U.S. government’s imperialist nature. Therefore, Cuba must keep improving its preparedness, so much so now that it has fewer resources than ever to provide for people’s needs and well-being.
There’s also the fact that youth, especially in the cities, have known nothing but crises and special periods, and what’s worse, they have witnessed the sharp contrast between their austere and difficult life and the frenzied consumerism of foreign tourists. Unacquainted with pre-Revolution Cuba, they are fully aware that it was a terrible mistake to model their system on a Soviet bureaucracy they believed eternal and reliable, only to be left stranded in the end with no aim or sense or purpose. The Cuban Government is thus relying on a negative consensus, that is, the decision made by the vast majority of Cubans, whether or not they agree with the official policy, that Cuba will be neither another Puerto Rico nor a new addition to the Stars and Stripes. Not exactly small potatoes, but more is needed to lift their spirits and boost their confidence enough for them to undertake a project that will only bear fruit in the medium or long term and demand therefore their courage, patience and creativeness while they live their life without consumer items.
Truth is, Cuba can be dependent on the brain drain no more than it can rely totally on oil imports, especially at a time that its Venezuelan friends are in Washington’s sights. It must work hard instead to produce a variety of quality foods and share them out effectively in the short term, even for reasons of internal political security, which the Cuban Government knows only too well. Now, an effective agricultural production calls for skilled, non-improvised labor and incentives to make up for the first rough encounter with rundown land overrun by thorny shrubs, essential tools and consumables –since hoes and machetes are not enough– seeds and water. In other words, investments, a system of extensive agriculture and even the shock experience of an agreement with China, for instance, to set up model farming camps in some regions of Cuba to be manned by landless Chinese and Cubans.
Yet, producing is not enough: there must be an effective, affordable system in place to distribute the most urgently needed foodstuffs, some of which –say, meat and dairy products– must be sufficiently profitable for the producers who invested their time and money in the project. Lenin saved his country with a new economic policy, that is, a market policy implemented in agriculture and trade together with plans to manufacture clothes, machinery and equipment for the new farmers’ market. How much does the island pay for a tourist industry bound to bring less and less hard currency in the coming years as it turns to cheaper destinations with less demanding moral and legal standards? Instead of funding great hotel chains empowered to buy expensive goods and foods, wouldn’t it be better to skim some money off that stock and use it to prod domestic production and design a more fair and equitable plan to distribute foods and services?
Why not consult the population about their needs and ideas to meet them? Why leave everything in the hands of a state apparatus made up of bureaucrats and technocrats who mean well but whose perception differs from John Q. Public’s and tend to solve things through managerial channels, using military labor rather than the working class’s energy and ingenuity? Why not hold people’s assemblies for production and self-improvement where the citizens can directly discuss, propose and resolve things? If the Party Congress has been put off –which further confirms that it neither has a life of itself nor does it control the State, but rather depends on a bunch of government leaders– why not turn this extraordinary conference into a forum for open, free, on-the-job debate where workers can make proposals? The techno-bureaucratic option is a fake option. Socialism cannot be built without the conscious involvement of the Cuban people. Cuba is in a state of emergency it can only overcome through the participation and will of all its workers and intellectuals.
By Graziella Pogolotti
May 3, 2017
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The image of the tourist was, at first, that of a traveler who, individually, undertook an adventure in search of new horizons to gain knowledge. Thus, exotic visitors began to show up in Cuba, who very often left testimony of their experience through letters, stories or books that proposed more ambitious insights.
The perspective of others gave us a vision of our singularity in the multiple planes that natural and human landscapes offer. For those persons who come from other lands, the richness of a prodigal natural universe –unaffected by the harsh rigors of winter– is striking.
The chromatic luxury of the environment made an impact at first sight. The true singularity was expressed in the human face of a cordial country, with open doors, where the refinement of customs was accompanied by the abandonment of the rigid formalism prevailing in other lands. The deepest bond was established in the human plane and there was also the first-hand approach to a culture forged under different circumstances. Thus, the characteristics of “being Cuban” were beginning to be defined.
Later on, in the twentieth century, workers’ demands gave the middle classes the right to vacation time. Inexpensive because of geographical proximity, access to a tourist trip was within reach of Americans encouraged by the stimulus of the warm climate and the exoticism of a certain folklore trivialized by the trinket trade.
In the winter months, the high season prevailed. It offered an enjoyable warm weather and coincided with the Havana carnival. In Parque Central, a maracas player stood at the door of a store that offered cheap musical instruments, along with belts, purses, and other articles made of genuine crocodile leather.
The flourishing business imposed its perverse features. When Prohibition was established in the United States, Havana was a space open to free consumption of alcohol. Bars multiplied and a malicious substrate became linked to the contraband privileged by the vicinity between the coasts of the two countries.
With its well-known ability to forge mentalities, neo-liberal globalization has appropriated large-scale tourism, associated with what is called with apparent innocence –eternal trap of words–: the leisure industry.
Its extreme expression is manifested in the cruises. In these, instead of observing the new, travelers contemplate each other in a coexistence that consumes most of the available time. In a tour of preset destinations, they pass through some paradigmatic sites and lunge into the search for small souvenirs, trophies to give to friends, once back home. The human landscape and the power of culture have disappeared from the picture. They will get to know, if at all, a masquerade willing to show –with roaring stridency– the expected exotic component.
Before becoming the grave of desperate emigrants, the Mediterranean’s natural environment suffered the predatory effects of tourism. There, too, on a short excursion, the testimonies of one of the original sources of so-called Western culture moved to the background
The Caribbean is the counterpart of that mare nostrum. We preserve virginal areas, but our being an island makes us extremely vulnerable. We have beautiful landscapes, but we lack abundant water resources to quench the thirst of a temporary overpopulation and maintain perfect lawns for golf courses.
In the cultural field, the dangers are even greater. While the Mediterranean tradition still evokes the glories of a dilapidated Parthenon and the infinite management of the Egyptian pyramids, –all victims of neo-colonial perspectives– our culture does not enjoy similar recognition.
Exoticism always maintains a component of underestimation, and our inhabitants have psychologically suffered from this conditioning. Expansive in the last half century, the leisure industry was already emerging, when “the Commander arrived and ordered it to stop.” [a refernence to the lyrics of a song, by Carlos Puebla, referering to Fidel putting an end to capitalist evils].
The hotels that multiplied in Havana were fronts for gambling halls, meeting points for high class prostitution, and business centers of an expanding mafia.
At that time, a master plan for the development of Havana was designed which articulated interests of a diverse nature. Speculation based on the price of the land oriented the growth of the city towards the east, where investments were made with a view to the creation of new neighborhoods.
The government would pay the expenses of infrastructure for investments with an absolute guarantee of profitability. New management centers were being directed there.
The historic city would be at the expense of the underworld. Since the space provided for that predatory universe was insufficient, a floating island would be built in front of the Malecon, for the free flow of large-scale gambling dens. The landscape value of the Malecón –complemented by the gentle hills that shape the profile of the city towards its geographical center, the present-day Plaza de la Revolución– did not matter. The capital of the country, the historical and cultural jewel in our crown, would be hopelessly dismembered.
For a country like ours, lacking in great mining wealth, tourism is a source of income of indisputable importance. The challenge is to devise strategies that enhance the possibilities of development in favor of the nation, culturally and humanly, because in the virtues of our people lies the soul of the nation.
The emergent demand for a large-scale project focused on the advantages of the availability of sun and beaches must be accompanied by the analysis of the risks involved, with the purpose of elaborating the indispensable counterparts. It is important to discard the notion of the leisure industry and to take into account that the fashion of beach enjoyment may be temporary.
Our true strength lies in our status as a large island, endowed with a multitude of possible options: many of them based on a cultural and historical tradition.
There is also the possibility of proposing designs aimed at valuing good living, latent in our large and small cities, in the varied landscape environment, and in the survival of little-explored corners made to the measure of the human being. To elaborate these projects, it would be advisable to complement the geographic and geological maps with a cultural map illuminated by a deep inward look.
By Atilio A. Boron
June 3, 2009
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
After a 47-year ban, the OAS sealed an agreement by acclamation yesterday to revoke a 1962 measure suspending Cuba from that body. The resolution was taken without conditions, although it lays down a procedure to be set in motion in the (unlikely) event that Havana decides to join the group. However, there are some facts to be taken into account here.
First: The resolution is a telltale sign of the great sociopolitical changes we’ve seen in Latin America and the Caribbean in the last few years, marked by the United States’ decreasing clout in the region. The vote to render the outrageous move under Kennedy null and void, is at once highly revealing of an ongoing shift that the White House has reluctantly accepted and a step to make amends, if belatedly and partially, for an obviously immoral policy which has long brought unbearable shame upon both the OAS and those governments who have voted for –or at least not against– Imperialism’s plans. Unable to defeat the Cuban Revolution by force of arms at the Bay of Pigs, the U.S. chose to put up a ‘cordon sanitaire’ to keep the island’s liberating influence from spreading across the continent. They never succeeded, by the way.
Second: That the U.S.’s hegemony became weaker is by no means an indication that they give up on using other means to get hold of the region’s resources and wealth or control our governments. It would be an inexcusable mistake to believe that Imperialism will lay down its arms and start to get along with our countries on an equal footing just because its political (and intellectual and moral) ability as a leader has gone into decline. Quite the opposite: in similar circumstances in the past its response was to reactivate the Fourth Fleet in order to achieve by force what they used to get from submissive or abetting governments. And Obama has given us no hint that he intends to change that policy.
Third: Neither Cuba nor any other country in Our America have anything to do in the OAS. As we have oftentimes pointed out, this institution became a landmark of a special period in our continent’s evolution: that of the U.S.’s absolute supremacy. But those days are gone, and there’s no going back. As our political consciousness developed, governments that still look up to the White House have no choice but to vote against the U.S. blockade on Cuba and the 1962 suspension in San Pedro Sula. The OAS has been brought to the limelight for its long record as a docile instrument of the Empire, since it condoned invasions, the assassination of political leaders and presidents (like the murder of Orlando Letelier in Washington), coups d’état and campaigns to destabilize democratic governments. The OAS turned a blind eye –and a deaf ear– to the atrocities of U.S.-sponsored ‘state terrorism’ and criminal policies like Plan Condor. When in May 2008 the Bolivian conflict blew up, the Latin American countries took care of things right away without the OAS getting involved at all. There was no need for it, nor will there ever be.
Fourth: What we do need is to make our various projects of Latin American and Caribbean integration stronger and more coherent, for instance, initiatives such as ALBA or UNASUR, basically different but based on our region’s contemporary situation. The OAS, however, is an inevitably and therefore useless, anachronistic, body in that it represents a world we only find in the delirious ravings of those who yearn for the Cold War era, and that’s why it can contribute nothing to deal with our current challenges. Now that the 1962 resolution has been done away with, the OAS should do mankind a very great service by dissolving.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
We could discuss at length whether something was right or wrong, or well thought-out or badly conceived, but here’s a work to be reckoned with. Those who want to use me had better know that I still feel for and act in a twofold capacity: I’m an old Cuban communist and an old French communist. Remember I joined the French [communist] party when I was studying in that country.
Walterio Carbonell (18-I-1920)
Walterio Carbonell’s major historiographic merit was that he highly valued the blacks’ contribution to Cuban culture and society as a whole social phenomenon, in keeping with Georges Gurvitch’s views on this kind of process. Until then, bourgeois historiography had either neglected or underrated black people’s participation in the national historiographic work. Among the first-class scholars, only Fernando Ortíz and Elías Entralgo had given these disregarded ethnic groups the recognition they deserved.
He was an upright opponent of the Soviet flow of manuals used to start spreading Marxism and Leninism in Cuba, the reason that he had to stop teaching this subject. (…) I’m grateful to Walterio for making me understand our revolutionary process in depth and with all its complexities. Since we talked for the first time he made it plain to me in a very simple way that the solution to the problems of social, economic and racial inequality that prevail in the world today lies in socialism, as long as it’s real, democratic, participatory and free of any sign of dogmatism and intolerance.
–Tomás Fernández Robaina
Rather than a strict approach to its object of reflection, Walterio Carbonell’s book [How natural culture emerged] is one of the most singular and engrossing testimonies about the history of Cuban intelligentsia in the second half of the 20th century. It addresses the cultural debate that took place in those days from a different perspective, one way above any political quarrel, literary squabbling or intrigues to seize cultural power. Walterio Carbonell proposed a Marxist dialogue about the nation’s historical foundations, racial premises and its possibilities to keep playing its role in the Cuban Revolution’s ideological discourse. Carbonell’s book, however, went unnoticed, and with time its pages were hushed into gloomy oblivion.
Author: PEDRO DE LA HOZ
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Forty-five years after the first edition, the José Martí National Library has again published Walterio Carbonell’s Cómo surgió la cultura nacional (How national culture emerged) in order to launch Ediciones Bachiller, a humble but arduous effort to rescue long-forgotten, yet essential, texts of Cuban letters.
National Library director and renowned essayist Eliades Acosta rightly remarks that Walterio’s “is one of the most radical books of the Revolution’s historiography”. Both the author and his book were surely tagged as evil as a result of their radical nature. Going headfirst and with fully loaded cannons into historiographic conventions and domestic myths gave rise to an upheaval of wariness and denials in his epoch. What should have become a consistent discussion of his theses remained hidden in a miasma of ostracism, perhaps tampered with by the existing circumstances.
It came as no surprise to Walterio, who personally confessed to this reporter a few months ago: “my statements were racked with urgency; it was the dawn of the Revolution, our internal ideological struggle had reached its peak and I wanted to help ideological revolutionary views to gain ground. I should have reviewed what I wrote then, develop my ideas more and go deeper into more than one thing or two, but it proved impossible”.
These considerations by no means reduce the basic significance of an essay that for the first time highlighted, in an organic and integrated manner, the contribution of a dominated culture, that of black slaves, and the birth and growth of our nation.
Walterio’s starting point was a Marxist conception of history detached from any mechanistic and oppressive dogmas. When he says that, “neither the nation nor national culture are exactly its social classes, but a product”, and “the problem of creating a nation and its national culture demands an analysis that goes beyond a mere appraisal of a society’s living conditions and class conflicts”, a highly complicated issue in Cuba since, in the 19th century, “not only were the fundamental classes, to wit slaves and slaveholders, in conflict but also the psychic and cultural formation of the Spanish and African population”, the author took a decisive step towards a dialectical articulation of this topic.
He had already smashed to pieces what he called “a bookish and aristocratic approach to culture”, by wondering “whether it would be true that our cultural inventory is made up of a collection of reactionary ideas put across by Arango y Parreño, José Antonio Saco, Luz y Caballero and Domingo del Monte” or “whether by any chance popular culture, whose strength lies in black people’s traditions, is not a cultural tradition”.
In his conclusions, oddly enough, placed halfway through the text, Walterio summarizes several assessments that are full-fledged science nowadays but at that time, and so passionately expressed, they seemed inflammatory. Today, for instance, we know that “the Ten Years War is the expression of the ultimate decomposition of slavery in Cuba” and “it was waged against the metropolis as much as it was against the vast majority of slaveholders”, but I’m not sure at this juncture that ideas like “as the driving force of the colonial economy as well as the most exploited class (…) the slaves became the most revolutionary class” have been deeply studied or, instead of a response to the metropolis’s restrictive policies, “the multiple slave uprisings were a major cause of division amid the ruling class (…): annexationists and reformists”.
Walterio’s book provides the Cuban scientists with present-day proposals to debate and discuss. It would suffice to reintroduce this statement to encourage analysis: “Africa has facilitated the victory of social changes in the country, which by no means imply that Spain has disappeared. It has Africanized instead “.
At any rate, it would be both useful and convenient to breathe the fresh air supplied by Cómo surgió la cultura nacional. Walterio’s work is alive, just like he is, day after day in his quiet post there in the National Library José Martí, proud of having dedicated his book to Fidel and with the memories of having been the one who, in Paris, during the years of Batista’s tyranny, flew the 26th of July banner from the Eiffel Tower.
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
25 April 2017 / UNESCO Havana / Culture Portal for Latin America and the Caribbean
Two unforgettable encounters between music students from Cuba and the world were held on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 April. It was a magnificent debut for the week dedicated to the global celebration of International Jazz Day in Havana: the first in the University of The Arts (ISA) and the second in the Conservatory of Music “Amadeo Roldán”.
In front of the visiting musicians from different countries and students of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Danier Seeff, Director of Programs of this institute in the West Coast of the United States came
The young jazz musicians offered a concert in both school centers that included several numbers under their own authorship and an impressive musical route by the History of the Jazz, from the times of one of its initiators in century XIX, the teacher of the ragtime Scott Joplin, until contemporaries like Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis, going through 1960s jazz, an expression of the civil rights struggles in the United States at the time.
Under the direction of Camilo Moreira Coro, the ISA Jazz Band offered a performance that included versions of “Mambo No. 5” by Dámaso Pérez Prado, “Amor Fugaz” by Benny Moré, and “Chinoiserie” by Duke Ellington, as well as the interpretation by the young pianist of the band of one of his own compositions.
In the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory, the young middle level students gave a show led by the female quintet “Nymphs”, directed by the cellist Kabila Franchini Suárez; The musical project “Ceda el Paso”, with the young and laureate pianist Rodrigo García Ameneiro at the front; and the the school’s jazz band, under the direction of the Master Enrique Rodriguez Toledo, also director of the band. The students performed singular arrangements of classics such as “Libertango” by Astor Piazzolla or “Pita y Para”, by Francisco Repilado, and a wide repertoire of Cuban and international jazz.
But the most exciting in both cases was the interaction of the students of Thelonious Monk with their Cuban counterparts. It was a real splurge of virtuosity both by hosts and guests, who performed improvised jam sessions and exchanged knowledge in spontaneous “workshops” of Instruments, memorable “downloads” where talent and creativity flowed uncontainablely, after the scheduled presentations were concluded.
They were, without doubt, new samples of the power of jazz to unite, and to create synergies, so that the cultures dialogue through the notes of the most democratic musical genre. Those of us who live in it were, in truth, privileged.
First, the U.S.-Cuba Joint Communiqué on Cuba-U.S. Migration, New York City, September 9, 1994 established that both countries agreed to procedures and measures “to ensure that migration between the two countries is safe, legal, and orderly.” The agreement established that, “The United States and the Republic of Cuba recognize their common interest in preventing unsafe departures from Cuba which risk loss of human life. The United States underscored its recent decisions to discourage unsafe voyages. Pursuant to those decisions, migrants rescued at sea attempting to enter the United States will not be permitted to enter the United States, but instead will be taken to safe haven facilities outside the United States. Further, the United States has discontinued its practice of granting parole to all Cuban migrants who reach U.S. territory in irregular ways.”
In 1995 both countries signed the Companion Agreement on Migration by which the US government agreed to return to Cuba all those who were intercepted at sea, if they did not reach the US mainland. This is known as the “wet feet you go back, dry feet you stay” (in the US). The 1994 agreement also established that “The Republic of Cuba will take effective measures in every way it possibly can to prevent unsafe departures using mainly persuasive methods.”
The record indicates that the child was found at sea, he never reached the US mainland on his own. Moreover, fishermen found him and turned him over to the US Coast Guard. If this is the case, then the child has to be returned, as the 1994-1995 Migration Agreement establishes.
Second, the 1994 agreement has a section on “Alien smuggling” between Cuba and the United States. It reads, “The United States and the Republic of Cuba reaffirm their support for the recently adopted United Nations General Assembly resolution on alien smuggling. They pledged their cooperation to take prompt and effective action to prevent the transport of persons to the United States illegally.”
The Coast Guard, the US media and the State Department spokesman have stated that this was an illegal smuggling operation. In fact two of the survivors stated that they paid to get into the boat that would bring them to the United States.
If this is the case, then, the Migration Agreement has been violated as well. It should be noted that the 1994 agreement established that, “The United States and the Republic of Cuba are committed to directing Cuban migration into safe, legal and orderly channels consistent with strict implementation of the 1984 joint communiqué.”
Third, the United States has signed the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague on October 25, 1980, which established the legal rights and procedures for the prompt return of children who have been wrongfully removed from one country to another, or retained in one country. Cuba has not signed the Convention but has the right to accede to it. Under The Hague convention children who have been wrongfully removed or retained abroad are to be returned promptly.
No one has denied that the child was removed by his mother without the consent of his father or of Cuba’s authorities. Nor that the father has requested that the child be returned to him.
Fourth, the U.S. Congress has ratified the International Convention on Child Abduction. In fact the Congress has declared that, “(1) The international abduction or wrongful retention of children is harmful to their well-being. (2) Persons should not be permitted to obtain custody of children by virtue of their wrongful removal or retention. (3) International abductions and retentions of children are increasing, and only concerted cooperation pursuant to an international agreement can effectively combat this problem.” (See: Section 1 of Pub. L. 100-300 or the International Child Abduction Remedies Act.)
Fifth, if the issue of custody is raised, then a custody jurisdiction dispute between the United States and Cuba (a country that has not ratified The Hague Convention) is to be handled in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act or the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act of the U.S. It should be noted that the federal legislation establishes under Section 105. INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION OF [ACT] that the court “shall treat a foreign country as if it were a State of the United States for the purpose of applying the law. That means that the rules that apply to another state in the United States also applies when it comes to the foreign country. That means that ” (c), a child-custody determination made in a foreign country under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of this [Act] must be recognized and enforced under [Article] 3.” U.S. federal law is consonant with the International Convention, which, under Article 3 recognizes that “the law of the State in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention” is the one that applies in the case.
It has been argued that the mother’s intent of taking the child to the United States should be respected. However, the law says otherwise. The moment when the child was removed, it has been argued, constitutes a “loss of residence” even if a new habitual residence has not been established. But U.S. Court of Appeal for the 6th Circuit concluded otherwise. (Friedrich v. Friedrich, No 92-3117, 983 F.2d 1396, decided 22 January 1993)
Sixth, the 1999 Florida Statutes also support the father’s claim. The following sections are pertinent to this case:
A mere physical presence of the child in the state is not sufficient to confer jurisdiction on a court of the state to make a child custody determination. (FLORIDA STATUTES 1999, HISTORY: s. 4, ch. 77-433; s. 326, ch. 95-147.)
Seventh, the very fact that the child has been held in Florida without the consent of the father, the only surviving parent may constitute kidnapping as defined by the Florida Statutes, TITLE XLVI, Chapter 787. Kidnapping refers to the confining of a child under 13 “against her or his will” meaning, confinement “without the consent of her of his parent or legal guardian.” (See: Section 787.01b). The Florida courts have not yet determined who the legal guardian is; but the Cuban courts state it is his father..
Eighth, it remains to be determined whether in fact there has been a concerted effort to interfere with the custody of the child’s father. ( See Section 787.03, (1) Whoever, without lawful authority, knowingly or recklessly takes or entices, or aids, abets, hires, or otherwise procures another to take or entice, any child 17 years of age or under or any incompetent person from the custody of the child or incompetent person’s parent, his or her guardian, a public agency having the lawful charge of the child or incompetent person, or any other lawful custodian commits the offense of interference with custody and shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084; (2) In the absence of a court order determining rights to custody or visitation with any child 17 years of age or under or with any incompetent person, any parent of the child or incompetent person, whether natural or adoptive, stepparent, legal guardian, or relative of such child or incompetent person who has custody thereof and who takes, detains, conceals, or entices away that child or incompetent person within or without the state, with malicious intent to deprive another person of his or her right to custody of the child or incompetent person, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.775.084.)
Ninth, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by Cuba and the United States in its Article 11 declares that “States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad” and “to this end, States Parties shall promote the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agreements or accession to existing agreements.” Article 35 calls for “all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form.”
Tenth, human decency, family love and common sense dictates that this child and his father should be together.
At the time of this writing Prof. Nelson P Valdés was a full professor of Sociology at the University of New Mexico, director of the Program of Academic Research on Cuba of the Latin American and Iberian Institute at UNM, and president of the Cuba Research and Analysis Group – a nonprofit organization in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Note: The Elian affaire was initiated prior to Fidel Castro participating at the WTO conference in Seattle. At the time the CANF had a major campaign to get Fidel Castro arrested if he landed on US soil. See: https://socialistaction.org/1999/11/01/fidel-castro-expected-to-attend-cuba-solidarity-conference-and-wto-meeting-in-seattle/
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant began an official visit to Cuba Wednesday, where he met with Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca to stimulate bilateral ties.
Bryant is the second governor of a US state to travel to Cuba since New York magnate Donald Trump took office, following the visit of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, last February.
In the meeting with Malmierca, the governor of Mississippi was accompanied by a delegation of business executives and officials from that state, who also held meetings with officials from the ministries of Tourism, Agriculture and Food Industry.
The North American delegation includes representatives from sectors such as agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, food production and marketing, and port activity.
Minister Malmierca said that since the beginning of the process of normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States in December 2014, “much has been progressed since”, but remains “the most important”: elimination of trade, economic and financial blockade.”
“The blockade’s measure is the main obstacle to us having normal ties. It not only creates serious difficulties for the Cuban people, but also damages economic operations between the two countries and with third parties,” said the Cuban minister on the policy Washington has applied to the island since 1962
According to him, Bryant and his entourage also spoke with authorities of the Cuban ministries of Tourism, Agriculture and Food Industry
Governor Bryant and his delegation are planning a tour of the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM), a business and commercial enclave about 40 kilometers from Havana, which is the star project of the Cuban government to attract foreign investment .
The governor is scheduled to meet during his visit with authorities of the Ministry of Transportation and with the director general for the United States of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Josefina Vidal.
Last February, Havana, Republican Senator William Thad Cochran, who presided over the signing of agreements between maritime-port authorities in Cuba and the ports of Pascagoula and Gulfport in that southern state, was the result of a business forum to explore Joint business opportunities.
(Infromation of Prensa Latina and EFE)
By Dr. Néstor García Iturbe
January 3, 2017
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Each action should carry an analysis. If the action is carried out in the field of foreign policy the analysis should cover different aspects. It is very unlikely that an action in foreign policy has no impact on domestic policy.
Mr. Obama, eight days before finishing his term, modifies the policy of “dry feet” “wet feet,” something he should have done eight years ago, when he undertook the Presidency of the United States. He has really been slow in this matter, as in others.
What are the consequences of maintaining the policy of “dry feet” “wet feet” for eight years?
According to the statistics of the United States Government’s Coast Guard Service, during those eight years about 32,000 people were caught at sea, trying to reach the United States. More than 3,200 people did not reach the US coasts and died at sea. In the fiscal year 2015-2016 the Coast Guard reported having seized at sea 7,358 people from Cuba.
To this figure should be added those who entered illegally by land, mainly along the border with Mexico. This other figure is estimated at about 20,000 people.
In addition to this, a little more than 8,000 health professionals accepted the Plan that allowed them to enter the United States after leaving the mission entrusted to them.
As the policy aimed at stimulating these illegal entrances was that practically all those who could violate immigration controls and become “dry feet” were admitted to the US and were granted under the Cuban Adjustment Act –even if they did not fully qualify under it– the Act cost approximately $680 million dollars annually to US taxpayers. In the eight years that Obama took to eliminate this policy, he spent just over $ 4 billion. Of course, they were not out of his pocket, but they should be added to everything spent on actions against the Cuban Revolution.
Now that Trump is arriving at the White House, this is another of Obama’s maneuvers to leave the scene “hot” and provoke a measure beneficial to Cuba and even the United States, whether maintaining it is considered or not.
The Gestapo Mafia of Miami has already come out against the measure. They consider that it is one of the “favors” that Obama has made to Cuba; a little late, by the way. This removes an important element in their hostile arguments that is precisely to promote the illegal and disorderly emigration of those who “flee from communism”. No matter that some of them die in the attempt: these can also be used for propaganda purposes.
Now the ball is on Trump’s court. Perhaps Obama, unwillingly, solved a problem for him.
Trump has spoken out against illegal immigration: remember the wall, the Muslims, and anyone trying to enter the United States without obtaining the corresponding visa? It does not seem logical that he will complicate something already solved; mainly because it was not his decision, it was Obama’s. This can help him in the analysis that he will make of all the Executive Orders: to leave this one and say that he will only cancel or modify those that harm the United States. This benefits them and is in accordance with the policy that he wishes to follow.
Let’s wait and see what the unpredictable Trump decides.
Por Dr. Néstor García Iturbe
Cada acción debe llevar un análisis. Si la acción se realiza en el campo de la política exterior el análisis debe cubrir distintos aspectos. Inclusive es poco probable que una acción en política exterior no tenga su repercusión en la política interna.
El señor Obama, ocho días antes de terminar su mandato, modifica la política de “pies secos” “pies mojados”, algo que debía haber realizado hace ocho años, cuando asumió la presidencia de los Estados Unidos. Realmente se ha mostrado lento en este asunto, al igual que en otros.
¿Qué consecuencias ha traído el mantener la política de “pies secos” “pies mojados” durante ocho años?
De acuerdo con las estadísticas del Servicio de Guarda Costas del gobierno de Estados Unidos, durante esos ocho años fueron capturados en el mar, intentando llegar a Estados Unidos, cerca de 32,000 personas, no llegaron a las costas estadounidenses y murieron en el mar un poco más de 3,200 personas. En el año fiscal 2015- 2016 el servicio de Guardacostas informó haber capturado en el mar 7,358 personas procedentes de Cuba.
A esta cifra debe agregarse aquellos que ingresaron ilegalmente por vía terrestre, principalmente por la frontera con México, lo cual se calcula en cerca de 20,000 personas.
Además de esto un poco más de 8,000 profesionales de la salud se acogieron al Plan que les permitió ingresar en Estados Unidos después de haber abandonado la misión que se les había confiado.
Cómo la política seguida para estimular estas entradas ilegales era que prácticamente todos los que podían violar los controles de inmigración y se convertían en “pies secos” se acogían a la Ley de Ajuste Cubano y se les concedía el hacerlo, aunque no calificaran totalmente para eso, la mencionada Ley costaba aproximadamente 680 millones de dólares anuales al contribuyente estadounidense. En los ocho años que Obama se demoró en eliminar esta política, gastó un poco mas de 4,000 millones de dólares. Claro que no eran de su bolsillo, pero que deben sumarse a todo lo gastado en acciones contra la Revolución Cubana.
Cómo Trump está al llegar a la Casa Blanca, esta es otra de las maniobras de Obama para dejarle “caliente” el escenario y provocar que una medida beneficiosa para Cuba y para los propios Estados Unidos, sea analizada si se mantiene o no.
La Mafia Gestapo de Miami ya se pronunció en contra de la medida. Consideran que es uno de los “favores” que Obama le ha hecho a Cuba, un poco tarde, por cierto. Esto les quita un elemento importante en sus argumentaciones hostiles que es precisamente promover la emigración ilegal y desordenada de los que “huyen del comunismo”. No importa que algunos de ellos mueran en el intento, esos también pueden utilizarse para los fines propagandísticos.
Ahora Trump tiene la palabra. Quizás Obama, sin quererlo, le resolvió un problema.
Trump se ha manifestado en contra de la inmigración ilegal, recuerden el muro, los musulmanes y todo aquel que intenta entrar en Estados Unidos sin obtener la visa correspondiente. No parece lógico que algo resuelto lo vuelva a complicar, sobre todo porque no fue su decisión, fue la de Obama y eso puede servirle en el análisis que realizara de todas las Órdenes Ejecutivas, para dejar esta y decir que solamente cancelará o modificará aquellas que perjudican a Estados Unidos. Esta los beneficia y está acorde a la política que él desea seguir.
Esperemos para ver que decide el impredecible Trump.
– Dr. Néstor García Iturbe es editor del boletín electrónico El Heraldo (Cuba) firstname.lastname@example.org
By Telma Luzzani
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Cuban academic Néstor García Iturbe assured us of this based on the campaign promises of the president-elect, but also because he believes that it is in the interest of both countries to keep what has been achieved and to advance further. With optimism, he believes that now that Congress is in Republican hands one of the first steps Trump will take will be to lift the blockade.
The diplomat who holds a PhD in History from the University of Havana is confident that Donald Trump and President Raul Castro will find common ground for agreement.
“I believe that the policies of the Republican President will be not only more beneficial for the United States but also for Cuba. He promised measures that would limit US interference in other countries,” recalled García Iturbe.
He also thinks that Trump will lift the economic blockade against the island because: “there are many American companies eager to do business.”
Anyway, the Cuban government scheduled military exercises as a kind of message to the White House. “The periods of transition between two US administrations are often dangerous: if there is aggression or military action by the US, neither the outgoing nor the incoming president is really in charge; one, because he is leaving office and the other because he has not taken office yet.” García Iturbe calls this period the “limbo of power”. Our message is: If there is a problem we are ready to take action. However, I believe that Venezuela and Syria are in greater danger. “In this “limbo”, there could be a new attempt to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro,” he said.
On the other hand, Mexican journalist Cecilia González looked at some of the hundreds of referenda which were voted on Tuesday in different US states: legalization of marijuana, the death penalty, solar energy and slavery. “In many cases, the results were surprising,” she said. González also referred to the “infinite sadness” that Mexicans feel outside and within the United States because the Republican candidate´s discourse exacerbating rejection of Mexicans, “promoting a culture of contempt and hatred.”
Comparative media analysis discussed the coverage by the Los Angeles Times, the only newspaper to publish a poll which projected Donald Trump a winner, although the paper, as most, supported Hillary Clinton and The Washington Post where media expert Margaret Sullivan criticized the press (including the newspaper where she works) under the title “The Media Did Not Want to Believe that Trump Could Win and Therefore Looked the Other Way.” Journalists with university degrees, urban dwellers, and mostly progressive, usually live and work in New York and Washington DC or on the West Coast. And although they would cover other cities in the country, and talk to miners and the unemployed, they did not take them enough into account.
The program also reported on the suicide bombing against a German consulate in the Afghan city of Mazar i Sharif, which left at least four people dead and hundreds wounded; it also reported on the statement of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that denounced the case of the missing students of Ayotzinapa (Mexico) which still has more than 200 loose ends due to failures of the official research.
Por Telma Luzzani
Opinión: “Con Trump no va a haber marcha atrás en la relación entre EEUU y Cuba”
Voces del Mundo
15:14 11.11.2016(actualizada a las 15:17 11.11.2016) URL corto
Lo aseguró el académico cubano Néstor García Iturbe basado en las promesas de campaña del presidente electo pero también porque considera que interesa a ambos países mantener lo logrado y avanzar más. Con optimismo, cree que ahora que el Congreso está en manos republicanas una de las primeras medidas que tomará Trump será levantar el bloqueo.
El diplomático y Doctor en Historia por la Universidad de La Habana confía en que Donald Trump y el presidente Raúl Castro se van a poner de acuerdo.
“Creo que las políticas del republicano van a ser no sólo más beneficiosas para Estados Unidos sino también para Cuba. Él prometió medidas que limiten la injerencia norteamericana en otros países”, recordó García Iturbe.
También piensa que va a levantar el bloqueo económico contra la isla ya que “hay muchas empresas norteamericanas deseosas de hacer negocios”.
De todas formas, el gobierno cubano programó ejercicios militares como una forma de mensaje a la Casa Blanca. “Los períodos de transición entre dos gobiernos norteamericanos suelen ser peligrosos: si hay una agresión o una acción militar por parte de EEUU el presidente saliente no se hace cargo porque se está yendo y el entrante tampoco porque cree que todavía no le corresponde.” García Iturbe llama esto el “limbo de poder”. “Nuestro mensaje es: si hay algún problema nosotros estamos listos para intervenir. Aunque en este momento yo creo que los que están en más peligro son Venezuela y Siria. En este “limbo”, podría haber algún nuevo intento de derrocar al presidente Nicolás Maduro”, aseguró.
Por otra parte, la periodista mexicana Cecilia González analizó algunos de las centenas de referéndum que se votaron el martes en distintos estados norteamericanos: legalización de marihuana, la pena de muerte, energía solar y esclavitud. “En muchos casos los resultados fueron sorprendentes”, afirmó. González relató además la “tristeza infinita” que sienten los mexicanos fuera y dentro de Estados Unidos porque el discurso del republicano exacerbó el rechazo hacia ellos, “instalando una cultura del desprecio y del odio”.
En comparación de medios se analizó la cobertura de Los Angeles Times, el único diario que publicó una encuesta que daba ganador a Donald Trump aunque como la mayoría apoyó a Hillary Clinton, y The Washington Post donde la experta en medios, Margaret Sullivan, criticó a la prensa (incluyendo el diario donde trabaja) con el título de “Los medios no querían creer que Trump podía ganar y entonces miraron para otro lado”. Los periodistas con títulos universitarios, urbanos y en su mayoría progres generalmente viven y trabajan en Nueva York y Washington DC o en la costa oeste. Y aunque vayan a cubrir por unos días otras ciudades del país y hablen con mineros y desocupados, no los toman en cuenta lo suficiente.
En este programa se informó, además, sobre el atentado suicida contra un consulado alemán en la ciudad afgana de Mazar i Sharif que dejó al menos cuatro muertos y centenares de heridos y sobre la declaración de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos que denunció que en el caso de los estudiantes desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa (México) hay aún más de 200 cabos sueltos debido a las fallas de investigación oficial.