By Yunier Javier Sifonte Díaz
October 24, 2017
As part of the academic program of the I International Scientific Convention of the “Marta Abreu” Central University of Las Villas (UCLV), Ramón Labañino, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, gave a keynote address today and spoke with those present about the main challenges of updating the Cuban economic model.
With a title as controversial as “Is Cuba returning to Capitalism?” , the Vice-President of the Cuban National Association of Economists and Accountants, presented in his talk the main characteristics of the national context. He discussed the need to understand the changes made in the Island as a way of working to ensure a better standard of living and an equitable and fair benefit for all citizens of the nation.
“The name of my talk is just a hook, a provocation to discussion, but what really matters is to draw attention to the most negative characteristics of capitalism and what are the inviolable essences in our country in order to maintain the social model chosen by the island for more than 50 years,” he added.
In his presentation, Labañino outlined the main characteristics seen in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics years before the fall of Socialism in that country. The role of the party, the need to keep the media in the hands of the people, to avoid regionalism, as well as the “wholesale privatization and commodification of the socialist economy” are factors that are essential for us not to repeat in Cuba the mistakes made in the Eurasian nation, he said.
He also referred to the importance of preserving the policy of a single party against alternatives aimed at dismantling that idea and advocated confronting imperialism’s cultural war with intelligence and a critical sense.
“The single party strengthens us as a nation. Defending alternative formulas to ours, based on a model of democracy that has already proven its ineffectiveness in many countries, means playing Imperialism’s game. Our party has the essences of that created by Marti in 1892: anti-imperialist, sovereign and with a defense of national dignity as the first inviolable law. These characteristics make it strong and necessary in every moment of the country’s history. “
Issues such as monetary dualism, the role of the press in the country, non-agricultural cooperatives, work in the agricultural sector, the development of the labor force in the public and private sectors and the need to increase labor productivity in all the areas of the country as a basic rule to achieve an effective growth of the Cuban economy, were also among the main issues discussed between the Hero and the delegates gathered to hear it.
Regarding the new economic figures that emerged in the heat of the changes implemented in the Cuban economy, Ramón spoke about their importance to free the state from the unnecessary wear and tear of controlling small spheres, but warned of the importance of carrying them out so that their income also plays a key role in the development of society.“What we transfer to private hands is not property, but the management of social property,” he summarized.
Similarly, Labañino discussed the relevance of the main transformations to the economic, political and social model of the country. He defended the idea of that these changes are essential for subsistence as a nation, but always for the sake of maintaining our social achievements .
“In a highly democratic process, the greatest news was consulted with the majority of Cubans, because one of our great strengths is that the measures applied are based on all citizens, especially to defend the most underprivileged. Although we want a greater speed in implementation, sometimes we must stop, rectify what is wrong and move forward, because we can not afford to make mistakes and waste the few resources at our disposal,” he said.
After his comments, the Hero of the Republic of Cuba talked exclusively with Cubadebate. He said the the merit of sharing his experiences in an event like the one organized by the UCLV, a Department of Advanced Studies “with highly-qualified professionals in both the technological and the political, as well as the scientific and academic.”
Likewise, Labañino spoke of his experience of returning to the island after 15 years of absence. He said he found a country “always changing, with a beautiful and well-done opening, especially since there is an awareness that the transformations in our society exist because of an historical necessity and not because of a whim or an idea of playing at Capitalism,” he said.
Questioned on the main challenges for Cuba’s present and future, Labañino did not hesitate to describe the blockade imposed by the United States as the first of them. “Although people sometimes do not see it, every economic action bears its stamp. If this were not so, our country would do better, because we have a high cultural and educational level, natural conditions and a high professional capacity to rub shoulders with first world nations. “
In a simple dialogue, always open to discussion and sharing experiences, the anti-terrorist fighter recalled the importance of knowing history so as not to repeat negative experiences. Likewise, in these times of “empty and manipulative discourses,” he highlighted Fidel Castro’s legacy for the construction of an increasingly prosperous and inclusive country. He warned of the importance of maintaining essential principles of the Cuban Revolution, such as internationalism, anti-imperialism and solidarity with the peoples of the Third World.
By: Luis Mario Rodríguez Suñol
Translated and edited for CubaNews
by Walter Lippmann. Oct. 20, 2017.
What can happen to the mind of a five-year-old boy who floats alone in the middle of the sea after losing his mother in a shipwreck? They say that he prayed to the Guardian Angel and that some dolphins dragged their raft towards the shore, but the opposite, away from his father and his true family in Cuba.
Little Elián González became a victim of the Cuban Adjustment Act. And at the same time, the key figure in the battle of a whole country [people] for his return. The shipwrecked child has become a 24-year-old revolutionary. He shared his story on Wednesday at the Anti-imperialist Tribunal, one of the core areas of the XIX World Festival of Youth and Students.
His history and the images of his return, in June of the year 2000, shook those present. Their voices united against imperialism. When he recalled his experiences, Elián could not contain his tears. Neither did the audience who heard his heartbreaking testimony in the first person.
Elián recalled how, as a victim of the Cuban Adjustment Act, he and his mother left Cuba illegally for the United States and the boat sank in the middle of the voyage. He maintained that the pain of losing his mother and being away from his father and his land, added to the violation of his rights and identity on American soil.
“They violated everything that is my country, my feelings, everything that was my culture,” said Elian, who said that these abuses happened with the approval of the United States government. He added: “Our crime has been sovereignty! Sovereignty was conquered, indeed, in January 1959! Our crime has been socialism! “
González pointed out other factors condemning imperialism, such as the 60 years of blockade against Cuba, the main barrier to the country’s development. He traced the history of Cuba, listing deeds that should have been prosecuted and condemned, such as the mercenary invasion at Playa Girón [Bay of Pigs], orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency; the illegal presence on Cuban territory of the US Naval Base at Guantanamo and the crime of Barbados where they killed 73 people [a reference to the 1976 mid-flight bombing of a Cuban passenger plane. The plane — containing all of Cuba’s young gold-medal winning fencing team as well as adults, students and children from 5 other countries — was returning to Cuba from Venezuela.It was history’s first terrorist bombing of a passenger plane, organized and carried out by a team led by Cuban counterrevolutionary expatriates Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles with the knowledge of the CIA, led at that time by George Bush.]
At the end of his speech, on behalf of the heroic Cuban people, which he said would rather disappear than go down on its knees, he asked for a condemnation of Yankee imperialism for all the human and economic damage it has caused.
Other voices from around the world spoke up at the tribunal, such as the young Saharaui Omar Hanesa, who maintained that in 1975 his country was under the dominion and occupation of Morocco, after two years of Spanish colonization. He also demanded justice for the crimes committed and demanded the release of political prisoners, sentenced to more than 20 years for organizing peaceful marches to defend the cause of his people.
Korean President Ri Cho Liu also spoke. He listed the damage caused by the US government’s economic blockade of Democratic Korea for more than 60 years in order to subdue his country.
The Tribunal became a space of unity to fight against imperialism by denouncing its crimes and proving that the young people of the world are willing to carry out the belief that a better world is possible.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The weekend before last, Cuba was a victim of Hurricane Irma. Since then we have received more than sixty thousand euros in the accounts of the FRA-Cuba Friendship Association ( Freundschaftsgesellschaft BRD-Kuba ). This huge figure is not enough to cover the material damages that “Irma” left in the country, but donations are always welcome and necessary.
In this situation, the ING NGB bank becomes a blocking factor, allied to the US’s adverse policies towards Cuba. A friend from Cuba, based in the Netherlands, wanted to deposit a donation in the account of our Friendship Association RFA-Cuba. On the grounds that ING does not carry out transactions that have “direct or indirect reference to certain countries”, namely Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria, the bank rejected the receipt and transfer of the sum .
The bank stated: “In connection with the above policy we can not carry out your order. The amount will be deposited into your account again. “
The FRA-Cuba Friendship Association states that the necessary normalization of relations between Cuba and the member states of the European Union can only be possible through the end of the United States blockade against Cuba, which is still supported by some states members of the EU.
In the EU there are also tight conditions for Cuba, for transactions and extra costs increases for freight or credit. The example of the ING bank shows that only our name (in which the word “Cuba” is a natural part) can be an obstacle to an economic and financial exchange with Cuba.
The FRA-Cuba Friendship Association calls on all people of good will to resist the blockade against Cuba and to help the Cuban people just now when millions are mourning damages. In this endeavor Cuba will never submit, whatever the obstacle that is put in the way. Cuba will be free while opting for the road to socialism.
Federal Office of the FRA-Cuba Friendship Association
Cologne, September 19, 2017
Cuban economist living in the United States.
Analyst at Cuba Standard.
March 31, 2016
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Hundreds of foreign journalists covered this visit, including some twenty of them representing the Miami media.
All –as well as all the radio and television programs in Miami– stressed and emphasized that, for the first time, the Cuban people had access to the values and truths that the President of the United States carried: democracy, free elections, human rights and others of the same order. For the first time –according to all correspondents and media panelists in Miami– the revealed truth reached the ears of the Cuban people. The consequences must bring the regime’s final collapse to a close –almost all panelists agree– enormously.
No correspondent mentioned, mentioned, quoted or compared the statements of President Obama with those of another president –not in office at the time– who was also a Democrat, and the Cuban authorities gave him the opportunity to speak publicly from the Aula Magna of the University of Havana and to disseminate his speech verbatim, without altering a comma, in all the press and official media.
I mean President James Carter. Everybody was talking about Coolidge and no one was talking about Carter. And this was just, according to Gardel, 20 years ago. Could it have been a case of collective ignorance? Widespread forgetfulness? Very short memory? Wasn’t it elemental to compare and contrast both, or was it concealment with premeditation, nocturnality and malice? Since naivety is not an integral component of political exercise, then I have no choice but to lean towards the last hypothesis, that of concealment. Purpose? That of trying to demonstrate that “the Cuban people” lived, until Obama’s arrival, wrapped in a mantle of absolute isolation with respect to such messages and values, and hence the transcendence of the truth revealed by Obama.
In his very long speech at the time, Carter defended the same values as Obama, did not hesitate to criticize what he understood critical of the Cuban experience, and carried a very explicit message of support for the Varela Project and its promoter, Osvaldo Payá, a precedent that President Obama avoided repeating in his presentations. Wasn’t there anything in this that could be compared or written down as a reference? Hard to assimilate such premeditated silence.
And why not remember, also in the 1990s when almost everyone expected the inevitable Cuban collapse, as a large group of important North American figures from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations led by the most important Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, discussed no less publicly with Cuban leaders the whole conflict before, during and after the October Crisis of 1962 (a textual memory of this debate was published in Cuba, in 2012?
Everyone overlooked that since 1960 “the Cuban people” has been subject and saturated, day after day, to the messages and values that the United States has sought to impose by force and media penetration. From VOA and Radio Swan broadcasts to all Miami stations, headed by Radio Mambí as well as Radio and TV Martí. But, not just this. In any Soviet–style radio station, any Cuban could have access to the best Spanish–language broadcasts of the most important broadcasters in Western Europe, from the BBC to Radio Netherlands or France International, without danger to his life or individual freedom.
The average Cuban during the 56 years of the revolutionary triumph has also been exposed to the best of American cinema, and it should be noted that about 70% of all the films seen in Cuba, on cinemas and TV, are American productions. Many of the best works of his literature are reproduced in Cuba, in addition to the recent use of the famous “Paquete.” And the Internet –with all its costs, past blockades and limitations– has been advancing every day for years now, with more than 2,000 blogs, growing connectivity and more than four million users of cyber telephony, but never thinking about equaling or surpassing the Yuma (a term that is born from a North American west of the 50’s that became popular again in the 70s).
With such a heavy media burden for decades, how can we possibly refer to the contents of Obama’s speech as if it were an exceptional novelty and a first? Such coverage becomes deceptive and manipulative, beyond any possible merit of President Obama’s pronouncements.
Something very similar happened with the exaltation of Miami as a monument to Cuban–American exile ingenuity called historical. Did anyone make the slightest question, expressed doubts about the relevance or otherwise of the example used by Obama? Nobody. Is it true or untrue in the history of migration to the United States, that there has never been a Cuban community in exile like the Cubans of 1959 that received the sum of the beneficiation amount?
Something very similar happened with the exaltation of Miami as a monument to Cuban–American exile ingenuity called historical. Did anyone make the slightest question, expressed doubts about the relevance or otherwise of the example used by Obama? Nobody. Is it true or not in the history of migration to the U. S., that there has never been a community exiled like the Cubans of 1959 that received the sum of benefits, support and federal, state and local privileges, without forgetting the few fortunes taken from Cuba when they began to notice the imminence of Batista’s defeat? Why don’t you take a quote from the well–known sociologist Alejandro Portes about it? Or some revealing angles of Back Channel to Cuba, Kornbluh and LeoGrande? Are they so busy that they don’t have time to find out?
I don’t know who would have suggested Miami to President Obama as a monument of Cuban exiles, but no one could mention or intersperse the enormous contributions of the Jewish community, of Colombians –with or without drugs– Peruvians and Brazilians, Mexicans and Central Americans; of the flows of enormous capitals from the “south” to Miami, which for decades have dwarfed most of Cuba’s fortunes.
It’s unnecessary to go to the Mafia, Miami Vice, the narcos and their billions, violence and hatred, murders and unsolved terrorist acts, dirty connections of all kinds up to the “plumbers” of Watergate. Alongside honest work and truly enterprising personalities, there is all this. This is all Miami. A close friend of the administration told me right away: It is absurd to compare Cuba with Miami. Its components and levels do not correspond.
Any comparison with Cuba must be in relation to that of its neighbors on a scale and in context such as the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala and other similar countries. And why not say it when such a unilateral pronouncement occurs? I do not intend to subtract “merits,” but I do claim comprehensive, documented, balanced and unspoken coverage.
By L Eduardo Domínguez, Claudia Yilén Paz Joa
June 17, 2017
When Sunday is celebrated in several regions of the world as Father’s Day, Gerardo Hernandez and Adriana Perez, will have two new reasons to celebrate the special date. The family they built together, fighting two life sentences and 15 years, has already grown to five members, like the five who were the heroes of their cause. The three children born in less than three years, although it is hard to believe, were dreamed of almost exactly as they arrived.
What is a day in the life of the hero who named in letters the children who were going to be born? How did he feed his hope and that of his beloved, more than ninety miles from an infernal hollow? What does a man feel when he fulfills all his dreams and a review of his life is full of impressive coincidences?
Behind the studio glass headsets and microphones are adjusted. They are ready now. Excited and happy, they share laughter and tears, after the poem that provokes memories, music and anecdotes of love. Don’t stop listening to the exclusive interview with the Hero of the Republic of Cuba that from his space “The Light of Memory”, Radio Rebelde gives to parents on their day this Sunday at 11:00 p.m. At Cubadebate we bring you the exclusive.
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
by Yunier Javier Sifonte Díaz
June 17, 2017
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The Handmaid’s Tale is perhaps one of the most disturbing TV series of recent times. Provocative in extreme, incisive in its questionings and with a crudity without limits, this production investigates in sensitive areas of the human species and speaks without fear about oppression and the loss of freedom. Fear, corporal punishment and rape, which has become a ritual, coexist with an extraordinary screenplay and attract the applause of the specialized critics, but also the attention of those who wonder where reality ends and fiction begins.
Based on the novel of the Canadian writer Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, the series looks to the near future where environmental pollution has left most women in the United States sterile. Faced with the situation, a radical group seizes power, assassinates the President, annuls the Constitution and implements the Republic of Gilead. In the new society, profoundly fundamentalist and puritanical, most modern values disappear, women lose all their rights and those who can still breed offspring only matter as an object destined to give children to the wealthiest families.
From here, females can only aspire to few roles: a few are the infertile wives of the nation’s leaders, but the rest fulfill functions as maids destined for the repopulation of the country, domestic employees or prisoners sentenced to die while cleaning the areas damaged by the radiation. However, none has the right to read, think or express her views, because, even with the ancestry of ladies or sexual slaves make up that lower group causing the misfortunes of the nation. Among them lives the servant Offred, whose name hardly represents another sign of submission. If she belongs to Commander Fred then she should be named like him.
This is one of the great successes of the series: the narrative from all possible spaces, with a deep symbolism and a precise structuring of dialogues. From the immutable red dress of the maidservants – joyful to fecundity, but also to blood and pain – through their pre-established attitudes, gestures and conversations, to the cap to restrict their vision of a world they no longer know, everything works to annul their individuality and turn them into standardized subjects.
With different levels of reading and interpretation, for some, The Handmaid’s Tale means a defense of feminism, while for others it represents a good way to reflect on systems of government such as that implemented by the Islamic State or against the rise of neo-fascist or extreme right-wing tendencies in some countries of the planet. At the thematic level, the series does not address current issues such as women’s reification, harassment of homosexuals, ablation [female genital mutilation] or ethical discussions about abortion.
Supported by a millimeter of perfection and an extraordinary passion for detail, director Reed Morano uses whatever element she believes necessary to retrace the path of this deeply misogynistic and inhuman society, to show the harshness of the moment and the anguish of some female characters almost always on the brink of the abyss. Both the careful photography of bluish or ochre tones, as well as the commitment to intimacy in scenes, the punctual use of the soundtrack and the optimal use of some very first shots of Offred’s face -performed masterfully by Elisabeth Moss-, contribute to closing spaces and placing the spectator right in the centre of this asphyxiating drama.
To this end, this maid has two voices, one submissive and fearful and the other known only to the spectator: rebellious, sarcastic, always pungent in the face of the regime’s exaggerations. Narrated by the protagonist from recurrent flashbacks and internal dialogues, the decomposition of society and its silent conversion in the Republic of Gilead appears on screen. “Now I’m awake and I see the world. I was asleep before. That’s how we let it happen. When they massacred Congress, we didn’t wake up. When they blamed the terrorists and annulled the Constitution, we did not wake up either. They said it would be temporary, but nothing changes at all,” recalls Offred to explain how the country arrived in the current state of affairs.
However, these reflections articulate a discourse more anchored to reality and raise questions that are essential for the debate of these times. Does conquering certain universal values such as freedom, democracy and human dignity mean giving up fighting for them? What subsists beneath xenophobia, intolerance, extreme individualism and attempts to construct apolitical or banal subjects?
“Blessed are the meek,” they constantly remind the maids in the centers in charge of training them for their new function, as if eliminating any kind of active posture and making conformism a virtue were an essential objective to achieve domination. And in fact, it is, because the oppression that exists here is not only physical, but also psychological, intellectual and cultural, the only way to dismember a society as a whole.
With seven of the ten chapters of the first season already released and the guarantee of at least one second, The Handmaid’s Tale transcends its exceptional technical skills and its fine adaptation of a classic Canadian literature, but also because it uninhibitedly discusses universal themes such as ideology, morality, humanism, politics and totalitarian and extremist systems. Even without claiming to be a prophetic or apocalyptic work, it has the merit of evading complacent positions and touching sharp areas of a model who likes to see itself as perfect. Responding to the provocations of this series with intelligence and analysis, confronting it without complexes and willing to its art, but also to the debate and questioning, would be good ways to live this story only as fiction.
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
At the end of May 2017, our site Cubadebate exceeded three million visits for the first time in a month the number of 3,223,174, despite the technical difficulties we have faced with our servers in recent days.
Cuba was the country that received the most visits with 2,218,591 and received another million visits from the rest of the world.
Cubadebate reached one million monthly visits in 2012 and two million in 2015. For several years, Cubadebate has been the medium of communication, including international ones, best placed in the well-known Alexa ranking for Cuba. In turn, it is the Cuban best located in the Alexa World Ranking, now in the position 6 thousand 361.
On its Facebook homepage, which has more than 437,000 followers, Cubadebate received in May 783,154 interactions and 1.4 million video views. In Youtube 685,560 views were reached in the month, while on Twitter, the main account of the site has 253,135 followers.
Our team appreciates the visits and interactions of our followers; And aims to continue to grow as a communications product, despite shortages and difficulties, always with the input of all of you.
Follow us on Facebook: @cubadebate
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.
May 2, 2017
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
Icon of the Argentine cinema, actress and director Norma Aleandro arrives today at her 81st birthday in a full creative phase.
Much rain has fallen since she starred in The Official Story in 1985, the first film from this southern nation to win the Oscar for best foreign film and for which she earned the laurel at the Cannes Film Festival for Best Actress.
She became one of the most acclaimed faces inside and outside of Latin America, Aleandro remains very active, at once directing theater or lending her voice to classic national and world tales in a new cycle in Buenos Aires telling a story.
She recently primiered the play Escena de la vida conjugal, about the work of Swedish Ingmar Bergman, in which she directs two other great actors, Ricardo Darín and Erica Rivas, at the Maipo.
Although almost always seen in front of the cameras, the role of director also draws her.
“It’s a different place to the extent that someone else is going to take the stage but I’m in a place where being an actress is good for understanding the actor’s mind and vice versa. We are good for the actors and we also like to be able to direct, although they are two very different things,” she said in recent statements to an Argentine media.
When asked recently in an interview with the Infobae website, what is the best thing that this career has given her. She answered many things, for example she answered that many things, for example, she said, the knowledge that she can give authors telling stories.
“It helps a lot to understand the human being and therefore yourself. You have to put other people in place who have very different customs, who have loves and hatreds very different from yours, which helps you empathize with the other human being next door.
Argentines who have grown up with Aleandro thank her for her memorable movies and leave nice messages for her on social networks like Twitter and Facebook on this new birthday.
Born on May 2, 1936 in Buenos Aires, Aleandro made her debut in 1952. Among her most notable films are: Autumn Sun, Anita, Gaby: a true story, The son of the girllfriend and The Son of the Bride, and the bed inside.
(With information from Prensa Latina)