Ugly American discovers Cuba. (Or an “educational essay”):

Ugly

Marvila, the Wonder Woman,  concedes to the Cubans the grace of visiting their little cay. She is accompanied by the three boys she engendered with her husband from  the island. With her star and banners suite she jumps into a plane to confront with resolution the Castros’  “propaganda tour”. They haven’t taken off Miami and she has already to blandish her American lash to put the stewardesses in place. With order reestablished she endeavourers to put her delicate feet on the Cuban soil, which receives  the blessing of every one of the steps from the American Superwoman

Bad idea that of visiting a country -in addition, a communist one- looking like the Statue of Liberty. Her presence brings about the mobilization of the commie’s hordes. On this theatre of operations she has to move some times by leap, other times by crawling, then by dragging herself along.

Continue reading Ugly American discovers Cuba. (Or an “educational essay”):

Answering to our friends:

Cuban flagVatican FlagAmerican Flag

 

The following questionaire is a debt with three italians, friends of Cuba and the Five, who pled with the Pope for our freedom: Father Antonio Tarzia, Proffesor Luciano Vasapollo and Dr. Rita Martufi.

It was prepared by them for several Cuban friends, in preparation for a book. Because of the interests of the issues it seems to us of interest to reproduce our exchange with them.

 From 9 to 16 February a delegation composed by Father Antonio Tarzia (father Paolino), Prof. Luciano Vasapollo (Sapienza University of Rome, Rector’s delegate for international relations with Latin America and the Caribbean) and the Dr. Rita Martufi (together with Luciano Vasapollo, Director of the Center for study CESTES of the USB-Italy and the Italian chapter of the intellectual network Coord.(, Artists and movements in defence of humanity), are in a visit to Cuba, invited by ICAP (Cuban Institute of friendship with peoples) and the Ministry of culture for various meetings. they  asked the following questions to several representatives of the Government of Cuba, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, and many intellectuals in universities and schools of the island.

Continue reading Answering to our friends:

The president in his labyrinth

ObamaA story by Reuters gives an account of the process which would have taken to the events on last December 17th, whose impact on the relations Cuba-United States is impossible to foresee. Assembled with fragmentary information, from several sources, it is probably a partial approach to a portion of a more rich and complex history, told mostly by one of the parties and adorned with inferences from the writers.

It has probably the virtue of being the first attempt to take up the process, at least on what refers to the options and tribulations of the American administration. It is to be expected that many more attempts will be helping to complete this puzzle, which with all certainty would make a good movie script.

It is because of this quality that we offer it to the readers, even though it is only a part -probably on some degree inaccurate- if  a bigger story.

Continue reading The president in his labyrinth

The president in his labyrinth

Obama

A story by Reuters gives an account of the process which would have taken to the events on last December 17th, whose impact on the relations Cuba-United States is impossible to foresee. Assembled with fragmentary information, from several sources, it is probably a partial approach to a portion of a more rich and complex history, told mostly by one of the parties and adorned with inferences from the writers.

It has probably the virtue of being the first attempt to take up the process, at least on what refers to the options and tribulations of the American administration. It is to be expected that many more attempts will be helping to complete this puzzle, which with all certainty would make a good movie script.

It is because of this quality that we offer it to the readers, even though it is only a part -probably on some degree inaccurate- if  a bigger story.

Continue reading The president in his labyrinth

Who is threatening whom?

 

 

ObamaCubaMaduro

 

An article by Reuters deals with the Executive Order signed by president Obama, who declares Venezuela as a “unusual and extraordinary threat”, and dictates sanctions against several Venezuelan officials.

It is interesting that the references to the “threat to the national security” which Venezuela would represent are not in quotes, as well as the litany of accusations of “violence”, “human rights abuses”, “criminalizing of the freedom of expression” or “public corruption”. Neither are the references by Henrique Capriles to the “corrupt elite” in quotation marks.

Needles to say, the opinions by Maduro about Obama making a “colossal mistake”, or about the decree being an act of “imperialist arrogance” are quoted. That is also true for the treatment as “heroes” to the Venezuelan officials involved, on the part of their president.

But setting aside the “subtleties” -indeed, in quotation marks- of language,  the truth is that the divide between the United States and Venezuela has reached a new high, and this has implications for the whole continent.

Many questions arise from the new situation: Who is really threatening who? How can Venezuela represent a unusual and extraordinary threat to the United States? What implications will this situation for the relation between Latin-America  and the neighbor on the north? Will the carrot offered to Cuba and the stick wielded against Venezuela be a part of a strategy that searches, as a result, the demise of both the Cuban and the Bolivarian revolutions?

Which thinks the reader friend to be the implications for Cuba?

  Continue reading Who is threatening whom?

Former chief of Colin Powell ask Obama freedom of the Cuban Five

lawrence_wilkersonLawrence B. Larry  Wilkerson is a retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. He volunteered to serve in the Vietnam War, where he flew 1100 hours of combat in a helicopter. After serving Colin Powell during his final years in the military, Wilkerson followed him to the civilian life. He is affiliated to the Republican Party.

Since learning about the case of the Cuban Five and having familiarized with its particulars, Larry Wilkerson has been an advocate for their release. The following letter, written to president Obama, exposes his reservations about the fairness of the trial and his reasons for supporting the Cuban Five.

Read the letter here:

 November 5, 2014President Barack ObamaThe White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

It is time to correct an injustice that is in your power to amend. This injustice mars majorly the American system of justice, the U.S. record on
human rights and, as importantly, the lives of five men whose dedication to the security of their own country against terrorist attack should be admired and respected, not punished. No doubt you have heard of these men: Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labaniño Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, Fernando González Llort, and Rene González Sehwerert. The world knows them as The Cuban Five.

Two of these men are today out of prison, two more might be out in the far future, and one might never see the dawn of a free day. This latter
individual, Gerardo Hernández, I tried to visit-unsuccessfully-in the maximum security prison in Victorville, California. Though I was unable to visit him, a true and trusted colleague who accompanied me, the late Saul Landau, was able to do so and reported to me that Gerardo remains as courageous and undaunted as ever yet still puzzled over the failure to act of what is supposed to be the world’s greatest democracy.

The Cuban Five suffered a gross injustice when they were arrested in 1998. After their arrests they spent 17 months in solitary confinement. Their trial took place in Miami, Florida and in 2001 they were sentenced to long prison terms. At a legal minimum, the trial through which they suffered in Miami should have been moved to another location, as change-of-venue arguments alone were not only persuasive they were overwhelming, testified to amply when the appeals court in Atlanta, voting in a three-judge panel, supported a change of venue. Later, however, this decision was reversed when the political power of George W. Bush’s administration-an administration in which I served-compelled the court, voting in its entirety to reconsider the three- judge panel’s decision and vote differently; they ratified the sentences of two of them, and the case of the other three were sent back to the court in Miami for re-sentencing. The court recognized that the guide of sentencing were wrongly applied and as a result reduced their prison terms.

But there is more, much more. In fact, there is the now-indisputable fact that the five were not guilty of the substantive charges brought against them in the first place. The politics surrounding the trial were in the hands of hard-line Cuban-Americans in Florida, as well as in the US Congress. Without their blatant interference with the course of justice, the trial never would have taken place. Moreover, these people spent taxpayer dollars to enlist journalists in Miami to write condemnatory articles, to influence the jury pool for the trial, and to predispose public opinion to a guilty verdict. This trial was a political payoff to hard-line Cuban-Americans and every person in the United States and across the world who pays attention to these matters, knows it. Indeed, you know it, Mr. President. This kangaroo-court trial is a blemish on the very fabric of America’s democracy. It sends a clear signal to all the world-who judge us not as we judge ourselves, by how we feel about issues, but by our deeds.

You, Mr. President, cannot erase this blemish; it has lingered too long and too many years have been stolen from these men’s lives by it. But you can mitigate it, you can make it less formidable. And, vitally, you can clean the reputation of our justice system, and, in the case of Gerardo and the other two men still in prison, you can free them.

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, in May of 2005, declared the imprisonment of the Cuban Five to be a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, placing the United States alongside some of the most heinous countries on earth.

The Working Group requested that the U.S. take action to remedy the situation. You, Mr.President, can do just that. Mr. President, you said that “we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” But in certain instances, that is wrong and you know it. Would you have us not look back to our Civil War? To the depredations of Black slavery that led to it? To the century-long economic slavery that followed that war? To the racism of our past-a racism that still plagues us today? I think not. And you should not deny the need to look back, review and reverse this mockery of a trial.