Will The Thaw In US-Cuban Relations Chill Cuba’s Revolutionary Zeal?

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“That conscience is ingrained in our internationalism, and is at the essence of our policies of international solidarity. It won’t change just because we establish a normal relationship with the U.S. or any other government,” the Cuban Five’s René González tells MintPress News.

By Ramona Wadi Follow @walzerscent | February 22, 2016

HAVANA, Cuba — The December 2014 announcement that Cuba and the United States would be normalizing relations was met with both eagerness and suspicion. The diplomatic negotiations which led to the release of the remaining three members of the Cuban Five being held in the U.S. in exchange for USAID subcontractor Alan Gross and an unidentified U.S. spy, also provided the foundations upon which both countries agreed to embark on a new series of diplomatic discussions.

Following a State Department review in April 2015, Cuba was removed from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list — a scheme concocted by the U.S. against Cuba due to the island’s support for revolutionary resistance in South America and Africa. Iran, Sudan and Syria remain on the list.

In August 2015 the U.S. opened an embassy in Havana, ending the historical diplomatic rupture which escalated to U.S. covert and overt actions against Cuba, including over 630 attempts to assassinate former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. In his address at the flag raising ceremony at the embassy, Secretary of State John Kerry alluded to the perpetual rhetoric of “democratic transition” in Cuba. Noting that “Cuba’s future is for Cubans to shake,” he continued:

“But the leaders in Havana – and the Cuban people – should also know that the United States will always remain a champion of democratic principles and reforms. Like many other governments in and outside this hemisphere, we will continue to urge the Cuban Government to fulfill its obligations under the UN and inter-American human rights covenants – obligations shared by the United States and every other country in the Americas.”

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A Year of Freedom

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Granma | Wednesday, 30 December 2015 | Click here for original article

A year has passed since the Miami Five / Cuban Five returned home and were reunited with their families and friends. Granma spoke to them about what this year has meant

Antonio Guerrero: Ready as always

“After 16 years and, I think, three months and four days in prison, being released and returning to my homeland, there is no way, no words to describe that moment (…) What I can say is that from that moment on (…) all that time spent in prison was erased.

“(…) First of all, we would have been willing to fulfill the task we had been sent to complete under the greatest secrecy, and could have died there like other comrades (…). Later came prison, where some of us were sentenced to life, we would have also been willing to die in jail. We knew from day one that the leaders of the Revolution, our government and people weren’t going to abandon us (…). Even in the worst times, we felt that freedom, that joy, that feeling of usefulness of being there denouncing every day the double standard of the empire’s policy in its much-vaunted fight against terrorism. And that was useful, this cause brought many people from around the world together (…) This inspired me to write, to paint, which was another way of feeling even more useful and free.

“So we arrived here, and the year has flown by in the blink of an eye (…) Its been a year in which we have wanted, above all, to express our gratitude to our people and all our friends.

“Just to be clear, from the day we arrived we expressed our willingness to undertake whichever task might be needed to our President, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz; we told him ‘Please also let Fidel know that we are here.’ And our country decided that we would spend the year, not only sharing with our families, but also meeting with many collectives, many young people…

“So sometimes, when we ask, ‘where are we going, what is there to do?’ they tell us: ‘but you are working.’ And yes, all these activities throughout this intense year have been genuinely useful and beneficial (…) I think we have received feedback and learned more about the Cuban reality every day. I believe this is also important for any other task that will no doubt come our way, which we will take on with the same willingness as the very first day.”

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

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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.

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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?

 

 

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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?