Archive for the ‘Cuba’ Category

The challenges of permanent revolution in Cuba

Monday, July 16th, 2012


((Douglas Mansur photo))

Cuban Isabel Monal recalls her career and analyzes the current political and social process in her country

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for July 12, 2012. See original here.]

by Milton Pinheiro and Sofia Manzano

In the midst of the so-called “modernization” of the Cuban model, Isabel Monal could be considered one of the most legitimate voices to comment on the subject. She participated actively in the revolution led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. In the context of the Cuban revolution, the Marxist philosopher was taken prisoner in the United States.

Editor of the magazine Marx Ahora, she discusses with Brasil de Fato her academic training and the challenges Cuban socialism faces at the present time. Monal makes it clear that at no time was market socialism proposed (referring to the directives approved at the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party), but that nevertheless the market cannot be ignored. (more…)

U.S. wants Benedict XVI to adopt a harder line on Cuba

Saturday, March 24th, 2012


((Reuters photo))

Anti-Castro forces say pontiff’s trip serves the interests of Havana

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for March 24. See original here.]

by David Brooks

New York, March 23 – When the United State government and anti-Castro forces in Miami denounced the brief detention of opponents by Cuban authorities on the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the island, they did not mention that those “dissidents,” like a wide range of the political opposition on the island, are supported and in many cases financed, in violation of Cuban laws, by Washington and the anti-Castro organizations in Miami, whose stated goal is “regime change.”

So the statements on Cuba coming from Washington and Miami concerning the pontiff’s visit to Cuba next Monday and Tuesday have a more dangerous edge than appears at first sight. (more…)

Wikileaks uncovers US government LGBT project in Cuba

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

The perverse nature of certain money

[Translation by Larry Goldsmith of comments from the blog Paquito, el de Cuba for September 4, 2011. See original here, diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks here, Miami Herald article mentioned below here, in Spanish, and here in English, and other related articles here.]

It didn’t appear in any pro-government Cuban publication; this time it wasn’t even necessary for State Security to unmask any of its agents: it is a document of none other than the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba — a gift from Wikileaks — that confirms US government financing of “Project B: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual (LGBT)” of the so-called dissidence.

The first thing I want to say is that this revelation hardly makes me happy. When I wrote about the march of nine people by a group of supposedly “independent” activists last June on the Prado, what hurt me was this apparent political manipulation of a cause to which so many of us in Cuba try to contribute our grain of sand — the effort to overcome homophobia and promote the freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity as a human right in our society. (more…)

Being homophobic no longer politically correct in Cuba

Friday, May 6th, 2011

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for May 3, 2011. See original here, and related articles here and here. See an article on the UN resolution on extrajudicial executions here.]

By Gerardo Arreola

Havana, May 2 – Journalist Francisco Rodríguez Cruz, writer of a blog about his life as a homosexual in Cuba, believes that “in professional and ruling circles it is no longer politically correct to be homophobic.”

Within those red circles “homophobia has come to be incorrect, to be frowned upon,” Rodríguez tells La Jornada, describing a new phenomenon on the island.

But he points out that in the average population and in public institutions “there is still much resistance,” which keeps the government from moving forward in its policy of respect for sexual diversity, which it has promoted in recent years. “It is not a question they want to cause annoyance over.”

Just last October, Rodríguez stirred up an intense debate on Facebook by defending legal unions between persons of the same gender and by refuting the postion of the Catholic church.

Castro’s mea culpa for gay oppression opens old wounds in Cuba

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Men who had been imprisoned for sexual orientation applaud admission of injustice

[Translation of an Agence France Presse article from La Jornada of Mexico City for September 16, 2010. See original article here and original interview here.  Or go here for some history.]

Havana – Fidel Castro’s mea culpa for marginalizing homosexuals in the ‘60s has re-opened a dark chapter of the Cuban revolution. “Sisi” can now pluck her eyebrows without being arrested and the daughter of the president is supporting gay marriage, but in those years homosexuals were shoved aside, sent to work camps or into exile.

The recent inteview with the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, in which Castro recognized that era for its “great injustice,” surprised his supporters and his detractors, generated strong reactions in the gay community and stirred debate about tolerance on the communist island. (more…)

Fidel Castro: “I am responsible for the persecution of homosexuals in Cuba”

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for August 31, 2010. See original article here.]

Cubadebate photo by Alex Castro

by Carmen Lira Saade

Havana – Although he shows no signs of discomfort, I think Fidel is not going to like what I am about to say to him.

“Comandante, all the allure of the Cuban Revolution, the recognition, the solidarity of a large part of the intellectual community of the world, the great achievements of the people in the face of the blockade, in the end, everything, everything went down the drain because of the persecution of homosexuals in Cuba.”

Fidel does not avoid the topic. Nor does he deny or reject the assertion. He only asks for time, he says, to remember how and when prejudice sprang up in the ranks of the revolution. Five decades ago, and because of homophobia, homosexuals were marginalized in Cuba and many, accused of being “counter-revolutionaries,” were sent to military-agricultural work camps. (more…)

Obama ignores weapons trafficking to Mexico

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

An interview with Harvard Professor Jorge Domínguez

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for June 21.]

By Gerardo Arreola

Havana, June 20 – “It is really a shame” that Barack Obama sits on his hands on the subject of arms trafficking to Mexico, Jorge Domínguez, veteran researcher at Harvard University and one of the most prestigiuos students of Latin America, told La Jornada.

It is no longer only a problem of drug consumption in the United States but in some ways that country is assuming the responsibility for “arming organized crime in Mexico,” says the Vice Provost for International Affairs at Harvard and teacher of generations of politicians and academicians in the region. (more…)