Posts Tagged ‘Cuba’

The peculiarities of Peruvian politics

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

((Héctor Béjar))

Héctor Béjar believes Peru lacks a cohesive social movement to confront the dominant economic powers

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for January 10, 2013. See original here.]

By Marcio Zonta

The Peruvian political scene, from the revolutionary military government of General Juan Velasco Alvarado, through the armed conflicts between the military and the senderistas (members of the armed Sendero Luminoso group), to the mafiosi governments of Fujimori and Alan García, then the appearance of Ollanta Humala, have always embodied elements different from other Latin American political processes.

In a frank and revealing conversation with Brasil de Fato, former combatant from the ranks of Che Guevara’s guerrillas and now professor in the sociology department of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Héctor Béjar offers a thoughtful account of the course of Peruvian politics. (more…)

Marta Harnecker: activist, writer, teacher

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Her views on the Latin American Left today

[Translation of an interview from Folha de São Paulo for August 28, 2012. See original here.]

by Eleonora de Lucena

She defines herself as a Marxist-Leninist “popular educator.” A Chilean, she was a student of philosopher Louis Althusser, a Catholic student leader and a member of the socialist government of Salvador Allende. She married one of the commanders of the Cuban revolution, Manuel Piñeiro or “Barba Roja,” and in the 2000s she became an adviser to Hugo Chávez.

Marta Harnecker says she has written more than 80 books. The best known, Conceptos Elementales del Materialismo Histórico (The Basic Concepts of Historical Materialism), from the 1960s, has sold more than a million copies and is in its 67th edition. At 75, she travels throughout Latin America and says she is optimistic; the United States no longer does what it wants in the region and the concept of sovereignty has spread. (more…)

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…)

Ecuador: Rafael Correa interviewed

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012


((Aline Sasahara photo))

On Wikileaks, on the Mexican student movement, on freedom of the press

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for June 22. See original here.]

by Stella Calloni

Rio de Janeiro, June 21 – The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, said on Thursday that countries should struggle to achieve real freedom of the press, as part of a broader concept, as well as the right of all citizens to freedom of expression, which the powerful media are intent on privatizing with the goal of making profits. In this respect, he pointed hopefully to the rebellion of the university students of Mexico in the face of the power of the media, which he described as at some times dictatorial. (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…)

Chile: The complex scenario around Octavio Errázuriz

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Piñera makes himself vulnerable with the appointment of a pinochetista as UN ambassador

[Translation of an article from El Mostrador of Santiago, Chile, for April 13, 2010.]

Octavio Errazuriz

The president said during his campaign that nobody connected with the dictatorship would occupy an upper-level position. Although ambassadors are not cabinet members, our representative in the United Nations will be the face of Chile when it comes to the government’s defending its human rights record or when it needs to negotiate resolutions. Such are the problems and the advantages of a controversial appointment.

by Felipe Saleh

In the mid ‘70s, Octavio Errázuriz Guilisasti, currently advisor to the president of Copesa [Consorcio Periodístico de Chile, a large media conglomerate], was secretary of the embassy in Washington. Chile was an unavoidable topic on the international agenda; in October, 1975, Sergio Diez, Pinochet’s UN representative, was denying officially that detainees were being disappeared. Errázuriz was embassy secretary. A year later, Orlando Letelier was killed by a car bomb and the United States approved the Kennedy ammendment to cut off weapons shipments to Chile. (more…)